Tue | Dec 18, 2018

Elite athletes hunt tickets to London

Published:Thursday | June 22, 2017 | 12:20 AMRaymond Graham
Asafa Powell

The hunt for places on Jamaica's team to the IAAF World Championships in London begins today at the National Stadium.

General secretary of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), Garth Gayle, declared yesterday that all is in place for the four-day meet.

"After several meetings with the organising committee, preparations are in full gear and the stage is now set for a successful staging of another National Senior Championships which this time will run concurrently with the Junior Championships which will begin tomorrow," Gayle said.

He added: "We can expect great competition over the next four days and I am especially pleased with the progress that our athletes have made in the field events and come at the end of the championships we could have one of our biggest ever teams to a World Championships based on the excellent form the athletes have been showing all season."

Action will start at 10 a.m. with the qualifying round of the men's 100 metres. Seven of 26 athletes will will advance to the quarter final round which is slated for 7 p.m. The big guns - big favourite Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell, Kemar Bailey-Cole, and Jevaughn Minzie will take the track in this round. The women's 100 metres will go straight to a semi-final round which begins tomorrow.

On the track also will be the preliminary round of the women's and men's 400m hurdles. The women's event will get under way at 6:05 p.m with the men to take the track at 6:20 p.m.

Janieve Russell and Ristananna Tracy, the last two champions, are the top competitors in the women's 400m hurdles. The field will also include Leah Nugent, a finalist at the Rio Olympic Games last year, Ronda Whyte, Sashel Brown and Nikita Tracy. The final is set for tomorrow at 8 p.m.

Two athletes ranked in the world top ten will face the starter in the preliminary round of the men's 400m hurdles. Kemar Mowatt and young Jaheel Hyde, with times of 48.49 and 48.52 respectively, are ninth and tenth on the list. Former champion Roxroy Cato along with Andre Clarke, Shawn Rowe and defending champion Annswert Whyte who is yet to hit top form should advance to tomorrow's final set for 8:20 p.m.

Two field event finals will be contested today. The men's javelin throw starts at 5:30 p.m , just two minutes ahead of the men's triple jump which will begin at 5:32 p.m.