We know who won the 100m relays (Jamaica, both of them), but which teams came together and really delivered a team performance relative to their component parts?
To come up with an answer, we have added together the season’s best (SB) of all the quartets in the men’s and women’s finals and measured the improvement in their final relay time. Everyone will improve because there is only one start and then the baton should continue its way round at speed.
In the men’s relay, there was only one finishing quartet made up of all sub-10 second performers: Jamaica. In spite of their high season’s best threshold, they put in a poor team performance —improving by 5.49% (or 2.13 seconds). China, on the other hand, only had one SB sub-10 (and just: Bingtian Su at 9.99) and improved the most at 6.77% (2.76 seconds). The surprise silver medalists were the best performing team in this respect.
Improvement in seconds between Final time and combined SBs
Better news for the British women. The 4th place finishers come out on top as a team performance, with a 5.82% (or 2.6 seconds) improvement relative to the quartet’s collective SBs. However, does anyone stand a chance when a team stacked with sub-11 runners also delivers one of the best team performances? Jamaica are in second with a 5.43% improvement (2.36 seconds). The silver medalists, the USA—another quartet of sub-11 runners—claims the worst team performance with a 4.67% improvement (2.04 seconds). Even though she missed the mandatory relay training camps, it might not have hurt to put 100m individual bronze medalist Tori Bowie into the team after all.