KC's Nkrumie aims to be first schoolboy to dip below 10 secs
Kingston College sprinter Bouwahjie Nkrumie (left) powers to victory in his heat of the boys' Class One 100m on day one of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships at the National Stadium on Tuesday. Nkrumie clocked 10.51 seconds. Also pictured is St Catherine High's Sanjay Campbell. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

He has talked the talk all season and now Kingston College's (KC's) star sprinter Bouwahjie Nkrumie is ready to walk the walk.

The KC sprinting star says he is ready to deliver on his promise of the first sub-10 time by a schoolboy over the 100 metres at this year's ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships.

Nkrumie, who is the national junior record holder with 10.02 seconds, eased into the semi-finals of the event after clocking a comfortable 10.51 to win his heat on Tuesday's opening day of the five-day event at the National Stadium.

The stoutly built Nkrumie will also be looking to erase former KC athlete Zharnel Hughes' Champs record of 10.12, which has stood since 2014.

Bouwahjgie Nkrumie of Kingston College (second left) leads the field to victory in the heats of the boys' Class One 100m. Also in the frame (from left) are Tajai Duffus of St Jago High, Sanjay Campbell of St Catherine High, and Akeino Hylton of Green Island High.

The 19-year-old Nkrumie, who won a silver medal in the 100m at the World Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia, last August, told the Jamaica Observer that he is in excellent shape coming into the event and very confident that he can achieve a sub-10 time in the event this year.

"I am just taking it step by step and I am 100 per cent confident in myself and I am just going to see what happens in the semi-finals and finals," said Nkrumie.

"I am most definitely going for it [sub-10]; it does not have to happen, but it is possible. If I don't run it I am not going to feel any way, but the season is long and I am just working on progression because sub-10 is not an easy task," he added.

Nkrumie is expected to be pushed all the way to the line by Herbert Morrison's DeAndre Daley, who has been having an outstanding season.

Jordon Rehedul of Kingston College cruises to victory in heat one of the boys' Class Three 400m, clocking 51.63 seconds.

Daley, who is the third-fastest Jamaican junior sprinter entering the championships with a time of 10.37, won his heat in 10.65 to advance into today's semi-finals.

The 18-year-old Daley, who is the Western Championships 100m champion, is confident about his chances of upstaging Nkrumie in the event.

"I am not going out there to fight... I am going there to run my own race. The track has a 100m and everybody has to run a 100 metres, and so I am just going out there and to compete against myself," said Daley.

He also said that he has a lot in store for today's semi-finals and finals.

Trevon Hamer of Jamaica College leaps to 7.13m in the boys' Class Two long jump. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

"I am feeling confident because the instructions were just to go out there and make it to the next round and not put too much pressure on the gas," Daley said.

Jaiden Reid of Jamaica College (JC) 10.56, Junior Harris from Camperdown (10.56), Javorne Dunkley of St Elizabeth Technical (10.59) and Tay-Shawn Barnes from Steer Town Academy (10.60) round out the top six qualifiers into today's semi-finals.

Meanwhile, eight finals are scheduled to be contested on today's second. They are the Class Two long jump, Class One long jump, Class Three 1500m, Class Two 1500m, Class One 1,500m, Class Three 100m, Class Two 100m and the Class One 100m.

Meantime, JC's Malique Smith-Band leads all qualifiers into today's semi-finals of the boys' Class One 400m with a time of 48.34 seconds. His teammate Mark Anthony Miler clocked 48.61 and Edwin Allen Delano Kennedy, who is the favourite to win the event, posted 48.89.

Alphansus Davis's outstanding quarter-miler Daniel Francis cruised to 49.84 to lead all qualifiers in the semi-finals of the boys' Class Two 400m. Tyler Ferguson of JC (49.87), Omarie Williamson of Holmwood Technical (49.92) round off the top three qualifiers for today's semi-finals.

In Class Three, Jordan Rehedul from KC (51.63), Akeem Honeyghan of Maggotty High (51.70) and Jevari McKoy from Ferncourt (51.84) are the top three to advance to the semi-finals.

BY ROBERT BAILEY Staff reporter robertb@jamaicaobserver.com

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