BARCELONA, Spain — Fedrick Dacres continues to rewrite Jamaica's sports history books after he captured the gold medal in the men's discus throw on yesterday's third day of the 14th IAAF World Junior Championships at the Montjuic Olympic Stadium here in Barcelona, Spain with a personal best 62.80m.
After winning Jamaica's first ever global gold medal in the discus at last year's IAAF World Youth Championships in Lille, France, Dacres became the first Jamaican man to win back-to-back global titles and also at the Junior level.
This was Jamaica's second medal of the championships after Odean Skeen had won bronze in the men's 100m on Wednesday night and moved Jamaica up to sixth place in the medal tables that are being led by Ethiopia on five medals, followed by Kenya and the USA.
An overwhelmed Dacres told reporters afterwards he channelled everything negative that affected him this year into the throws. "I was thinking about everything that happened to me this season and I just put them into the throws," said the lanky athlete, who paced relentlessly up and down the javelin runway like a big cat in-between throws.
The gold capped a brilliant day for the Jamaican team that could win more medals on today's fourth day with six athletes qualified in five events on what could be Jamaica's greatest day at these championships.
Intermediate hurdler Javarn Gallimore will take a new personal best and World Junior leading 50.45 seconds into the men's 400m hurdles final; Julian Forte has the fastest time going into the men's 200m final; Shericka Jackson has an outside chance to medal in the women's equivalent; World Youth gold medallist Chanice Porter is poised for another global medal, while World Youth bronze medallist Olivia James and Chrissann Gordon are finalists in the women's 400m event.
Head coach Michael Dyke told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that Skeen's meal had lifted the team's spirits and "gave them the energy they needed to perform so well".
Javon Francis' ninth place finish in the men's 400m final in 47.57 seconds after back-to-back personal bests was the major letdown on the day along with Shavon Barnes' failure to advance to the 400m hurdles final.
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 yesterday with a race that he said was only marred by hitting the eighth hurdle and gave himself a grade of eight out of 10.
For the final today he said he planned to work on the start and push harder on the back stretch.
Barnes had problems with the first and last hurdles, and after being well placed in second after the last barrier, stumbled and faded to fifth finishing the heat in 51.18 seconds.
Forte has firmly established himself as a gold medal favourite in the 200m after two good runs yesterday and hopes to join World Junior and World Senior Record holder Usain Bolt as the only Jamaican men to win gold in the event.
After running 20.76 seconds in the morning's first round, he returned with a 20.83 seconds into a stiff head wind of -2.8m/s winning both races easy and says he has a lot to spare.
The other Jamaican, Tyquendo Tracey failed to get out of the first round after placing fifth in his opening round in 21.47 seconds.
Delano Williams, the Western Champs and Boys Champs sprint double champion for Munro who is running for the Turks and Caicos Islands, also qualified for the final, finishing second in his semi-final heat in 20.94 seconds (-4.5m/s) behind Poland's Karol Zalewski who ran a personal best 20.93 seconds.
Jackson, the World Youth Championships bronze medallist from last year, had two different races, dominating the first round which she won in a season's best 23.35 seconds then had to chase the pack in the semi-final where she was second in 23.58 seconds (-2.4m/s).
Jodean Williams, who ran a personal best 23.88 seconds in the morning's first round, was fourth in her semi-final heat in 23.94 seconds (-0.8 m/s).
Olivia James lived up to her pedigree of performing well at major championships when she ran a season best 52.71 seconds for second to take an automatic spot in the final, while Chrissann Gordon who led her race for about 300m before fading, snatched a spot as one of the fastest losers after placing fourth in 52.70 seconds in the fastest semi-final.
Female team captain 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.
Porter, who is seeking to repeat her long jump gold and high jump bronze double from World Youth Championships in France last year, will seek to make her second final of the championships when she takes part in the high jump qualification today along with Kimberly Williamson.
Porter wasted little time or energy yesterday in qualifying for the long jump final later today by making the automatic qualifying mark on her first and only jump, getting the 6.30m standard.
CAC junior champion Tara-sue Barnett, who lost her National Junior record in the discus throw to Kellion Knibb, will also be in action as will Clive Pullen in the men's triple jump prelims.
Samantha Scarlett and Chrisdale McCarthy will line up in the 100m hurdles first round, while both sprint relay teams will seek a place in Friday's final.