McLaughlin appears best hope among rookies
Published: Friday | August 14, 2009
WHEN the World Championships get going in Berlin tomorrow it will be a nervous moment for the nine Jamaican athletes who will be making their first appearance at this level.
They are Kimberly Williams, Anneisha McLaughlin, Jovanee Jarrett, Christine Day, Alain Bailey, Nicholas Gordon, Julian Reid, Josef Robertson and Dane Hyatt.
With the country having so many first timers at one time at a major meet, the big question will be which one will shine the brightest?
Only Day is yet to represent the country as all the others have done so at the junior level or at regional championships.
McLaughlin, the former Holmwood Technical athlete who now attends the University of Technology, has been the most successful at the junior level where she has represented the country at Carifta, CAC, World Youth and World Championships.
At the 2002 World Junior Championships in Jamaica, she was one of the top females for the country, finishing second in the girl's 200 metres in a close finish and was a member of the victorious 4x100 metres relay team.
After two years under the guidance of coach Stephen Francis, McLaughlin has recaptured her form of former years and she will be competing in the 200 metres in Berlin. With a season best of 22.99 seconds, her first sub-23 seconds in several years, she could make a big mark and could at least advance to the final.
Jarrett with a season and personal best of 6.75 metres, could force her way among the finalists in the women's long jump as one good mark here could be critical and like last year when Chelsea Hammond finished in the top four in Beijing, she could emulate that performance.
The other two females, Williams and Day, will find it tough. Williams, who has represented the country at the Carifta, Junior Pan Am and World Youth Championships and who was the best collegiate female horizontal jumper this season, will be hoping to take that good form into Berlin and improve on her season's best 14.04 metres in the triple jump.
Former Tacky High athlete Day, after her impressive showing at the National Championships where she created a major stir by finishing third in the women's 400 metres, will be hoping that she can at least advance from the first round.
Today Bailey will be celebrating his 22nd birthday and he will be one of three jumpers who will be making their appearance for Jamaica at this level. Based on his personal best of 8.21 metres in the long jump at the National Championships, he could celebrate his birthday in style by at least moving into the top 12.
Robertson will compete in one of the most competitive events, the 400 metres hurdles. With a season best of 49.22 seconds, the former World Junior representative will be hoping to go sub-49 seconds and will be trying his best to advance from the first round.
Hyatt, just short of the qualifying "A" standard in the 400 metres with his best of 45.56 seconds, will be anxious to play an important role on Jamaica's 4x400 metres relay team.