BEIJING, China – When the results came in for the 6 heats in the opening round of the one lap event, the women of the Caribbean looked pretty, advancing in the leading six, to the semis. All of Commonwealth Champion, Stephenie Ann McPherson (JAM/1st in heat 4/ 50.34SB), 21 year old Shericka Jackson (JAM/2nd in heat 5/ 50.41), Bahamian former World Youth and World Junior champion, Shaunae Miller(1st in heat 6/50.53) and Commonwealth Silver medallist , Christine Day (JAM/1st in heat 3/ 50.58) ran well and advanced automatically.
Notably, all three Jamaicans are prepared by the MVP TC’s coaching guru, Stephen Francis. Also making the elite cut, was 2007 Osaka bronze girl, Florida-based, Novlene Williams – Mills with a 2nd place in heat 6 in a season best 51.07. Former University of Iowa, Vincentian, Kineke Alexander, put paid to her qualifying prospects with a 6th place in heat 1 in 52.24.
The competition started in the morning session on Day III on a bitter note for the only Caribbean entrant, in the 3000m Steeplechase for women. The event which was introduced for the 2007 Osaka staging, saw a USA-based athlete Aisha Praught with part-Jamaican parentage, running in the 1st of 3 heats, succumb to a violation which led to an unfortunate disqualification.
Damar Forbes, continuing an unimpressive streak, did not spark in the men’s Long Jump qualifiers, bombing out with a best leap of 7.62m from Group A.