Mon | Dec 11, 2017

Blake : We have a problem

Published:Thursday | August 10, 2017 | 12:00 AMAndre Lowe
Yohan Blake failed to qualify for the 200m men's final today at the London World Championships after finishing third in his semi-final inside a soaked London Stadium in a time of 20.52 yesterday.

LONDON, England:

"Yes, Jamaican sprinting has a problem."

Yohan Blake's assessment did not require any Sherlock Holmes-style sleuthing. His own performance in the men's 200m semi-final and the fact that Jamaica will, for the first time in the World Championships since 2005, not have a men's 200m finalist seemed like a pretty clear indication.

Add to that the reality that the country was kept off the top of the 100m podium at a major championship for the first time since the 2005 World Championships and the chance of a women's 200m gold requiring a brave bet by most standards, meaning, the first Jamaican 100m-200m gold medal lockout since the 2004 Olympic Games is quite a possibility.

Blake finished third in his semi-final inside a soaked London Stadium in a time of 20.52, and the injury-plagued sprinter complaining of discomfort in his leg at the top of the home stretch, with Rasheed Dwyer missing out on the final with a ninth-place, 20.69 seconds effort.

"Do I have to step up? Yes. I never counted out myself because I know I can do much better," Blake added. "The big man (Usain Bolt) is leaving, and there is a lot riding on our shoulders. I am the fastest in Jamaica this year, and I know I have to keep focused and keep getting better."

 

AGONIZINGLY CLOSE

 

History-making thrower Danniel Thomas-Dodd was already the first Jamaican woman to make the shot put final directly at the World Championships, and a series of consistent efforts brought her agonisingly close to a bronze medal in an enthralling contest.

Thomas-Dodd spent most of the competition in fourth place, with her first-round 18.70m effort, and landed her penultimate attempt of 18.91m to move up a spot in the rankings.

She was, however, overtaken by Olympic bronze medallist Anita Morton (Hungary), who responded with a 19.49m mark, which moved her past Thomas-Dodd and bronze medal winner Michelle Carter (USA), 19.14m, and into the silver medal position.

The gold was won by China's Lijiao Gong, 19.94m.

"I am happy. I am happy because as I said, I went out there to have fun and that's what I did. I came out with the result that I wanted, I was hoping to make the top eight, which I did and I cannot ask for anything else," said a gracious Thomas-Dodd after her event.

Another commendable performance arrived from 400m hurdler Kemar Mowatt, who ran on strongly at the end to finish fourth in his final with a time of 48.99 seconds behind winner Karsten Warholm (Norway), 48.35; Yasmani Copello (Turkey), 48.49; and American Kerron Clement, 48.52 seconds.

Jamaica also missed out on a medal in the women's 400m, with Shericka Jackson, 50.76, and Stephenie-Ann McPherson, 50.86, finishing fifth and sixth, respectively, with Novlene Williams-Mills crossing the line in eighth spot in 51.48 seconds.

American Phyllis Francis took advantage of an apparent Shaunae Miller-Uibo injury close to the finish line, winning in 49.92 seconds, ahead of Bahrain's Salwa Eid Naser, 50.06, and Allyson Felix, 50.08.

Kemoy Campbell advanced to the 5000m final after finishing ninth in his heat in 13:26.67.

Aisha Praught-Leer will also run in the 3000m steeplechase final after her 9:26.37 fourth-place run in the heats.

Jamaica's only medal hope today will come from Ristananna Tracey in the women's 400m hurdles at 9:35 p.m. (3:35 p.m. Jamaica time).

andre.lowe@gleanerjm.com

 

JAMAICANS IN ACTION TODAY

* Women's high jump qualification - 1:10 pm

Kimberly Williamson

* Women's 800m heats - 1:25 pm

Natoya Goule

Kimarra McDonald

* Women's 200m semi-final - 3:05 pm

Sashalee Forbes

Simone Facey

Jodean Williams

* Women's 400m hurdles FINAL - 3:35pm

Ristananna Tracey