James claims historic gold
Bromfield snatches bronze for JA star in women’s 400mFriday, July 22, 2016
BY PAUL A REID Observer writer
BYDGOSZCZ, Poland — The two medals won in yesterday’s historic women’s 400m final at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships at the Zawiszaw Stadium in Bydgoszcz, Poland, will lift the entire team moral and start the medals rush, head coach Danny Hawthorne has said.
"To get two medals in one race is a wonderful feeling and not just the medals but how they got it. They fought all the way and we are all pleased; it has lifted the team and hopefully it will spur us on to more medals," Hawthorne told reporters.
He was speaking minutes after Tiffany James won the gold medal, the first ever in the event for Jamaica at the Under-20 level, and Junelle Bromfield took the bronze as both women fulfilled promises they had made to themselves this season.
The medals, Jamaica’s first of the championships, lifted the team to eighth in the medals table that is led by the United States with nine, including four gold, three silver and two bronze, followed by Cuba with three medals — two gold and a silver, while Poland, Germany and Kenya are also on three medals.
It was not all celebrations after De’jour Russell finished fourth in the men’s 110m hurdles final after setting the stadium alight with a wonderful run the previous evening. Jordan Scott was sixth in the triple jump final, and Devia Brown finished 11th in the women’s discus throw.
More medals are expected today with Nigel Ellis in the 200m, Shannon Kalawan in the 400m hurdles and Jessica Noble in the long jump, all advancing to their respective finals.
Yesterday, James ran her second personal best time in successive rounds as she clocked a World Junior Leading 51.32 seconds in adding the gold to the bronze medal she won three years ago at the World Youth Championships.
It was the first gold in the event ever for Jamaica at the championships and added to three silver and two bronze medals won previously.
"I am feeling very elated," she said afterwards. "This has been my aim all season and now I have achieved it and I am happy. I worked very hard and I deserve this."
James admitted being nervous at the start of the race but said she used that energy to give herself a fast start. "I told myself that I want this, got to go for it and get out with the pace and finish as hard as I could."
Bromfield was timed in 52.05 seconds, the same time given to fourth-placed Jessica Thorton of Australia, her personal best, a decision that took about three agonising minutes.
American Lynna Irby took the silver in a personal best 51.39 seconds and matched the silver she won at the World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia, last year.
Bromfield, who has called it a day in high school and will be heading to the University of Technology this September, said, "This medal was a goal I set for myself from last year when I left Cali empty-handed. I did not run the time I wanted, but I’m extremely proud."
Waiting on the track for the third place to be decided, she said, was gruelling. "I was very nervous waiting as I really wanted this medal."
After his World Junior Leading 13.20 seconds in the semi-finals on Wednesday, Russell was the man to beat yesterday, but he was left in the blocks, finishing just outside the medals with 13.39 seconds (0.2m/s).
American Marcus Krah won with a new personal best of 13.25 seconds with his teammate Amere Lattin taking silver in 13.30 seconds, also a lifetime best, and Japan’s Takumu Furuya third in 13.31 seconds, an Asian Under-20 record.
Russell blamed his failure to get a medal on his start. "It was the result I expected," he said. "I got a crappy start and couldn’t pull it back; I was thinking too much in the blocks, but it is what it is."
Scott equalled his personal best 16.01m to finish sixth and wrap up his junior career, while Brown could only manage 48.12m in the discus throw final, the first time ever for a Jamaican woman.
Ellis, who will be seeking to atone for missing the 100m event here after false-starting at the JAAA National Junior Championships and not being entered for the event by the team’s management, was second in his 200m semi-finals heat in 20.78 seconds (2.0m/s) to South Africa’s Tlotliso Leotlela’s 20.58 seconds, and advanced to today’s final.
Ellis, who said he was confident he would be on the podium today, said he did enough to get to the final and ran the curve hard before shutting it down in the home stretch.
Huwayne Cornwall was disqualified in the first round of the 200m yesterday morning for running outside his lane.
Kalawan improved on her first-round effort, clocking 57.62 seconds in her 400m hurdles semi-final, placing second in her semi-final to American medal contender Anna Cockrell, who was the fastest qualifier with 56.10 seconds.
"I am satisfied as I ran faster than yesterday in the heats and proud to make the final," she told the
Jamaica Observer. "Now that I am in the final, I will take it from there."
Nicolee Foster finished fifth in her semi-final heat in 58.93 seconds and failed to advance.
Both Jamaican 400m runners Christopher Taylor and Sean Bailey failed to make it to today’s final after disappointing results in the semi-finals yesterday.
Taylor, the reigning World Youth Championships gold medallist, was fourth in his race after noticeably slowing down near the finish line, running 46.60 seconds.
Earlier, Bailey was sixth in his semi-final in 47.09 seconds.
Vanesha Pusey failed to get into the final of the women’s 100m after she finished third in her semi-final heat in 11.66 seconds (0.4m/s), as Poland’s Ewa Swoboda ran a personal best and national junior record 11.17 seconds to win, and Bahrian’s Iman Isa Jassim was second in 11.58 seconds to take the automatic spots.
Jessica Noble, meanwhile, was the sixth best in the women’s long jump with 6.22m and advanced to the final today.
Noble was third in her group and sixth overall, the best of the jumpers who did not get the automatic qualifying mark of 6.25m.
"It was good, it was a good competition," she said. "I am just happy that I am in the final."
She started the competition with 6.22m (-1.3m/s), which led the competition through the first round before jumping 5.75m (0.3m/s) in the second round and ended with 6.01m (-0.2m/s).
Asked what she needed to do in the final if she was to challenge for a medal, she said: "Speed. That’s all, speed and get my knees up."