'Mission accomplished' - Hyde creates history in 400m hurdles at IAAF World U-20 Champs
Jamaica's Jaheel Hyde created history yesterday when he became the first athlete to win back-to-back titles in the men's 400 metres hurdles at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Hyde clocked 49.03 seconds to hand Jamaica their second gold and fifth medal overall at the championships. Jamaica enter today's final day at fifth on the medal table with two gold, one silver and two bronze. The United States with 17 medals - nine gold, six silver and two bronze - lead the table ahead of Cuba on five - three gold and two silver - with Ethiopia closing out the top-three with seven - three gold, one silver and three bronze.
In yesterday's final, the supremely confident Hyde went out very fast and covered his rivals in the lanes ahead of him by the sixth hurdle. He had a healthy lead 100 metres out and cruised home for a comfortable win. The United States' Taylor McLaughlin took silver in 49.45, while Kyron McMasters of the British Virgin Island was third in a National Junior record 49.56.
"Mission accomplished!" Hyde said after his victory.
He added: "I just wanted to come and defend my title and win as comfortable as possible, and I achieved that. Now I am going to take the rest of the weekend off and enjoy the win before resuming my preparations for the Olympics. My main aim, as usual, was to get out as fast as possible. I don't think I went out fast enough, but I came close to my personal best and that's good. To create history for myself and my country gives me a wonderful feeling."
His coach, Christopher Harley, who was present to see his charge creating history, was also very pleased.
"It's good to know that he came to defend his title and did do so successfully, and I am happy for him. His focus will now be on the Olympics and I am wishing him all the best," said Harley, who stated that he was very sad that he will not be able to be there with him in his preparations leading up to the Games in Rio.
Jamaica narrowly missed out on a medal with a fourth-place finish in the men's 4x100 metres final. Raheem Chambers, Nigel Ellis, Jhevaughn Matherson and Dejour Russell were edged out by Germany as both teams were given identical time of 39.13 seconds. The United States pocketed gold in 38.03, the fifth-fastest ever at these championships. Japan were second in 39.01.
Failed to advance
In early action yesterday, Shanique Wright finished 11th with 12.91 metres in the triple jump final while, in the preliminaries of the men's discus, Kevin Nedrick had a throw of 55.78m and Roja Stone 53.12m. Both failed to advance to today's final.
Both 4x400m teams will run in today's finals. Stacyann Williams, Tiffany James, Roneish McGregor and Junelle Bromfield, in running order, were impressive in winning their heat in a season and world junior leading 3:31.18. Shannon Kalawan, the 400m hurdles silver medallist, is expected to replace McGregor in the final set form 10:30 a.m. (Ja time) today.
In the men's 4x400m heats, Anthony Carpenter, Sean Bailey, Aykeeme Francis and Terry Thomas finished third in their heat in 3:08.80 to advance with the fifth-fastest time. Hyde and Christopher Taylor are expected to run in the 10:50 a.m. (Ja time) final.
Sprint hurdler Rushelle Burton will also seek glory for Jamaica on the sixth and final day of the championships. She advanced to the final scheduled for 9:05 a.m. (Ja time) after placing second in her semi-final with a personal best 13.21. Jeanine Williams also clocked a personal best 13.62 for fifth in her heat, but she failed to advance.