Skeen rues relay defeat at WJC

PAUL A REID Observer writer

Friday, July 20, 2012    

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DESPITE winning his first individual global medal at the recent 14th IAAF World Junior Championships (WJC) in Barcelona, Spain, Odean Skeen felt they left another gold medal when the Jamaican team finished second to the USA in the 4x100m.

Skeen, who recovered from a poor semi-final run to grab the bronze in the 100m on the second night of the championships at the Montjuic Olympic Stadium with a season best 10.28 seconds, had set his sights on breaking the American's streak of two wins in the relays to be run three days later.

An injury to Julian Forte in the final of the 200m on Friday, however, severely weakened the Jamaican team and despite running a new national junior record 38.97 seconds, with Skeen running another monster second leg, Jamaica finished second to the USA for the third straight championships.

Even with his third WJC medal and second relay silver after being part of the team that ran two years ago in Moncton, Canada, the 17-year-old Skeen was still grumbling about losing the race on Sunday's final session.

Skeen, who told the Jamaica Observer he would be returning to Wolmer's Boys' next year in search of the Class One 100m gold at 'Champs', among other titles, described the championships as "good overall", but said he was still "upset" that the team did not win the sprint relay.

In the semi-finals of the 100m on Wednesday after watching teammate Jazeel Murphy run a personal best 10.25 seconds to easily advance to the final, Skeen had to wait to find out whether he would advance after running 10.43 for third in the third semi-final to progress as one of the fastest losers.

In the finals, Skeen told the Observer, "I was not counting on winning any medals; my semi-finals was so bad I just went out there and just ran."

With no global titles to pursue next year, Skeen who false started in the final of the 100m at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys Champs, says he will also be focusing on the Pan-Am Junior Games.



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