Ackera Nugent won gold for Jamaica in the women’s 100m hurdles on the penultimate day (21 Aug) of the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.
Nugent, who trailed in the early stages, dominated the last half, even without Ditaji Kambundji, who fell after the fourth hurdle.
The former Excelsior star crossed the line in 12.95 seconds, way ahead of second-place finisher Anna Maria Millend of Estonia, 13.45.
“To be honest, I like shortchanged myself a little bit coming into the final because I did not go out as strong in the rounds, but coming to the final, I had gained enough confidence. Being a finalist means I was already among the top 8 U20 women in the world, and I knew I had it in me to win the gold medal,” said Nugent.
In the men’s high hurdle, which went to Frenchman Sasha Zhoya in a new World U20 record of 12.72, Jamaica’s Vashaun Vascianna held his own.
Vascianna finished second in a personal best of 13.25.
“Really a good feeling, given that I came here not the best version of myself,” Vascianna said.
“I am proud that I was part of the historic race where a world record was smashed. I feel that I contributed much to it because I was right there with Sasha,” added the Jamaican.
Sasha Zhoya commented: “It’s the quickest time on any hurdle height, and that makes me really happy. Now all I need to do is to replicate my junior performance to the senior category as I now focus into transiting into the seniors. Now I am really to tackle all the senior competitions slotted for 2022, including the World Championships in Oregon.”
In the women’s 200m final, Aalliyah Francis finished seventh in 23.96, and Brianna Lyston, who was disqualified, were Jamaicans entrances.
The event was won by Christine Mboma in a new champion record of 21.84.
Three Jamaicans, Oneika McAnnuff (400m), Oneka Wilson (100m hurdles) and Garriel White (400m hurdles), did not start on day four.