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Good morning for Jamaican athletes

By PAUL A REID Observer Writer

Thursday, July 12, 2012 | 8:36 AM    

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BARCELONA, Spain — A World Junior Leading 50.45 seconds by Javarn Gallimore in the semi-finals of the men’s 400m hurdles this morning, a personal best from Jodean Williams, and a season best from Shericka Jackson, highlighted a brilliant morning for Jamaican athletes on today’s third day of the 14th IAAF World Junior Championships at the Montjuic Olympic Stadium here.

All but two of the eight athletes who took part advanced including Gallimore and long jumper Chanice Porter who both qualified for finals later in the championships.

Head coach Michael Dyke was pleased with the morning’s progress and told the Observer, “we have recovered well from yesterday’s incident (referring to the health scare with 800m runner Simoya Campbell) and we like how well the kids are doing so far.”

While being cautious not to count medals before they are won, Dyke said he was looking forward to the afternoon’s session where Jamaica will be represented in two finals, the men’s discus throw with Fedrick Dacres and the men’s 400m with Javon Francis, one of the biggest surprises here this week.

If there was one disappointment he said it was the failure of 400m hurdler Shavon Barnes to advance to the finals of the 400m hurdles tomorrow after the Racers TC athlete faded to fifth in his semis today, clocking 51.18 seconds.

Gallimore, the Boys Champs two time champion, says he is “on a mission” and is “getting the job done, one race at a time.”

The Jamaica College athlete came into the championships with a personal best of 50.83 seconds and sliced off .38 seconds today with a race that he said was only marred by hitting the eighth hurdle and gave himself a grade of eight out of 10.

Three of four 200m runners advanced to this afternoon’s semi-finals after Tyquendo Tracey placed fifth in his first round heat in 21.47 seconds and failed to move on.

Julian Forte was easy in his first round, winning in 20.76 seconds, second only to Munro College’s Delano Williams running for the Turks and Caicos Islands who won his heat in 20.66 seconds, the eighth fastest time in the world this year.

Jodean Williams clocked a lifetime best 23.88 seconds to win her 200m first round heat and will be joined in the semi-final by IAF World Youth bronze medallist Shericka Jackson who ran a season’s best 23.35 seconds to win her heat, the best on the day so far.

Janieve Russell, who is the World Junior Leader with 57.04 seconds, strolled to an easy 59.38 seconds to win her first round and will contest the semi-finals set for tomorrow afternoon.

It was also a short day for Porter who got the automatic qualifying mark of 6.30m on the very first jump of the qualifying this morning.

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