Five former western Ja-based athletes set for Tokyo OlympicsThursday, July 08, 2021
MONTEGO BAY, St James - Five athletes who attended high schools in western Jamaica were last week named to the 61-member Jamaican track and field team to the Olympic Games set to start in Tokyo, Japan in just over two weeks.
It will be the second Olympic appearance for former Manning's School quarter-miler, world fifth-ranked Stephenie-Ann McPherson, but it will be the first for the other four — national shot put record holder Danniel Thomas-Dodd; sprinters Remona Burchell and Kemba Nelson, and 400m runner Tovea Jenkins.
The athletes were selected after the recent Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) National Senior Championships held at the National Stadium.
McPherson ran a personal best 49.61 seconds to win the 400m, while Thomas-Dodd, who started her career at Frome Technical, won her sixth shot put title with 19.17m.
Jenkins, who attended Mt Alvernia High and Herbert Morrison Technical, was fifth in the 400m in a personal best 50.68 seconds and was selected as part of the 4x400m relay pool.
Burchell, who attended Cambridge High, then Herbert Morrison, was fifth in the women's 100m final in 11.15 seconds (10,m/s) and Nelson, formerly of Mt Alvernia High who was seventh in 11.16 seconds, will be part of the 4x100m relay pool.
McPherson was a finalist in the 400m at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and could be a medal favourite this year with the 400m considered 'wide open' due to the absence of a number of the top contenders.
Thomas-Dodd is one of the most consistent Jamaican in field events with silver medals at the World Championships and World Indoor Championships, winning at the Commonwealth Games and Pan American Games.
— Paul Reid
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