Jamaicans top IAAF World Under-18 list
THE IAAF World Under-18 Championships, formerly the World Youth Championships, will have its final staging this year when the eighth edition takes place in Nairobi, Kenya, between July 12 and 16. At the 206th IAAF General Meeting held at the Summer Olympics last year, a decision was made by the council that this year's staging would be the final as it was the intention of improving the performances of Under-18 athletes at the continental level.
Since its inception in Bydgoszcz, Poland, in 1999, where Veronica Campbell Brown made her breakout on the international stage, there have been great Jamaican performances, as several have been crowned champions in different disciplines.
Following performances so far this season at various meets, including the ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships, several Jamaicans have made big statements and are at the top of the class in their events as they look set to make big impressions in the final staging of this meet.
Vere Technical's Brittany Anderson is hoping to join Yanique Thompson as champion in the Girl's 100m hurdles, and after dazzling performances so far in the event, she has the four fastest times at this level, with her record-breaking performance of 13.04 seconds, done in winning her semi finals at Champs, leading the class. Her other top times are 13.12, 13.18 and 13.21 seconds.
It is a clean sweep of the top-three spots by Jamaicans, as Holmwood Technical's Shanette Allison, who broke Anderson's record of 13.37 seconds in the preliminary round at Champs with 13.30 seconds, is at number two, while Manchester High's Daszay Freeman is at number three with her 13.37 seconds, also done at Champs.
RUSSELL LEADS CHARGE AMONG MALES
Calabar High's outstanding sprint hurdler De'Jour Russell, who smashed Omar McLeod's Class One 110m hurdles record at Champs and who was ranked number one among Under-20 athletes last year in the event, sits atop the world list in the Boy's 110m hurdles event. Russell, who just missed out on getting a medal at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, last year after finishing fourth, could go all the way in the Under-18 age group this time.
Russell's winning time of 13.31 seconds in copping the Under-18 event at the Carifta Trials has him at the head of the class.
Four other Jamaicans are ranked in the top-three of their events, with Calabar's Michael Stephens, Wolmer's Boys' Jeremy Farr and Ruseas High's Antonio Watson at number two, while Vere Technical's Ramone Lindo and St Elizabeth Technical's Dashinelle Dyer are both third.