James, Bromfield on medal pace at IAAF World Under-20 Championships
Yesterday's opening day of the IAAF World Under-20 Championships at the Zawisza Stadium in Bydgoszcz, Poland, is one the Jamaican coaching staff and athletes would love to forget as quickly as possible.
In field events, five of the six athletes entered failed to advance, with the biggest shock being female team captain, Shanice Love, the national junior record holder in the discus.
"I viewed the day as one of mixed feelings as persons who we thought would have recorded personal bests and advance to the next stage in their events did not make it," said head coach Danny Hawthorne.
"But I must say the sprints have given us a lift, as Raheem Chambers and Jhevaughn Matherson in the boys' 100 metres and Tiffany James and Junelle Bromfield in the girls' 400 metres have advanced well to the second round of their events and are looking forward to some good performances tomorrow (today), and we can pick up from our disappointments from the opening day," added Hawthorne.
Bromfield, who sprinted the first 70m before cruising home, clocked 53.20 seconds to be the fifth fastest qualifier for today's semi-final round.
"I decided to sprint the first 70 metres and I felt good, but when I reached the 200 metres mark, I felt the pack coming back to me and I just stepped up the pace and pulled away. I am very determined to make up for my disappointment at World Youth last year," said a smiling Bromfield.
James, the World Youth bronze medallist three years ago, was poetry in motion as she had total control in heat four, winning in 52.98 seconds to be the fastest qualifier.
"Although the race was a bit fast, I was not concentrating on time as my objective was to just qualify easily, but not with a slow time," James pointed out.
"I am feeling okay and I will just go home and get some fluid and some good rest as I am taking it round by round, and I want to be on the podium on Wednesday (today)," said James.
The semi-finals will get under way at 12:55 p.m. (Jamaica time). Bromfield will run out of lane five in semi-final one, while James will also run in lane five, in semi-final two. The top-three and two fastest losers will qualify for the final.
Both Matherson and Chambers, who seemed to have issues with their starting blocks, finished third in their respective heats of the boys' 100m.
Matherson was timed at 10.46, while Chambers clocked 10.45. The semis will start at 12:20 p.m. (Jamaica time). The top-two and two fastest losers will advance to the finals.
Earlier, Love started as the number-four-ranked athlete in the world, but did not make it past qualifying, while failing to register a mark.
After throwing the implement into the cage on her first attempt, she put the second out of the vector, before stepping forward out of the rink to register her third foul.
"I am very disappointed as I could not find any rhythm today (yesterday), and this is my second major disappointment ever," she admitted.
Love had failed to advance from the first round at the World Youth Championships.
Devia Brown saved face for Jamaica, as on her final attempt in Group B of the qualifying round, she threw a personal best 49.65m to finish ninth overall and book her spot into today's final.
Discus throwers Sanjae Lawrence and Kevin Nedrick failed to advance in the boys' competition. The unlucky Lawrence finished sixth in Group A of qualifying with 18.26m, 13th overall, to miss out by one spot. Nedrick was 16th in Group B with 16.63m.
In the boys' long jump, male team captain Obrien Wasome, who seemed to be struggling on the runway, had three foul attempts, while Shawn D Thompson's best of 7.33m for 10th in his group was not good enough.