Andre: We saw how competitive things were in the men’s 400 metres, and the 4x400m will certainly be another event where we could see some exciting action.KC: Yeah! Gone are the days when the United States would start as overwhelming favourites. Things have changed and it should be close-going all the way to the end.Andre: Absolutely, the gap has certainly closed between the US and the other top teams in this event and nothing is guaranteed for the Americans. This is a tough one and one that has three to four possible winners.KC: Despite the gap closing, it will be hard betting against them, though, as the athletes in their line-up have all gone sub-45 secondsAndre: They are a team with a lot of class, but there are several teams with multiple guys running sub-45, such as Trinidad and Tobago and even Jamaica. That is not such a rarity these days, so it can hardly been seen as an advantage for the Americans.KC: Trinidad and Tobago, I think, have the greatest chance of upstaging the Americans, while the likes of Great Britain, Belgium, and Jamaica will ensure that the top two are fully extended.Andre: Yes. Trinidad and Tobago have a very good crop of athletes, but they have failed to deliver in the past so I don’t trust them too much.KC: I had expected The Bahamas to be major threats, but, unfortunately, they will not be there in the final and their absence will see the United States under less pressure as they have one less top team to worry about.Andre: Good point, but The Bahamas quarter-milers have not been doing that well comparatively and, pressure or not, this USA team is primed to do well at this event, like they always do. The real battle is going to be among Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Russia, and look out for Kenya on this one.KC: The key for Jamaica here is Javon Francis, but something went wrong with him after his anchor leg in the preliminary round and if he is not good to go in the final, we can forget about getting any medal here as he is the backbone of the team.Andre: He is good to go, according to the team officials, but I don’t know if there will be any lingering effects of the injury while he is actually competing. He suffered this injury when another athlete crashed into him at the end of his heat.KC: If he is good to go and with Rusheen McDonald inserted in the team, Jamaica will definitely be a medal contenders as I think this quartet is much stronger than the one two years ago that got silver. And Francis will definitely not get the baton too far off the pack on anchor this time around.Andre: I’m picking USA for the win. I’m not sure about Trinidad and Tobago. On paper, they ought to beat Jamaica, but they hardly live up to expectations these days. USA first, Jamaica repeats their Moscow performance for the silver, and Kenya with the bronzeKC: It has not been a good championship for the United States. They surely need a win here to ensure that they stay above Jamaica on the gold-medal table and will be pumped up. With LaShawn Merritt back at his best, he should anchor them to an impressive victory. I give Trinidad and Tobago the edge for silver with Jamaica just edging out the Great Britain team for bronze.
ULSTER SFC: ARMAGH have retained home advantage despite calls from some quarters to move the eagerly anticipated clash to a bigger venue. The Athletic Grounds in Armagh has a capacity of around 18,000 but demands for the Ulster SFC quarter-final clash between The Orchard County and Donegal to be switched to an alternative venue have fallen on deaf ears.Donegal’s reward for a bruising win over Tyrone on Sunday is a tough encounter against an Armagh side that have been buoyed by the return of former All-Ireland winning captain Kieran McGeeney.Armagh were desperately unlucky against Donegal in the All-Ireland quarter-final last season and will be quietly confident of causing an upset. Ulster Council spokesman John Connolly told The Belfast Telegraph that there will be no switch.“The Armagh County Board have worked hard to transform the Athletic Grounds into an up-to-date stadium and obviously the fact that Donegal will be playing there next month is a plum tie for Kieran McGeeney’s side.“The match between Donegal and Tyrone was a terrific game and we like to think that this has served to lay down a marker for the Ulster championship.“There are other matches scheduled to take place in the interim but there is no doubt that Armagh v Donegal has a special ring to it.” Armagh official Sean McStay added, “County boards like ourselves make considerable effort and go to huge expenditure to refurbish grounds in the hope of getting plum home fixtures such as this one we are getting against Donegal.“This is what makes all the sacrifice worthwhile.“It is well-known that Armagh boast a huge fan base and naturally everyone wants to see them take on the Ulster champions in their own back yard.”ULSTER SFC: ARMAGH RETAIN HOME ADVANTAGE DESPITE ISSUES OVER CAPACITY was last modified: May 20th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:armaghdonegalGAAnewsSportUlster SFC