Powell produces early spark
Disappointing is the word Kemoy Campbell used to describe his race, and generally disappointing it was for most Jamaicans in the first session on the first day of action at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Indoor Championships at the Oregon Convention Center yesterday.
Asafa Powell was the only bright spark in the morning session as he clocked a world-leading 6.44 seconds to win heat five of the men's 60m and advance to the semi-finals, which were scheduled for last night.
"I was just focusing on my technique, wasn't focusing on anyone or my time, just focusing on my technique and getting to the finish line," Powell told The Gleaner.
Neither Kevaughn Rattray nor Odean Skeen, though declared among the team, were in the line-up for the 100m.
Campbell, who ran in the men's 3000m, never got into a useful rhythm and finished eighth of nine competitors in heat one in a time of 8:00.22. The heat was won by Ethiopia's Yomif Kejelcha in 7:51.01.
"I went out there thinking I would do better, but I was sick with flu and I was just flat. I tried my best and I wasn't making any progress in the race, and all I can say it was a bit disappointing for me because I know I can run a lot faster. I've run a lot faster before and the time wasn't even close to my PR, and I'm just disappointed. That's all I can say," Campbell said.
Chrisann Gordon had a strange race in the third heat of the 400m. At the start, she stepped out of the block and the track umpire ruled a faulty start.
When the race actually got under way, the athlete ran one lap of the two-lap event, and while on the curve, just stepped off the track. It appeared that she had been pushed, but video replays showed a voluntary departure from the track.
She was later seen being attended to by medical officials and seemed to indicate that she had an ankle issue.
Salcia Slack, who was recovering from a bout of pneumonia, had a poor start running in the women's 60m hurdles, the first event of the five-discipline pentathlon, and finished last in heat two in a time of 8.72 seconds.
She failed to record a score in the high jump after three failed attempts to cross the bar at the opening height of 1.64m.
She had the shot put, long jump, and 800m to come later in the day.
Earlier, Fitzroy Dunkley and Stephenie-Ann McPherson advanced to the semi-finals of the men's and women's 400m.
Dunkley advanced running in heat two of the heats. He ran well on the first lap and grabbed the second qualifying spot in a time of 46.83 seconds behind Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago in 46.72 seconds.
Ricardo Chambers failed to move past the first round as he struggled to finish third in heat three in 47.07 seconds.
McPherson closed well in the final 50m to finish second in heat one of the women's 400m in a time of 52.56
seconds behind Olukawemi Adekoya of Bahrain in 52.27 seconds.
Outdoor World champion Danielle Williams was to line up in lane five of heat two of the women's 60m hurdles last night. Samantha Scarlett was scheduled to compete in heat one of the event.
Meanwhile, six Jamaicans are set to bow into action today. Elaine Thompson lines up in heat one of the women's 60m, while Simone Facey competes in heat three.
National champion Natoya Goule will be the first Jamaican in action on the second day as she competes in heat three of the women's 800m at 1:15 p.m. Jamaica time.
Shanieka Thomas is down for action in the triple jump at 1:37 p.m. The men's 60m hurdles also begins tonight, with Omar McLeod lining up in heat two of that event at 7:05 p.m. Jamaica's men will compete in heat two of the 4x400m relay at 2:40 p.m.