Tue | May 23, 2017

Jamaican jackpot!

Published:Saturday | August 29, 2015 | 8:00 AMAndre Lowe
Hansle Parchment
Elaine Thompson (left) and Veronica Campbell-Brown
Danielle Williams
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BEIJING, China:

It was half an hour of heaven for Jamaica at the Bird's Nest as the nation's athletes added four medals to its pile, taking the bounty to nine (four gold, two silver, three bronze) as the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, continued to prove a happy hunting ground for the Jamaicans.

Danielle Williams surprised; Hansle Parchment delivered; Elaine Thompson excited; and Veronica Campbell-Brown - well, she pulled a 'Veronica Campbell-Brown', defying the odds and stepping up when it mattered, keeping the Jamaicans in third place on the medal table behind Kenya (11 - six gold, three silver, two bronze) and the USA (14 - four gold, four silver, six bronze).

Williams, referred to as 'Ants' by those close to her because of her diminutive figure, knocked on the door in the semi-finals of the women's 100m hurdles, lowering her personal best to 12.58 and beating medal favourite Sharicka Nelvis (USA) into second place with the fastest time going into the final.

In the final, she took a sledge hammer and tore it down, again shaving her personal best to 12.57 (-0.3); getting out of the blocks; sticking with and out-hustling German Cindy Roleder, 12.59, and Alina Taley (Belarus), 12.66, to the line to claim Jamaica's fourth gold medal.

She was also part of history along with her sister, Shermaine, who finished seventh in 12.95, as the Williamses became the first siblings to compete in a 100m hurdles final at the World Championships.

"I so wanted her to get on the podium as well," said Danielle, still trying to come to grips with her win.

"I'm so happy and proud of her! She definitely deserves this," Shermaine said smiling.

Danielle is only the second Jamaican to win gold in the 100m hurdles at the World Championships after Brigitte Foster-Hylton did so in 2009; and the fourth to medal in the event after Michelle Freeman (1997), Foster-Hylton (2003, 2005); and Delloreen Ennis-London (2005, 2007, 2009).

"I won! I won! I cant believe I won!" Williams exclaimed. "It's a mixture of both surprise and joy - mostly surprise."

"Starting the season, did I think this would be the outcome? No, I did not. I was just hoping that I would make it to the final of the World Championships and, hopefully, play a factor. I won! I'm happy, and I'm looking forward to next year," said Williams.

superior strength

Born 13 days apart and clearly the two in-form athletes in the 200 metres, Thompson and Dutch star Dafne Schippers seemed destined for a head-on collision. Despite the Jamaican digging deep to produce a blistering 21.66 effort - the second-fastest time ever by a Jamaican and the sixth-fastest in history - Schippers' superior strength came up trumps as the towering Dutch woman clocked 21.63 to take a close win at the line.

Campbell-Brown found her first sub-22 seconds time since 2010, posting 21.97 for the bronze. Sherone Simpson ran a season's best 22.50 but had to settle for eighth place.

"I have to give God thanks. I finished second with a big personal best. I cannot complain. I was really trying to get to the line. I saw her coming and I was trying to pull through," Thompson shared.

parchment turned up

Parchment, the Olympic bronze medal winner, always seems to know how and when to flip that switch. Hardly a factor this season, he turned up in the 110 metre hurdles final, clocking 13.03 for second place behind Russian Sergey Shubenkov, 12.98, with world record holder Aries Merritt, 13.04, finishing third. Omar McLeod was sixth in 13.18 seconds.

"I'm very happy! I can just imagine how my mom, coach, and the people back home are feeling right now. I think they are happier than I am because I was a little disappointed with the start, but, overall, it was a good performance," said Parchment.

Fedrick Dacres will be looking to have his say when he lines up in the men's discus final. Dacres enters the event with the leading qualifying mark - 65.77m. The event gets started at 6:50 a.m.

The men's and women's 4x100m relay teams are also expected to push for medals, with the women favoured to beat their American rivals to the gold and the men eager to make up for a loss suffered at the World Relays earlier this year.