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100m final leaves Skeen, Todd with mixed emotions

Published:Monday | August 29, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Odail Todd
Odean Skeen

Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer

Odean Skeen and Odail Todd, two of Jamaica's most promising young sprinters, said they were sad to see Usain Bolt false start in the final of the men's 100m at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, yesterday.

At the same time, however, they were happy the title went to compatriot Yohan Blake.

"It was a shocker for me as I was not expecting that to happen to Bolt," said Skeen, last year's Central America and Caribbean Juniors 100m and 200m champion, who, along with his parents and brother, watched the race at his Portmore, St Catherine, home.

"Bolt is much faster than those who were in the field, and even if he had got a slow start, he had it within him to pass them. So it was sad for me as I was really looking forward to him defending his title," he said.

"Right now, I am really sorry for Bolt, as I have false-started before, and know how it feels," said Todd, who is also 17, and earlier this year claimed gold in the 100m and silver in the 200m at the IAAF World Youth Championships.

Blake, 21, whose best accomplishments prior to yesterday were silver medals at the 2007 Pan Am Junior and 2008 World Junior Championships, got off to a less-than-impressive start.

But thanks to his outstanding top end speed Blake was able to come back, sprinting first to the finish.

"Blake has been having a fairly good season, and I am very glad and proud he was able to step up to the plate," continued Skeen, who is expected to move on to sixth form at Wolmer's Boys' School ahead of the upcoming ISSA Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships.

"Coming from behind to win was a solid performance," said Todd. "It shows he would have given Bolt a challenge. He was very hungry for it, he kept his cool, and executed the race the way he should. I am happy that the 100m title stays in Jamaica."