Andre de Grasse of Canada in the 4x200m final in Nassau (© Getty Images)
Less than 24 hours after cursing their luck – and indeed their mistakes – in the 4x100m final, Canada found redemption in Nassau on Sunday night (23), defeating sprint superpowers USA and Jamaica to claim the 4x200m title in superlative fashion.
From the outset, they made their intentions known at the front of the race, with Gavin Smellie – who had a controversial false start rescinded in the heats earlier in the night – handing over to Brendon Rodney in slick fashion. After a strong leg, Rodney passed off to Andre De Grasse marginally in front of the US and Jamaica at the halfway mark.
De Grasse was impressive on the third leg, despite facing an opponent of the highest calibre. Three lanes to his right was Isiah Young, a 19.86 athlete, who the Olympic 200m silver medallist steadily reeled in down the back straight.
At the final handoff, Canada’s was the quicker exchange, with Aaron Brown getting into full sprint a fraction of a second ahead of USA's Ameer Webb, setting the scene for a thrilling finale.
Webb, however, had two metres to find on Brown, and try as he might that was never going to be realistic, given the Canadian has clocked 20.00 for the distance.
Approaching the line, the emotions visibly erupted for Brown, and with the ghosts of Saturday night’s dropped baton firmly behind them, he raised his arms into an X-celebration as he brought his nation home to victory in 1:19.42.
"It did not go well yesterday but I'm glad we were able to break the curse, get the monkey off our backs and show the world what we are able to do in the relays."
De Grasse, meanwhile, paid tribute to his teammates. "It was a great run by all of us," he said. "We just wanted to keep the stick today, but we told each other to trust each other and be patient. If we could do that, we could come away with the gold today."
The US took second in 1:19.88, with Jamaica third in 1:21.09.
"Of course, we always come into the race shooting for the gold, but it was the first time in the last three years that we got the stick around," said Isiah Young. "That's already good, and we also came away with a silver medal."
Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF