Quarter-milers in strong runs to book semi-final spots
Jamaica's Nathon Allen (right) competes with Trinidad and Tobago's Asa Guevara during the men's 400m Round on day six of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in Birminghamat at Alexander Stadium, in Birmingham , on Wednesday. (Photo: AFP)

BIRMINGHAM, England — It was a day of positive performances and strong emotions for Jamaica's male quarter-milers with the trio of Jevaughn Powell, Nathon Allen and Anthony Cox all booking their lanes in tomorrow's semi-finals with strong runs at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Allen, 45.18, and Cox, 45.51, both eased to wins in their respective heats with the second and third fastest times among qualifiers, while National champion Powell was comfortable in his second-place finish, crossing the line in 46.14, the eight-fastest time going into the next round.

Allen's smooth run produced his best time in three years and it was clear just how much it meant to the 26-year-old.

"I'm thankful, you know, it's all glory to God, my coach, and the work that I put in and I'm just happy that finally, I'm starting to run times that are competitive again. It's all about getting back to my best, but it's a journey," Allen told the Jamaica Observer.

"I am not at my best but I am competitive and I will continue to work hard," Allen added.

Cox finally got the chance to don the national gears in an individual event at this level after being forced to sit out the 400m at the World Championships in Eugene when he contracted the COVID-19 virus.

"I really felt a way about missing out on the event at the World Championships but it was a good experience making and being with the teams. I just wanted to come out here, make the most of the opportunity and take it one step at a time to ensure that I make it through the rounds," said Cox after his convincing victory.

For Powell, the fastest Jamaican in the 400m this year and one of only two to dip below 45 seconds this season, his progress was dedicated to his mother Althea Powell, who passed away two years ago.

He expressed satisfaction with the execution of his first run at the Commonwealth Games.

"I am extremely happy with the time I ran, the way I executed the race and I was able to take it easy going home. I am really grateful for that," Powell said. "I want to make the finals and after that, we will take it from there."

"I definitely have extra motivation coming here as the National champion. I am doing this for myself but I am also doing it for my mom, who passed away. I am out here and I will be back on Friday, fighting to do my best," Powell added.

Javon Francis won bronze for Jamaica in the men's 400m at the last Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in 2018 with Michael Blackwood being the last Jamaican gold medal winner in the event, with his success at the 2002 Games in Manchester.

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