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Juniors progress - Skeen, Murphy into 100m semis at WJC

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

BARCELONA, Spain — Jamaicans will have high hopes entering the second day of the 14th IAAF World Junior Championships at the Montjuic Olympic Stadium here today after an outstanding opening day yesterday.

Led by the 100m sprinters, nine of 11 athletes who took part in yesterday's opening day progressed to the next stage of their events to set up possible medals.

Yesterday got off to a gloomy start with low clouds and a brisk wind, but that quickly went away and was replaced by the brilliant sunshine predicted for the week.

The Jamaicans relished the conditions and set themselves up for places in the finals and some of the medals on offer.

Meanwhile, another busy day will be in store for the Jamaicans as in addition to those who have made it to the semi-finals and possible finals in the 100m, Women's 800m, Men's 110m hurdles and Men's 400m, another seven will make their debuts today.

Olivia James and Chrisann Gordon will contest the first round of the Women's 400m; Javarn Gallimore and Shavon Barnes are down for the Men's 400m hurdles; Christoffe Bryan takes flight in the Men's high jump preliminaries, while Ashinia Miller and Emmanuel Onyia are down for the Men's shot put that will see the first round start at 9:05 am (3:05 am Jamaica time) and the final set for later in the day, starting at 7:05 pm.

Yesterday, all four 100m sprinters cruised through the first round, Odean Skeen and Jazeel Murphy in the morning session winning their heats, while Monique Spencer and Shawnette Lewin did likewise in the afternoon session.

Youth Olympic champion and National Junior Trials champion Skeen clocked 10.50 seconds to beat Japan's Kazuki Kanamori, who ran a PR 10.57, and Fana Mofokeng of South Africa, 10.59.

Skeen said he was "happy with the time" and felt comfortable and relaxed throughout.

Murphy, who was running for the first time ever in July, was all smiles after winning his heat in 10.45. He admitted staying back at the gun.

"I did not want to false start," he said, but he did not have to use up too much energy in beating Patrick Domogala of Germany (10.56) and Ben Jaworski of Australia (10.65).

Murphy will run in the first semi-final today against American Tyreek Hill, who has a season and PR 10.19, while Skeen runs in the third semis, where his biggest competition should be another American, Aaron Ernest.

The top two from each semis and the next two fastest will advance to the final at 9:45 pm (2:45, Jamaica time).

Edwin Allen High teammates Spencer and Lewin were easy in posting identical times of 11.78, but got different results.

Spencer, the winner at the Jamaica Trials, won her heat ahead of Austria's Rosalie Tschann (11.80), while Lewin was second behind Brasil's Tamiris De Liz (11.56) to grab automatic qualifying places for this afternoon's semis.

Sprint hurdlers Stefan Fennel and Yannick Hart also advanced to their semis this afternoon after good runs.

Fennell, a semi-finalist two years ago in Canada and the CAC Juniors silver medallist, was second in his heat of the Men's 110m hurdles in 13.81 seconds, beaten to the line by Japan's Shinya Tanaka in a PR 13.77 and just ahead of Taipei's Yun-Yin Cheng, 13.82.

He will contest the first of three semi-finals today.

Yannick Hart, who won at Trials and took bronze behind Fennell at the CACs, also finished second in his heat in 13.87 and will run in semi-final two in lane nine.

Semoya Campbell, who is unbeaten all season, qualified for the semi-final after clocking 2 minutes 06.18 seconds for third in her 800m.

She said a touch of the flu and the rust from not competing since the Junior Trials affected her.

Desreen Montaque, who was well poised after the first 400m of her heat, faded badly to fifth to finish in 2:10.22 and failed to move on.

Javon Francis ran a PR 46.31 seconds to win his first-round heat of the Men's 400m to be the only Jamaican advancing to this afternoon's semi-final as teammate Lennox Williams finished fifth.

Francis, who will run in the third of three semi-final heats today, looked easy running out of lane five in heat five could lower his day old personal best.

Dacres says he is looking forward to a better second day as he awaited the results of the second set of throwers to finish to know where he stood.

The IAAF World Youth champion who came into the meet with the fourth best throw of the year, 61.55m, could only get to 58.90 on his final throw.

Dacres, who gets his distance from his speed, told reporters the slippery surface of the ring threw him off on his first throw as the discus hit the upright and flopped to a mere 13.31.

Slowing down to avoid slipping, he then produced 57.48 to move from 12th in Group A to fourth.

Then, with his coach Julian Robinson bellowing "fortune favours the brave", urging him to give it his all, he threw 58.90 in his final throw to finish third in the group and sixth overall.

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