Perfect start at World Juniors
Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer
IT was a good opening session yesterday for Jamaica's athletes at the 15th World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon, as all four athletes advanced to the semi-finals.
Tyler Mason was the most impressive, while competing in Heat Two of the boys' 110 metres hurdles. He looked quite relaxed, winning in 13.46 seconds to be the third-fastest qualifier.
"I am happy with the time although I felt a bit sluggish coming out of the starting block, but I will be much faster in the semi-final," said Mason.
Marvin Williams also won his heat, but he had to work a hard in clearing the barriers and stopped the clock at 13.71 seconds, just edging out Francisco Lopez of Spain, who was second in 13.75 seconds.
" I am not too pleased with my time, but I hope to get it right in the semi-final," said Williams.
David Omoregie (13.24) of Great Britain and Wilheim Belocian (13.40) of France are the fastest qualifiers.
The semis will get under way today at 7:35 p.m. (Jamaica time).
Sprinters Jevaughn Minzie and Michael O'Hara are through to today's semi-final in the boys' 100 metres, set for 10:40 p.m. (Jamaica time).
Minzie stopped the clock at 10.32 seconds to win his heat ahead of Josh Clarke of Australia (who 10.36).
"I wanted to be more relaxed qualifying, but after shutting it down a bit early, I had to step it up in the latter stages as the Australian and the Japanese athletes were coming fast towards the end," said Minzie.
A slow-starting O'Hara had to settle for second in his heat, in 10.36 seconds, behind André Azonwanna (10.30) of Canada.
"The starting block was a problem for me and because of this I got out a bit slow and I am not too pleased with the time and my execution. Also, I was not in the right frame of mind, as I did not want to compete in the 100 metres, as I came here just to run the 200 metres. But I was told to run it and I had no choice."
It appears that something went wrong with the entries, as there was no alternative entered for the event and O'Hara could not be replaced.
It was the same story in the girls' 100 metres as Joniel Smith, who came to the championships with some doubts because of a hamstring problem, could not be replaced.
GOLD MEDAL HOPE
As a result, Kedisha Dallas was the lone Jamaican down to compete in the first round of the event last night.
Three more Jamaicans were slated to compete last night - Martin Manley and Nathon Allen in the preliminary round of the boys' 400 metres and Claudette Allen in the preliminary round of the girls' long jump.
Today's second day of competition will see the country's best gold medal hope taking the track. Jaheel Hyde, the top seed in the 400 metres hurdles, will compete in the preliminary round of that event at 2:10 p.m. (Jamaica time). Okeem Williams will also compete in the event.
Before this event, the girls will take the track in the preliminary round of the 400 metres at 1:30 p.m. (Jamaica) when Yanique McNeil and Tiffany James make their debut.