Six more inches and it could have been a different ending Sunday morning as the 14th IAAF U20 World Championships concluded in Tampere, Finland with the customary running of the 4×400 metre relay.
While Sharelle Samuel and her teammates posted a Canadian Junior record time of three minutes 31.90 seconds, the quartet fell three hundredths of a second short of bronze, finishing fourth behind Jamaica. The previous record had been set by Canada’s bronze medal winning quartet two years ago at the U20 World Championships where they had run three minutes 32.25 seconds.
Samuel had received the baton in third place, about twenty metres down on the Jamaican squad and with a small lead over the Australians. However, anchor Carley Thomas of Australia had closed the gap on Samuel by 200 metres and used her silver medal winning 800 metre speed and strength to also reel in the Jamaicans as they finished with silver. Samuel almost narrowed the gap on her Jamaican counterpart thanks to her 53.0 second lap, but simply ran out of real estate, finishing just inches behind the Caribbean nation.
Samuel becomes the fifth Lion to currently hold a a Canadian relay record. Denray Jean-Jacques (U18), Oluseyi Smith (U20) and Todd Pyper (U20) all set their marks in the 4×100 metre event while Canadian 800 metre record holder Melissa Bishop set hers as partof the 4×800 metre relay team at the 2013 Penn Relays.