1996 Gold Medal 4x100m Relay Team Inducted to Sports Hall of Fame in November 2008.
12 years after winning the Gold medal in Atlanta, the Gold Medal 4x100m Relay Team of Donovan Bailey, Carlton Chambers, Robert Esmie, Glenroy Gilbert and Bruny Surin were inducted to the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
Also receiving the honours were David Dore, Marc Gagnon, Nancy Garapick, Pat Gillick, Lennox Lewis, Steve Yzerman.
Back then, there were 3 rounds, with the Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals contested on the same day. The IAAF would later change that to a Top 16, 2 semi-final format, by ranking the 2 best times in permit meets.
Carlton Chambers ran the lead-off leg for the first 2 heats. But he ran a 10.50 split in the SF. With the stacked Americans and lead-off leg Jon Drummond, that’s giving up half a second.
Robert Esmie was coming off an injury, but he knew had “one good race” in him.
Canadian Head relay coach Mike Murray, who is also the personal coach to Esmie, made that change. Esmie and Gilbert had practiced their hand-off several times in prior International competitions, so it was like clockwork: a clean exchange that gave 2 meters of free distance.
With Canada on the outside of the Americans, Drummond never caught Esmie on the first critical leg.
Esmie ended up running 10.10 split, and out-psyched Jon Drummond with the infamous haircut “Blast Off”. The Canadians had the lead from the beginning and never let up.
The Canadian Team won the 4×100 meter relay at the World Championships in Gothenburg 1995, and repeated it at the WC in Athens 1997. Glenroy Gilbert would later become Canada’s Head Relay coach.
Here is that video from YouTube, plus additional coaching commentary from Geoff Gowan: