O'Hara's world youth leading 100m run

O'Hara's world youth leading 100m run

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, June 16, 2013

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CALABAR High's Michael O'Hara ran a World Youth leading and personal best 10.39 seconds (1.0m/s wind) to win the Under-18 boys' 100m at yesterday's first day of the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Junior Championships at the National Stadium.

O'Hara, who is rated on three IAAF rankings, took charge of the race from the mid way point and blew past early leader Waseem Williams of Jamaica College to cross the line well clear of the field.

Williams was second in 10.55 seconds, the same time given to Donald Quarrie's Odane Bernard, with Raheem Chambers of St Jago fourth in 10.70 seconds.

The championships are being held to select teams to the IAAF World Youth Championships set for Ukraine in early July, and the Pan-American Junior Championships, to be held in Colombia in late August.

Jazeel Murphy of Racers TC equalled his personal best 10.25 seconds (1.8m/s wind) to win the Under-20 100m to beat teammate Jevaughn Minzie's 10.34 seconds, while Green Island's Odail Todd was third in a new personal best 10.37 seconds.

After a faulty start, Murphy overcame yet another slow start to catch the quick-starting Todd and Minzie just before the line.

Wolmer's Girls' Janielle Smith won the Under-18 race in 11.69 seconds, just beating Edwin Allen's Saqkine Cameron (11.79 seconds) with St Andrew Technical's Rushelle Burton third in 11.83 seconds.

Shanice McPherson won the three-athlete Under-20 event in 11.93 seconds, with Janell Kelly second in 12.04 seconds and Petagay Williams third in 12.37 seconds.

Low turnout affected wthe events yesterday and the first round of some events were cancelled and athletes sent directly to finals, while at least two events, the Under-20 1,500m for both boys and girls, were cancelled as only one athlete turned up for both.

The championships will end today with another 29 finals, including all four 200m, 400m, 800m, as well as the sprint hurdles, and all four shot put events.

Today the Under-18 boys' 400m final is expected to be one of the most competitive events with three of the best in the world so far lined up to battle for the two individual places to Ukraine.

World youth leader Devaughn Baker of Jamaica College had the third best time after the first round of the Under-18 boys' 400m, winning his heat in 49.15 seconds, but Jaheel Hyde of Running Bull TC, the fourth ranked on the IAAF list, who won his heat in 48.48 seconds, is the fastest through to today's final, with St Jago's Martin Manley next with 48.58 seconds.

Steven Gayle is the fastest in the Under-20 qualifying with 47.40 seconds ahead of Manchester High's Derron Wright (48.45 seconds) and Bellefield's Llewellyn Woodbury (48.56 seconds).

Wolmer's Boys' Christoff Bryan, who is ranked number two on the IAAF youth list, won the high jump with 2.16m, failing to get past his season best 2.19m.

He failed three times at 2.21m as he went after a personal best and world lead equalling height.

Jamaica College's Akeem Wright was second with 1.95m, with Leroy Page of Calabar High third with 1.90m.

Immaculate's Safia Morgan won the girls' Under-18 high jump with 1.70m, beating two Manchester high athletes -- Anastacia Forrester and Shanay McKenzie, who cleared 1.65m.

Edwin Allen athletes Demar Gayle and Paul-Ann Gayle won the Under-18 boys' and girls' discus events, respectively.

Gayle scored an upset win over Munro College's Kino Dunkley, winning with 50.68m to 50.43m, as the latter had surpassed the IAAF World Youth record mark of 53.50m last week with a 55.00-plus throw.

Paul-Ann threw 42.04m just over the IAAF World Youth qualifying mark of 42.00m, beating teammate Janel Fullerton (41.54m) and Venique Harris of St Andrew High (41.12m).

Gayle has a personal best of just over 47.00m set earlier this year.

Jamaica College's Nicholas Phynn won the Under-20 boys' long jump with 7.31m, to beat Kingston College's Clive Pullen (7.20m), with St Jago's Krishna Christie in third with 7.06m.

Shanice McPherson won the Under-20 girls' long jump with 6.05m, beating Shantel Pennie of Vere (5.41m), while Tamara Moncrieffe won the Under-18 triple jump with 12.09m ahead of Shardia Lawrence's 11.80m.

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