Medal tally should increase today
LONDON, England — Jamaica's medal tally is expected to increase on today's third day of track and field competition at the 27th Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium in Stratford, London with three finals involving Jamaican athletes.
After last night's women's 100m final where Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Veronica Campbell Brown won the island's first two medals, the hope is that more will be on offer today.
The expectations are for all three men's 100m sprinters to contend for the medals after today's semi-finals, Kimberly Williams and Trecia Smith will line up in the women's triple jump final, while Novlene Williams-Mills and Rosemarie Whyte will contest the women's 400m final.
Additionally, Dane Hyatt will run in the men's 400m semi-finals, while defending champion Melaine Walker will lead a Jamaican trio into the first round of the women's 400m hurdles.
The famously fickle English summer weather continued yesterday with cool conditions dominating periods of weak sunshine with mostly cloudy condition interspersed with intermittent drizzle.
Williams was second after the first round of the triple jump on Friday's opening day of competition and after taking just one jump to post a new personal best 14.53m, said she had a lot left in the tank for today.
Both Williams and Smith, the 2005 world champion said they had nothing to lose by holding back and plan to let it all out today. The more experienced Smith saying it will not matter if she were to foul all three attempts as long as she gave it her all.
Smith had one legal jump on Friday, 14.31m, but said earlier that she was healthy for the first time in over a year and felt she knew how to get yet another 15m jump out of her long, powerful legs.
Williams-Mills qualified for her first Olympic final in three tries, while Whyte made it back-to-back Olympics finals after placing seventh in Beijing to give Jamaica a shot at a medal.
Christine Day was fourth in her semi-final in 51.19 seconds and told reporters she could not feel any power in her legs, but gave it all she had.
Williams-Mills, who had said earlier her aim was to come back with a medal of any kind, looked spent after running 49.91 seconds for a close third in her semi-final, admitting she felt tired, but said she would be ready for today.
"I just have to come out tomorrow (today) and execute a good race," she said, before explaining that the tapes on her right thigh was not an indication of any serious injury, but "just a little pain and nothing I can't get over in the final".
Whyte had finished in third place in her semi-final in 50.98 seconds and had to wait to know her fate, but told the Jamaica Observer she was always confident she would be in the final.
"Anything can happen once you are in the final," she said. "I made it to the final and I am grateful."
Despite not running as fast as she hoped she said she followed her coach's instructions and it paid off.
Jamaica's national champion Dane Hyatt will run out of lane two in heat three of the men's 400m semi-finals set for this afternoon after he was the only one of three Jamaican men to advance.
Hyatt was fourth in his heat in 45.14 seconds behind Kevin Borlee, who set a Belgian national record 44.43 seconds and Pavel Maslak, who set a Czech national record 44.91 seconds, while Russian Pavel Trenikhin ran a personal best 45.00 seconds.
Hyatt, who advanced as the fastest non automatic qualifier and eighth fastest overall, was not pleased with his first round but will be happy with a second chance to make amends.
The former cop said: "I don't think I executed as how I would have liked to, but it happened already so it's behind me". And after appearing to stumble near the finish line he explained that he lost focus. "But that's what happen when you tie up and I have myself to blame for that."
Jermaine Gonzales and teenager Rushane McDonald, who were both affected by injuries, failed to get past the first round and are doubtful for the 4x400m relays later this week.
Jamaica's national champion Dane Hyatt competes in th 400 metres heats at the Olympic Stadium yesterday. Hyatt will contest the semi-finals today.