André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Leford Green was Jamaica's lone finalist on the fourth day of track and field competition at the Olympic Games in London - a day that brought smile and tears and a few surprises.
Green, as usual ran a brave race in the men's 400m hurdles, but just couldn't find the legs to keep up with the experienced field, crossing the line in 49.12 and in seventh place, with Dominican Republic veteran Felix Sanchez winning in 47.63 ahead of silver medallist Michael Tinsley (USA), 47.91 and Puerto Rico's Javier Culson, 48.10.
"It's not what I was looking for but it's a championship, I had heavy legs but it's a final and anything could have happened, so I just went out there and did my best," Green said before expressing pride in his effort.
"I'm really happy that I was able to make the final of the Olympics, it was all Olympic and World champions with the exception of Bershawn Jackson, which means this was the best field within the last 10 years," Green noted. "All the Olympic champions from 2000 up to now was in the race and I think I did the best I could."
Usain Bolt, 100m champion and silver medallist Yohan Blake will be joined by their training partner Warren Weir in the men 200m heats this morning at 11:50 a.m. (5:11 a.m. Jamaica time).
All three Jamaicans progressed safely to the semi-finals of the women 200m, which is scheduled for today at 8:45 p.m. (2:45 p.m. Jamaica time), but veteran sprint hurdler, Brigitte Foster-Hylton, who entered her final Olympic Games in the form of her life, clipped the fifth hurdle and failed to progress in the 100m hurdles heats.
There was disappointment also for Latoya Greaves, who had to sit out her first Olympic Games because of what team officials described as a side injury, leaving Shermaine Williams the only semi-finals qualifier after her fourth-place finish in 13.07 seconds. The women 100 semi-final is set for 7:15 p.m. (1:15 p.m. Jamaica time).
Melaine Walker, the defending Olympic champion, failed to progress to the 400m hurdles final, after a lethargic sixth-place finish in her semi-final in 55.74. Nickiesha Wilson, also failed to move on with a fifth place 55.77 finish, leaving Jamaica's medal hopes on Kaliese Spencer, who was second in her semi-final in 54.20.
Traves Smikle threw a 61.85 metres on his final attempt, but it was not enough to put him in the discus final. Jason Morgan finished his qualifying group with a best of 57.46m.
Hurdling trio Hansle Parchment, Andrew Riley and Richard Phillips are also in action in the 110m hurdles heat tomorrow at 10:10 a.m. (4:10 a.m. Jamaica time).