André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
As Jamaica celebrated its 50th anniversary of Independence, day four of track-and-field action at the Olympic Games served up a mix of pride, agony, disappointment and sheer disbelief.
Usain Bolt, 100m gold medallist, stood atop the podium, with silver medallist Yohan Blake to his right, as the island's National Anthem echoed around the stadium - a perfect gift for a nation in celebration.
Leford Green was the only Jamaican finalist in action yesterday, finishing seventh in 49.12, in the 400m hurdles final in what was his first Olympic Games and, for the youngster, there is much to take away from this experience.
"It's not what I was looking for but I went out there and did my best," said Green. "I'm really happy about being here in the Olympic Games and making the final and I was in a very good field; I did the best that I could."
He added: "This motivates me a lot and next year will be my third year hurdling and I should be in way better shape."
WOMEN MAKE PROGRESS
Defending champion Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Sherone Simpson all made progress in the women's 200m, advancing to the semi-finals in comfortable fashion.
Fraser-Pryce, the 100m champion, won her heat in 22.71, while Campbell-Brown, 22.75 and Simpson, 22.97, were both third in their heats.
There was, however, anguish for veteran sprint hurdler Brigitte Foster-Hylton, who failed to advance to the semi-finals after clipping the fifth hurdle in her 100m hurdles heat, in what is surely her last appearance at the Olympic Games.
"I just don't know what to think. I feel like I'm the most unlucky girl in this whole wide world," Foster-Hylton said after the event.
"Thanks to Jamaica for their support and for believing in me and I'm very sorry that I didn't deliver the goods," she added.
Latoya Greaves was pulled from the event with officials in the Jamaican camp pointing to an injury to her side as the reason behind her inability to show for her heat, leaving Shermaine Williams, as the only Jamaican semi-finalist, after her fifth place, 13.07 finish in her heat.
Defending Olympic champion Melaine Walker looked a shadow of herself as she finished her 400m hurdles semi-final disappointingly in fifth position, with a time of 55.74.
Walker, who appeared anything but disappointed with the outcome, said the result was not a 'big deal', and that she simply had a bad day.
"I can't tell, I just feel like I had a bad day. I don't know what happened, maybe I'm not feeling the fire anymore," said Walker.
"There are plenty other finals that can be made, and I don't think it's a very big deal, the only thing left for me to do is to break the world records and that can be broken on any day, so it's just a bad day," she added.
Kaliese Spencer was safely through to tomorrow's finals after finishing second in her semi-final in a time of 54.20, while Nickiesha Wilson's campaign ended with a 55.77 clocking for fifth place.
Traves Smikle, 61.85m and Jason Morgan, 57.46, both failed to advance to the discus final.
Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Warren Weir will make their entry in the men's 200m heats today while Hansle Parchment, Andrew Riley and Richard Phillips will feature in the 110m hurdles heats.
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