J'cans Spencer, Hall book spots in women's 400m final
...Nesta Carter a finalist in 60m dash at World Indoors
SOPOT, Poland (CMC) — The Caribbean will have a big shot at gold in the men's and women's 400 metres at the IAAF World Indoor Championships after securing five spots in today's finals.
Competing on yesterday's opening day of the Championships, the Jamaican pair of Patricia Hall and Kaliese Spencer, along with Bahamian Shaunae Miller, all did well in the semi-finals to qualify for the women's title race.
Bahamian Chris Brown and Trinidadian Lalonde Gordon, meanwhile, will line up in the men's final after coming through their semi-finals unscathed.
Hall left no doubt about her place in the final by winning the first semi-final in a time of 52.82 seconds, while Spencer finished second in the other semi-final in 51.58, behind winner American Francena McCorory (51.35).
Miller, a former World Youth and World Junior champion, also booked her place in the final by placing third in the second semi-final in 51.63 seconds.
"It feels awesome. Thank God. I have been working for this for so long. I am grateful to God that he is finally helping me out with this," said an elated Hall.
Veteran Brown, meanwhile, who won gold in the London Olympics in the distance relay, captured semi-final two in a time of 46.19 seconds, while Gordon, an Olympic bronze medallist, finished third in semi-final one in 46.29.
There was disappointment for the Jamaicans Edino Steele, who was disqualified in the first semi-final, and Akheem Gauntlett, who came home last in semi-final two.
The women's final runs off at 7:40 pm (1:40 pm Jamaica time), while the men's final gets going at 8:30 pm.
In the 60 metres sprint, St Kitts and Nevis' Jason Rogers booked his spot in today's semi-finals when he won his heat yesterday.
The 22-year-old clocked 6.59 seconds in heat three to lead home Bahamian Warren Fraser (6.61) and China's Peimeng Zhang (6.65).
Jamaican Kimmari Roach also clinched a spot in today's penultimate round when he finished second in heat one, behind winner Gerald Phiri of Zambia.
Roach, 23, was timed at 6.59 in a dead heat with Phiri.
"It is a good track, bouncy. I felt a bit weird, but hopefully I feel better by tomorrow (today). I would like to run around 6.4," he said.
Meanwhile, two-time Olympic sprint relay gold medallist Nesta Carter clocked 6.58 seconds in finishing third in heat four, as he made into the semi-finals.
The 28-year-old, a silver medallist in Istanbul two years ago, followed home winner Richard Kilty of Great Britain (6.53) and the second-placed Reza Ghasemi of Iran (6.58).
Guyanese Adam Harris ensured a larger Caribbean presence in the semi-finals when he finished second in heat six, in a time of 6.62. Controversial sprinter Dwain Chambers won the heat in 6.57, with Kittitian Brijesh Lawrence finishing fourth in 6.63, but still reaching the semis as one of the fastest qualifiers.
In the women's 60m hurdles, Jamaican Monique Morgan ran a personal best 8.10 seconds in heat one won by exciting Australian Sally Pearson, to qualify for the second round.
Indira Spence, also of Jamaica, was not as fortunate, missing out after finishing fourth in heat two in 8.14 seconds.