Fri | Jul 21, 2017

London welcomes Jamaica's para athletes

Published:Monday | July 17, 2017 | 7:00 AM
Members of Jamaica’s delegation ahead of the opening ceremony of the 2017 World ParaAthletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium in London, England.

Team Jamaica has settled in comfortably to a warm welcome at the Premier Inn, London, Stratford, just a stone's throw from the historic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stadium, where the nation has made its mark and established world milestones in track and field, both in the Paralympic and Olympic Games.

Newcomer Chadwick Campbell, faced the starter yesterday in the Men's T13 100m preliminaries and placed sixth in 11.49 seconds. However, he did not progress, as the heat was won by the Irish athlete Jason Smyth, who clocked the fastest time with 10.73 seconds, to advance to the final. Campbell was disappointed as he was looking to better his personal record of 11.34, which would have given him a berth in the finals. "I am somewhat dejected although this is my first outing on the international stage. I was hoping to be in the final," he said.

Campbell's teammate, another first-timer, Santana Campbell, bettered her expectation in her weaker event, the Women's F55 shot put, placing sixth with a throw of 5.95m in the world final, which was won by Latvia's Diana Dadzite with a throw of 8.01m.

The campaign of para-athlete Dana Gaye-Weller ended disappointingly in a seventh-place finish in the Women's F51 club throw, with a distance of 7.20m. The event was won by Ukraine's Zoia Ovsii in a championship record throw of 23.74m.

Jamaica's journey continues tomorrow with Chadwick Campbell in the Men's T13 200m and Santana Campbell in the Women's F55 javelin throw. In these events, the country is expected to secure medals in the championship now underway in the gateway metropolitan city of London.

Chef de Mission Jacqueline Cowan, who is marshalling Jamaica's team, said: "The team is a mixture of committed, experienced athletes and newcomers who are eager to affirm or make their mark on the global stage."