Odean Skeen becomes 15th Jamaican man to go under 10:00 secs in 100m

BY PAUL A REID Observer Writer reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, April 22, 2017

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IAAF World Junior Championships bronze medallist Odean Skeen yesterday became the 15th Jamaican man to run the 100 metres under the magical 10.0 seconds. Skeen stopped the clock at 9.98 seconds (2.0m/s) while competing for Auburn University in the preliminaries of the Men’s 100m at their War Eagle Invitational in Auburn, Alabama.

A former ISSA Boys’ Championships winner he won the fourth heat, beating Riak Reese 10.21 seconds and DeTorrian Green of Alabama A&M-10.44 seconds and joins a select list of Jamaicans led by world record holder Usain Bolt’s 9.58 seconds set at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin in 2009. Bolt also has the top three times ever run, 9.63 seconds set at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and 9.69 seconds done in 2008 while winning his first Olympic Games title in Beijing, China.

Skeen, who also attended South Plains Junior College in Texas before moving to Auburn this year, won a bronze medal for Jamaica in Barcelona, Spain, in 2012 at the World Juniors.

Yohan Blake’s 9.69 seconds set in Lausanne in 2012 makes him the joint second best ever over the 100m, with American Tyson Gay, while Asafa Powell’s best 9.72 seconds makes him fourth best ever.

Nesta Carter is the next best Jamaican with 9.78 seconds set in Rieti, Italy, in 2010 and is joint sixth with Powell and American Justin Gatlin on the all-time list.

Michael Frater’s 9.88 seconds set in Monaco in 2011 is next on the Jamaican list followed by Steve Mullings’ 9.89 seconds also set in 2011 in Claremont, Florida, with Nickel Ashmeade’s 9.90 seconds set at the World Championships in Moscow, Russia, in 2013.

Former Green Island High and St Elizabeth Technical sprinter Kemarley Brown, who has since switched allegiances to Bahrain, ran 9.93 seconds in 2014 to defend his California Community College Athletics Association title.

Five other Jamaicans have gone under 10.00 seconds — Mario Forsyth, best known for this 200m exploits, ran 9.95 seconds in Rietti, Italy, in 2010; Raymond Stewart’s 9.96 seconds set in Tokyo in 1991 was the national record for a long time; Percival Spencer ran 9.98 seconds in Kingston in 1997, Commonwealth Games champion Lerone Clarke ran 9.99 seconds twice, the latest coming in 2009 while Olympic Games 110m hurdler Omar McLeod joined the list when he ran 9.99 seconds in Arkansas in April last year.

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