Injured Davis bravely finishes for bronze

...Dejour Russell into hurdles final after erasing meet record

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, July 14, 2017

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Kevona Davis' further participation in the 10th IAAF World Under-18 Championships at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya, was in doubt last night after she was stretchered off the track after appearing to be injured in the latter stages of the girls' 100m final.

She is doubtful for the 200m that starts today and is Jamaica's only entrant in the event.

The 15-year-old pre-championships gold medal favourite finished third in 11.67 seconds (0.5m/s) as she pulled up close to the finish line as she chased Turkey's Mizgin Ay who won with 10.62 seconds, the same time as second-placed Magdalena Stefanowicz of Poland.

Davis, who had cruised through the previous two rounds, including winning her semi-final where she ran 11.45 seconds (1.3m/s) easily beating Ay, limped across the finish line before collapsing a few metres later.

She got off to her usual slow start, but caught the field after about 40 metres, and at the point where she would turn on the speed, she seemed to struggle at about 85 metres and appeared to start limping as she closed in on the leaders.

It was Jamaica's second bronze after Tyreke Wilson in the boys' 100m a day earlier.Jamaica are now in 12th position in the medals table.

Germany lead with three medals, two gold and a bronze, taking over from South Africa (one gold, two silver and a bronze) who led after the first day with China in third with a gold, a silver and two bronze.

Jamaica will go hunting for more medals today with sprint hurdler Dejour Russell throwing down the gauntlet with a championship record 13.08 seconds (0.5m/s) in the first round yesterday.

Russell broke the record 13.13 seconds (-1.1m/s) set by fellow Jamaicans Jaheel Hyde in Donetsk, Ukraine, on July 12, 2013, almost four years to the day.

All three Jamaicans are into the 400m finals for boys and girls, while Owayne Owens will line up in the men's triple jump final and Janique Burger will take part in the high jump which is a straight final.

Russell's time yesterday beat his previous best of 13.31 seconds set earlier this year and is the second fastest ever in the event, only behind the world best 12.96 seconds set by Hyde in China in 2014 and ahead of Frenchman Wilhem Belocian's 13.12 seconds done in Lens, France in 2012.

The 17-year-old Russell easily won his first-round heat, beating Denvaughn Whymns of The Bahamas, who ran a personal best 13.56 seconds.

The second Jamaican Brithon Senior also advanced to the semi-finals after he ran 13.83 seconds to finish fourth in his first-round heat and advance on time.

Wayne Pinnock jumped a personal best 7.27m (0.9m/s) to place sixth in the long jump that saw two Cubans — Maikel Vidal with 7.88m and Lester Lescay's 7.79m — finished first and second, respectively.

In the 400m, Anthony Cox, who lowered his personal best to 46.86 seconds in winning his semi-final heat and Antonio Watson who equalled his personal best 47.05 seconds for second in his semi-final will be in the final today.

Shaqueena Foote just managed to squeeze into the girls' final after she finished fourth in her semi-final in 55.21 seconds after a fast start, but was caught and passed inside the last 120 metres from the tape.

Intermediate hurdlers Sanique Walker and Rovane Williams qualified for their finals to be run tomorrow.

Walker ran 58.74 seconds to qualify with the fastest time, while Williams ran a new personal best 51.94 seconds beating his previous 52.26 seconds, the second fastest behind South Africa's Zazini Sokwakhana's 49.63 seconds.

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