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Historic bronze for Pinnock in long jump

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, July 12, 2018

TAMPERE, Finland — Wayne Pinnock won a historic bronze medal yesterday in the men's long jump with 7.90m (-0.1m/s), as he got Jamaica on the medal chart on the second day of the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland.

On a cool afternoon mercifully spared of the thundershowers that were forecast, Pinnock became the first Jamaican to win a medal in any horizontal jump event at the Under-20 level, joining the late Germaine Mason as the only Jamaican to win any medal in the jumps.

Japan's Yuki Hashioka won the event with 8.03m (0.9m/s) followed by Cuba's World Junior Leader Maikel Vidal with 7.99m (0.9m/s), while the second Jamaican Shakwon Coke finished seventh with a personal best of 7.73m, improving his previous best twice in the finals.

It was a brilliant recovery for the Cuban who just got into the final at the 12th and last qualifier after a poor qualifying round on Tuesday.

The bronze placed Jamaica in a four-way tie for 13th on the medals table that is being led by Japan with two gold medals and a silver, Kenya with two gold medals, and four countries — Indonesia, Australia, Ukraine and South Africa all with one goal each.

Meanwhile, Michael Stephenson, the only Jamaican in another final yesterday, finished seventh in the men's 100m final in 10.31 seconds (1.2m/s).

Stephenson went into the final as a medal favourite after a scintillating 10.22 seconds (1.4m/s) personal best run in the semi-finals, two hours earlier, joint second best with Sweden's Henrick Larsson.

The other Jamaican Michael Bentley suffered a hamstring injury while warming up for the semi-final and had to be withdrawn.

Indonesia's Lalu, Muhammad Zohri won the gold medal in a National Junior Record 10.18 seconds, his country's first medal of any colour at the World Under-20, while two Americans, Anthony Schwartz and Eric Harrison both timed at 10.22 seconds, got the silver and bronze, respectively.

Pinnock's best jump came in the first round where he was second at the time and said afterwards, “It's a very great feeling. I trained so hard for this. I had some issues at Champs last year and I came back out and just worked hard and followed my coach's instructions.”

If there was any regret Pinnock said it was that he was not able to get over the elusive 8.00m mark and a new personal best. “I was feeling good but I really wanted that personal best, but it does not matter now as I got a bronze and I am happy.”

The bronze was a good ending of the season for Pinnock, who had an outstanding year as he opened a lot of eyes with a big 7.99m jump at the Digicel Grand Prix in March, then won at Boys' Champs with 7.77m before breaking the Penn Relays record with 7.88m.

Yesterday after opening with 7.90m, he followed up with 7.74m and 7.83m to end the first round then finished off with jumps of 7.70m, 7.82m and 7.77m.