Jamaica's athletes hit the track at the Luzhniki Stadium yesterday at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics and despite the problems with failed drug tests and the injury that has forced defending champion Yohan Blake to be missing, there were early indications that the country will be a force to be reckoned with.
Ricardo Makyn is in Moscow and captured scenes from the opening day of the Championships.
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Pink laces in her running spikes and pink armbands around her wrists, cancer survivor Novlene Williams-Mills runs for a cause these days, and as she competes here at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, the Jamaican quarter-miler says she has been feeling the love.
Williams-Mills spent much of the last year fighting breast cancer, and has dedicated her efforts here to cancer victims and survivors like herself.
Since going public with her experiences and challenges concerning the disease, Williams-Mills said she has felt an outpouring of support and love from a wide cross section of society.
It is no different here in Moscow, where she says everyone, from fellow athletes to spectators, has been showering her with encouragement.
"The reaction has been great, just to have someone come up to me and give me a hug or say to me 'Glad to see you,' it has been great," Williams-Mills told The Sunday Gleaner.
"It is motivating and, as I said, I am dedicating this championships to breast cancer survivors, and I am wearing my pink all around."
Williams-Mills, who has a personal best this year of 50.01, eased to second place in her heat yesterday with a time of 50.83 behind Kseniya Ryzhova, 50.69, with Ukraine's Nataliia Pygyda, 51.17, in third.
"It felt pretty good just to come out and compete. I have not ran since Lausanne so it's been a while, but I am getting the dust off and getting ready to go again," she said before noting that her knee problems that caused her to pull up in Monaco a few weeks have improved.
"The knee is holding up pretty well and I hope it holds up for the rest of the game," said Williams-Mills, who will line up along with fellow Jamaicans Stephenie McPherson and Patricia Hall in today's 400m semi-finals, which starts at 11:05 a.m. (Jamaica time).