No longer a ‘Sevillian’
Racers sprinter primed for battle after fast 100-metre opener Hibbert continues impressive form, unfazed by the occasion
NOT EVEN the constant stoppages could deter Oblique Seville from delivering a performance that surprised even himself and primed expectations for something special in the men’s 100 metres as Jamaica got their World Athletics Championships campaign under way yesterday.
Seville equalled his personal best with a sterling 9.86-second clocking to take his heat ahead of defending world champion, Fred Kerley, and lead all qualifiers going into today’s semifinals.
Having had concerns over his fitness after finishing third at the National Senior and Junior Championships, Seville was boosted by a positive assessment from his coach, Glen Mills.
“My coach told me that I was in good shape coming into the championships but it was quite surprising for me to run that fast in the first round because my aim was just to qualify,” Seville said.
“I got some time and refocused and got in some training and I just have to know that I have a championship which I have to take seriously. Everything is working into God’s plan.”
Interestingly, the false starts during his heat did not make him nervous, instead, reminded him a lot of home.
“These things happen in Jamaica, so I think that prepared me for what’s coming on the big stage,” Seville said.
Rohan Watson and Ryiem Forde join Seville in this morning’s semifinals, after both finished second in their heats, clocking 10.11 and 10.01, respectively.
“It’s been a long time coming. We have been putting in the work. So it is expected,” Forde said after the race.
In the meantime, World Under-20 champion, Jaydon Hibbert, made history by being the first Jamaican in 40 years to make a men’s triple-jump final, qualifying automatically with a jump of 17.70 metres.
In his first senior World Championships, Hibbert relished the atmosphere and is prepared for what will be a historic opportunity tomorrow.
“It was better than my Diamond League performance last month. I am grateful for the experience. The crowd was legit, hyped up. I’m ready for the final,” Hibbert said.
National champion Traves Smikle and 2019 World Athletics Championships silver medallist, Fedrick Dacres, progressed to tomorrow’s discus final with throws of 65.71 metres and 65.45 metres, respectively. Roje Stona’s effort of 62.67 was not enough to see him through to the final in what is his first World Championships appearance.
Also debuting at the World Championships was national shot put champion, Rajindra Campbell. Like Stona, he found the going tough and could not lodge a legal attempt.
Earlier in the day, Jamaica had a rough time in the mixed 4x400-metre relay, failing to get to a third straight final after finished fifth in their heat in 3:14.04. The team of Demish Gaye, Natoya Goule-Toppin, Malik James King and Stacey-Ann Williams finished fifteen-hundredths of a second behind Ireland, who edged ahead for the final qualifying spot.
Jamaica would later lodge a protest for a possible obstruction on the second leg by Poland but lost the appeal as the judges ruled that the contact was insufficient to have impeded Goule-Toppin.
Goule-Toppin said she was disappointed with not being able to give Jamaica an early medal in the relay.
“I think we did what we could. Like everybody, we go out there and put in all the effort. It’s just sad that we didn’t make it to the final and I’m not sure what we can do,” Goule-Toppin said.
NCAA Outdoor champion Ackelia Smith needed a final-round jump of 6.78 metres to secure a spot in her first World Championships long jump final, finishing fourth overall. Tissana Hickling’s best effort of 6.29m wasn’t enough to progress after making it to the championships with a personal best of 6.85. National 1500m champion Adelle Tracey advanced to today’s semifinal after finishing with a time of 4:03.67.