1ST HURDLE CLEARED
Shelly, Elaine, Shericka on course in women's 100m; jumpers Ricketts, Williams advanceSaturday, July 31, 2021
BY IAN BURNETT
TOKYO, Japan – Jamaicans are bracing themselves for a very successful second day here at the Olympic Stadium after the majority of the island's athletes made progress during the ongoing 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The terrific trio of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson will contest the semi-finals of the women's 100m dash starting at 7:15 pm (5:15 am Saturday, Jamaica time) where they are all expected to advance to the final at 9:50 pm (7:50 am Saturday Jamaica time).
They made easy progress as the curtains came down on the opening session of the track and field events inside Olympic Stadium earlier Friday.
Of the 18 athletes who entered the competition, Traves Smikle, the first Jamaican in action in Group A of the men's discus qualification, and world number two ranked Fedrick Dacres, who contested Group B, were sent packing after failing to reach the qualifying standard of 66.0m or among the 12 best performers on the day.
But Chad Wright progressed from Group B of the discus, as national champion Natoya Goule (800m), 400m hurdlers Kemar Mowatt, Jaheel Hyde and Shawn Rowe also advanced to the next round.
Then in the second session, triple jumper Shanieka Ricketts, with a solitary effort of 14.43m, advanced to the final from Group B after jumping the qualifying standard, but Kimberly Williams had to go through her routine to jump 14.30m to advance from Group A.
But there was no such luck for shot putters Danniel Thomas-Dodd (18.37m for sixth place in Group B) and Lloydricia Cameron (17.43m for 12th place in Group A).
The 4x400m mixed relay team comprising Sean Bailey, Junelle Bromfield, Stacey-Ann Williams and Karayme Bartley set a National record 3:11.6 minutes to finish third in heat two and advance to the final as an automatic qualifier.
But it was the women's sprinters who stole the show in the morning session on a superfast running track.
Reigning Olympic Games 100m gold medallist Thompson-Herah, running out of lane seven in heat two, looked silky smooth in easing to a 10.82secs win, while the two-time 100m gold medallist Fraser-Pryce, who blasted out of lane four in heat five, tried hard to contain herself while still clocking 10.84secs, while Jackson (lane four in the seventh and final heat) was also very comfortable in gliding to an 11.07sec second-place finish behind Trinidadian Michelle-Lee Ahye (11.06secs).
Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast was the fastest qualifier with an African record 10.78seconds leads all 24 semi-finalists ahead of Thompson-Herah and Fraser-Pryce. Jackson enters tomorrow's semis as the 12th fastest qualifier.
Goule set the tone early from lane one of the second heat when she quickly went to the front to dictate the pace before kicking for home with just over 200m left. She then held her form well before easing down towards the end to stop the clock at 1:59.83 minutes. She leads all qualifiers into Saturday night's semi-finals.
“I think it was good because I slowed down and I still run under two minutes, so I think it was a pretty good run for me,” Goule told the Jamaican media moments after her race.
“I did not want to go out there and kill myself, I honestly wanted to run two minutes but I get to run that (time) even slowing down at the end so I'm really happy with it because I'm feeling great right now. I'm already recovered so that's good,” she said.
Mowatt was fourth in heat one in 49.06ecs, while Hyde ran a quick first half of the race to assume control from early to register 48.54secs for his win in heat two, while Rowe was third in heat four in a season's best 49.18secs.
Hyde's time ranks him third, Mowatt qualified in 12th position, while Rowe's time qualifies him in 14th position going into Sunday's semi-finals.
Chad Wright claimed the 12th and final qualifying spot to the final in the men's discus with his 62.93m. He was just ahead of Dacres with 62.91m, as Smikle finished in 25th position and 13th in Group A following his 59.04m effort.
Outside of the women's 100m final on Saturday night, day two of athletics also includes the first round of the women's 400m hurdles featuring Leah Nugent, Janieve Russell and Rondo Whyte; the women's discus throw qualification which includes Shadae Lawrence; the women's 100m hurdles first round which has Britany Anderson, Megan Tapper and Yanique Thompson, all these events taking place Friday night.
On Saturday morning (Jamaica time) Tajay Gayle takes to the pit in the man's long jump qualification, before Yohan Blake, Oblique Seville and Tyquendo Tracey contest the men's 100m first round, Goule vies for a place in the women's 800m semi-finals and the 4x400m mixed relay team hunts for a medal at 8:50 pm here (6:50 am, Jamaica time).
Saturday night's action (Sunday morning session, Japan time) will see the men's 400m heats as the only event of significance to Jamaica. Here Sean Bailey, Demish Gaye and Christopher Taylor will bow into action at 10:45 am (8:45 pm, Jamaica time).
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