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The gold medal inserted into the pre-race dialogue for the women’s 100m at the XVI IAAF World Championships in Athletics, did not materialise. Elaine Thompson, Jamaica’s double Olympic champion, did not warm the hearts of her country folk as she was expected to do. She only managed 10.98 for 5th with the title going to USA girl Torie Bowie in a season best 10.85.
“I don’t know what happened,” explained Thompson. “I’ll have to watch the video back because I don’t know what went wrong.”
Omar McLeod (13.23 and ranked 2 from the heats) led the Caribbean advancing group of the 110mh going to the finals on Monday in winning the first semifinal heat in 13.16. His Jamaican teammate, Hansle Parchment (13.42 and ranked 13th from the heats) was in 8th ranking spot with his 2nd place in semi final two with 13.27. There was another Caribbean campaigner to make the cut in Barbados’ Shane Brathwaite (13.39 and ranked 10th from the heats) who won Parchment’s race with a season best 13.26.
McLeod commented: “I am always confident. It is a privilege – I am getting better and better. I am not limiting myself, so if it [the world record] happens it happens. I have heard that I might run in the 4x100m relay. Let’s see what happens, hopefully I will be selected.”
McLeod’s other teammate and popular medal prospect Ronald Levy left his countrymen devastated during the opening round, as he was wheeled off the track, injured after crashing into the first hurdle and tumbled to the track.
Another sparkling moment for athletes from the region, came in the semis of the men’s 400m where Jamaicans took first and runner up spots as well as 7th in the ranking going to the finals. Bahamian Steven Gardiner and Jamaican Nathon Allen were 1st and 2nd in heat one with a 43..89 national record and a personal best 44.19, respectively……. Allen’s teammate Demish Gaye also got a best ever with 44.55 for 2nd in heat three.
Also in early morning competition, there were heats of the 400mh for men and 400m for women, with both semifinals slated for Monday’s late session.
Advancing from the former, all as automatic qualifiers by placing in the top four in their respective heats, were the Jamaican trio of two time world junior champion, Jaheel Hyde, Kemar Mowatt and Ricardo Cunningham. 20 year old Kyron McMaster, of the British Virgin Islands, the world leader at 47.80 was disqualified.
All four Jamaicans and the Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo will continue their medal quest in the next round. They were all ranked in the top eight with Miller-Uibo in 3rd spot, winning heat two in 50.97. Novelene Williams-Mills was next at No.4, 3rd in heat 4 at 50.00, 6th ranking went to Chrisann Gordon who took heat six with 51.14 followed in 7th and 8th position by Shericka Jackson (51.26), and Stephenie Ann McPherson (51.27), both placing 2nd in heats three and two, respectively.