Thompson, O'Hara take spotlight
Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer
HOLMWOOD Technical's Yanique Thompson and Calabar High's Michael O'Hara stole the spotlight on yesterday's final day of competition at the Supreme Ventures Limited National Junior Championships, after posting world-leading times to win their respective events.
Thompson, the world leader on the IAAF list, was out of the blocks in the Under-18 100 metres hurdles, showing great speed and good technique to score an impressive win in a fast 13.23 seconds and improve on her previous best of 13.36 seconds.
St Andrew High's Rushelle Burton ran on strongly to pip St Jago High's Tishana Monteith on the line for second in 13.66 seconds. Monteith recorded 13.67 for third.
More wins for o'hara
Following his victory in the Under-18 100m on Saturday's opening day, it was another personal best and world-leading time for O'Hara. Coming off the bend very fast in the 200 metres, O'Hara stopped the clock at 20. 75 seconds.
Odane Bernard of Donald Quarrie was second in 21.66, while St Jago High's Ivan Henry took third in 21.92.
Wolmer's Girls' Joniel Smith also landed a double. Smith, who won the Under-18 100 metres, was decided by a photo-finish to be the winner of yesterday's 200m final in 24.27, the same time recorded by second-place finisher Saqukine Cameron of Edwin Allen. Third went to St Jago High's Shanice Reid in 24.36 seconds.
Megan Simmonds, the Carifta Under-20 champion, continued to display great improvements since attending University of Technology, as she recorded an easy win in the female sprint hurdles.
Showing lightning speed out of the blocks, Simmonds pulled away from the field for a resounding win in 13.38 seconds, beating St Jago High's Chrisdale McCarthy, who clocked 13.87 for second. Oneika Watson of Holmwood finishing third in 15.85.
One of the most anticipated events of the meet, the Under-18 boys' 400 metres, saw a rematch of the big Champs Class Two final, in which the top three had gone 47 seconds.
Jamaica College's Devaughn Baker maintained his dominance and in a very close affair, he won in 46.90 seconds. Martin Manley of St Jago, who was third at Champs, finished second this time in 47.22, relegating Wolmer's Boys' Jaheel Hyde to third,with a time of 47.46.
There was a slight upset in the girls Under-18 400 metres as World youth leader, Yanique McNeil of Vere Technical, had to settle for second in 54.92 seconds, beaten by Papine High's Tiffany James - the Carifta Under-17 champion - who won in 53.44 seconds.
In the girls' Under-20 event, Vere Technical's Shericka Jackson (53.68) won from Petersfield's Asaine Hall, who clocked 54.09.
Overseas-based Steven Gayle (46.83) seconds won the boys' Under-20 equivalent ahead of Munro College's Herbert Thomas (48.51) seconds.
A late afternoon shower had earlier put a damper on the meet, which caused a long delay as athletes and spectators had to run for cover.