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14 J'cans in Pan Am Juniors action today

Published:Friday | July 31, 2015 | 12:00 AMRaymond Graham

NATIONAL Junior 100 metres hurdle record holder Deashon Gordon will lead 14 Jamaicans into action on today's opening day of competition at the XVIII Pan American Junior Championships, which will be held at the Foote Field on the University of Alberta campus in Edmonton, Canada.

The country's athletes will be trying to better the performance of two years ago when two silver medals were mined.

The three-day competition will start at 11:30 a.m. (Jamaican time), and there will be some 14 finals on today's opening day.

Gordon, who just completed her first year at the Louisiana State University (LSU), is expected to be one of the country's main medal hopes when she competes in the Women's 100 metres hurdles, with the preliminary round set for a 12:50 p.m. start. The final of the event will take place later on at 6:05 p.m. Gordon, who finished fifth in the women's 100 metres hurdles at the National Senior Championship in a National Junior record of 12.97 seconds, is the number two-ranked athlete in the event, just behind the United States' Dior Hall, who has a top time of 12.74 seconds.

The Jamaican will be joined in the event by 2013 World Youth champion Yanique Thompson, who has failed to fire all season and will be hoping for a big performance here.

There will also be preliminary action in the women's and men's 100 metres, along with the women's and men's 400 metres in the opening session.

100 metres

Joniel Smith and Sashalee Forbes will compete in the women's 100 metres, while Xandre Blake and Shivnarine Smalling will do so in the men's 100 metres. Dawnalee Loney and Candice Mcleod will be in action in the women's 400 metres, while in the men's event, it will be Ivan Henry and Bernardo Wilson. The finals of these events will be contested later in the day.

Four other Jamaicans will be in action in the second session of competition. Obrien Wasome and Odaine Lewis will do battle in the men's long jump final at 7:20 p.m., while Thaleeto Green and Shemar Salmon will contest the Men's 5000 metres final at 8:25 p.m.