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Nesta Carter, Jonielle Smith lead 100m finalists at CAC Games

Monday, July 30, 2018

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BARRANQUILLA, Colombia — A slightly wind-aided 9.92 seconds (2.1m/s) from World Championships and Olympic Games medallist Nesta Carter led all qualifiers for today's final of the men's 100m at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games at the Roberto Melendez stadium in Barranquilla, Colombia, Sunday night.

Jonielle Smith also led the women's section as all four Jamaicans, two each in the men's and women's events, advanced to the finals set for just after 8:30 pm today.

Former Wolmers Boys' Javoy Tucker, now at the University of Technology, Jamaica, also advanced to the men's final with a new personal best 10.08 seconds (0.5m/s) for fourth in his semi-final, taking one of the fastest loser spots.

Carter, who beat Cuba's Reynier Mena (10.06s) and the Dominican Republic's Christopher Valdez- (10.09s), was pleased with his execution and said even with a slight wind in his back he was pleased to have dipped under 10.00 seconds for the first time since 2015.

“This feels good, I did a number of races before coming here and I knew I could run fast, we got a long break between races, so the recovery was also good,” he said.

“I nailed the execution,” he told reporters, “the drive phase was perfect and the transition was pretty good, I just need to be pushing forward some more in the race.”

For the final, Carter said there were a few things that he needed to work on, “if I do the fast times will come”.

Tucker, whose previous legal personal best was 10.35 seconds, ran a wind-aided 10.09 (2.7m/s) in the first round and was happy with his performance despite stumbling out of the blocks.

“It feels excellent, I had a wind-aided time in the heats but I wanted to come back here and do the same thing but hope for a legal wind and I got that.”

Despite finishing fourth in his semi-finals, Tucker thinks a spot on the podium is there for him, “I think I can get on the podium and I could also go under the 10.00 seconds,” he said.

Colin Green of Antigua won the second semi-final in a championships record 10.00 seconds, ahead of Barbados' Mario Burke who ran a personal best 10.03 seconds with Alston Rogers of St Kitts and Nevis third in a season's best 10.05 seconds.

Smith, who won her semi-final in 11.22 (1.5m/s), got off to a good start and “controlled the race which was my aim,” she said afterwards.

Trinidad's Khalifa St Forte won the second hat in 11.31 seconds (1.9m/s) in which Jamaica's Jura Levy was third in 11.47 seconds but Smith said it was her gold medal to win.

“I am not thinking about anyone else, I am just focussed on me and my lane but once I do what I should do I will win,” she said afterwards.

"Winning the gold medal would be a big step for me," she said, “this is my first senior team individual event and it would mean a whole lot to me and big boost for my confidence.”

Paul Reid

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