McLeod leads J'cans in action today


Wednesday, October 02, 2019

DOHA, Qatar Jamaica's defending champion Omar McLeod will be looking to retain his 110-m hurdles title, while Aisha Praught-Leer, Shanice Love, Shadae Lawrence and Danniel Thomas-Dodd will make their débuts at the IAAF World Athletics Championships inside Khalifa International Stadium here today.

McLeod will be in semi-final two along with Frenchman Pascal Martinot-Lagarde and Wenjun Xie of China at 12.05 pm Jamaica time, while Ronald Levy and Orlando Bennett are set to contest semi-final one against Sergey Shubenkov, Andrew Pozzi of Great Britain and American Grant Holloway. Andrew Riley, the other Jamaican in the event, is in semi-final three with Orlando Ortega of Spain.

The final is set for 3:00 pm.

But before that, at 8:45 am Jamaica's 2018 Commonwealth Games champion and 2019 Pan-Am Games winner, Thomas-Dodd bows into action in the shot put in Group A.

At the last edition of the World Championships in London 2017, Thomas-Dodd lost the bronze medal on the last throw of the event, and as such will be aiming to make amends on this occasion. She is ranked fourth in the world but has the third best throw of 19.55-m.

Only defending champion Lijjiao Gong of China with 20.43-m and Chase Ealey of the USA, with 19.68-m, have thrown further this year.

At 9:35 am Praught-Leer will be in action in the women's 1,500 m, after dropping the 2,000-m steeplechase this season with the aim of making her mark in this event. She is drawn in heat two and her time of 4:06.11 is the eighth-best this year.

Shanice Love and Shadae Lawrence start their discus events at 10:00 am Jamaica time. Love is in Group A, while Lawrence is drawn in Group B.

The qualifying mark for the final is 63.00m or the 12 best throws. Love has a season's best of 62.69 m, while Lawrence's best is 65.05.

Love is ranked 22nd in the world, with Lawrence just ahead at 16th.

Meanwhile, Shericka Jackson and Stephenie Ann McPherson both advanced to the final of the women's 400 m scheduled for tomorrow.

Jackson, who ran a storming first 300 m, was third in semi-final two in 50.10 behind an easy-looking Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who swept by her effortlessly to win in 49.66 and looks on course to challenge or get close to the world record of 47.60.

McPherson looked much easier and won semi-final three in a season's best 50.70, ahead of Justyna Swiety-Ersetic of Poland with 50.96. Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain won the third semi-final in 49.79, ahead of American Phyllis Francis in 50.22.

McPherson was pleased with her form heading into the final, despite feeling a “little cramp” in her calf.

“But I didn't pay it any mind — I just ice and go out there and did the best I could,” she shared.

The MVP Track Club athlete, who looked confident throughout the rounds, said she has been doing well in training for the past three weeks and is expected to lower her personal best of 49.92.