Ja open medal count

Spencer cops silver, Williams, bronze

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Sunday, March 09, 2014    

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KALIESE Spencer and Kimberly Williams won their first medals at the senior level as Jamaica opened their account at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, on yesterday's second and penultimate day.

Spencer, who made her name in the 400m hurdles, took silver in the 400m in a personal best 51.54 seconds, while Williams took the bronze medal in the triple jump, as Jamaica matched the total medal haul from the 2012 staging in Istanbul, Turkey.

The two medals left Jamaica in 14th place on the medals table that is being led by the United States with six — four gold, a silver and a bronze — followed by Russia with two gold medals, and the Czech Republic, also with two medals, a gold and a bronze. New Zealand and Sweden also have a gold and a bronze.

Meanwhile, the medal rush is expected to continue on today's final day with two-time defending 60m champion Veronica Campbell Brown, as well as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce through to the semi-finals. Andrew Riley is into the semi-finals of the 60m hurdles, while both 4x400m relay teams also qualified comfortably for their finals, with the women's team running a national indoor record of 3 minutes 29.43 seconds.

Yesterday, Spencer, who placed fourth in three consecutive global 400m hurdles finals and was disqualified in the first round last year at the IAAF World Championships in Russia, finally landed the elusive global medal when she finished second behind American Francine McCorory (51.12 seconds) and ahead of the Bahamas' Shaunea Miller, who took the bronze in 52.06 seconds.

It was also Spencer's first medal at an IAAF Championships since she won gold in the World Juniors in China in the 400m hurdles in 2006. The second Jamaican in the event, Patricia Hall, was fifth in 52.51 seconds.

Williams lived up to pre-championships expectations with the bronze in the triple jump with a season's best 14.39m on her final jump of the day.

Williams, who was fourth in Moscow last year after qualifying for the final in the 2012 Olympics in London, was assured of the bronze going into the final round after jumping 14.27m and 14.34m earlier as the fourth-placed finisher had a best jump of 14.26m.

Russian Ekaterina Koneva won with 14.46m, while Ukraine's Olga Saladukha was second with 14.45m.

Despite qualifying for his third consecutive final, Nesta Carter failed in his bid for a second medal after taking silver two years ago, finishing a disappointing seventh in 6.57 seconds, just ahead of teammate Kimmari Roache's 6.58 seconds.

Earlier in the semi-finals, Carter won his race in a season's best 6.50 seconds, while Roache was second in his heat in a personal best 6.55 seconds.

Monique Morgan failed to get past the semi-finals of the women's 60m hurdles, finishing last in her race in 8.19 seconds.

Also in the morning session yesterday, the women's 4x400m team ran 3 minutes 29.43 seconds to place second behind the USA's world leading 3 minutes 29.06 seconds, and ahead of Poland, all of whom advanced to today's final.

The men's team also finished behind the USA in their heat and advanced as well, running 3 minutes 06.12 seconds.





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