Sun | Sep 24, 2017

#RioGoldRush: All eyes on Bolt as seven Jamaicans hit the tracks this evening

Published:Sunday | August 14, 2016 | 8:19 PM
Usain Bolt will look to move one step closer to making history when the men’s 100m semi-finals get underway at 7 p.m.

Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter

Track and field’s poster boy Usain Bolt headlines seven Jamaicans who will be in action during today's afternoon session of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Bolt will look to move one step closer to making history when the men’s 100m semi-finals get underway at 7 p.m, with heat one featuring Nickel Ashmeade in lane four alongside France’s Jimmy Vicaunt.

Two-time defending Olympic sprint champion, Bolt, who is seeking to become the first athlete to win three consecutive Olympic gold medals in the 100 meters will line up in lane six of semi-final two alongside Jamaican-born Andrew Fisher, who now represents Bahrain, Canada’s Andre de Grasse, America’s Trayvon Bromwell and veteran Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis.

In semi-final three, Yohan Blake in lane four will meet America’s Justin Gatlin in lane six as well as Jamaican-born Kemarley Brown who now runs for Bahrain.

The final of the men's 100m is set for 8:25 p.m. 

The 400m women will, however, be the first Jamaicans on the track at 6:35 p.m.

National champion Stephenie-Ann McPherson, who has registered the fifth fast time in the world this year at 50.04, will run out of lane five in semi-final one.

She will be joined by 2008 Olympic champion and 2012 silver medallist Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain and reigning World Indoor champion Oluwakemi Adekoya of Bahrain.

Semi-final two will feature 2015 World Championships bronze medallist, Shericka Jackson, in lane six.

Joining her will be the experienced American Natasha Hastings and European silver medallist Floria Guei of France.

The Jamaican trio will be completed by Christine Day, running out of lane five in the toughest of the three semi-finals which will also feature reigning world champion Allyson Felix of the United States and the fattest woman in the event so far this year, Bahamian Shaunae Miller.

Meanwhile, Kimberly Williams will seek to be the first Jamaican to win an Olympic medal in the jumps when she contests the final of the woman’s triple jump at 6:55 p.m.

Williams' mark of 14.22m was the sixth best among all qualifiers, with London 2012 silver medal winner and two-time World champion Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia leading the field with her effort of 14.52m.

PROFILE - Stephanie McPherson
Age:
27 years old
High School: Mountain Grace High School
Tertiary Education: University of Technology, Jamaica
Events: Women’s 400m, 4x400m relay
Personal Best: 400m - 49.92s
Interesting Facts:
Is the reigning national champion
Her nickname is 'Chicken Foot'
Finished just outside the medals at the last two World Championships having placed fourth and fifth

PROFILE - Shericka Jackson
Age:
22 years old
High School: Vere Technical High School
Tertiary Education: University of Technology, Jamaica
Events: Women’s 400m, 4x400m relay
Personal Best: 400m - 49.99s
Interesting Facts:
Won bronze in the 400m at the 2015 World Championships, her first major senior competition outing
Was a World Youth Championships 200m bronze medallist in 2011

PROFILE - Christine Day
Age:
29 years old
High School: Tacky High School
Tertiary Education: University of Technology, Jamaica
Events: Women’s 400m, 4x400m relay
Personal Best: 400m - 50.14s
Interesting Facts:
Finished fourth at the 2015 World Championships
Day, along with close friend, 400m hurdler Kaleise Spencer, made a widely publicised switch from MVP in 2015 to Cameron Blazers Track Club

PROFILE - Kimberly Williams
Age: 27 years old
High School: Vere Technical High School
Tertiary Education: Florida State University
Events: Women’s triple jump
Personal Best: 14.62m
Interesting Facts:
She has won the last five national women’s triple jump titles
Former Commonwealth Games champion

PROFILE - Nickel Ashmeade
Age: 26 years old
High School: St. Jago High School
Events: Men’s 100m, 200m, 4x100m
Personal Best: 100m - 9.90s, 200m - 19.85s
Interesting Facts:
Ashmeade is competing at his first Olympics
He and Yohan Blake were St Jago High School teammates

PROFILE - Usain Bolt
Age:
29 years old
High School: William Knibb Memorial High School
Events: men’s 100m, 200m, 4x100m
Personal Best: 100m – 9.58s, 200m – 19.19s
Interesting Facts:
Bolt made his Olympic debut as a 17-year-old at Athens 2004, where, hampered by a torn hamstring, he went out in the opening round of the 200m.
He is the first athlete to set three world records in a single Olympic Games competition.
In the 2012 Olympic Games Bolt became the first athlete in history to win the 100m and 200m sprints at successive Olympic Games

PROFILE - Yohan Blake
Age:
26 years old
High School: Saint Jago
Events: Men’s 100m, 200m, 4x100m
Personal Best: 100m - 9.69s, 200m - 19.26s
Interesting Facts:
Blake and American Tyson Gay share the title of second fattest man in history with a time of 9.69.
In 2011 he capitalised on Bolt false starting in the Daegu World Championships final to take gold.
In April 2013, while at a 100-meter race in Jamaica, the hamstring in Blake’s right leg tore, causing him to miss the rest of the season.
In July 2014, his hamstring ripped off his pelvis bone at the 60-meter mark at a race in Glasgow, Scotland resulting in his missing the rest of the season and most of 2015.