Another in the bag!
Kerr lands bronze medal as momentum builds at World Under-20 ChampionshipsSaturday, August 21, 2021
By Dwayne Richards
Kavian Kerr won the second medal for Jamaica at the World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, on Friday as momentum builds in the camp heading into the penultimate day of the event.
Kerr produced a personal best 7.90m on his third attempt after a 7.14m jump on his first attempt and a foul on his second. He was on the brink of elimination from the competition when he produced his lifetime best, which would eventually land him his first global medal for Jamaica.
Interestingly, the jump by Kerr also served to eliminate his teammate Jordan Turner, who had a bad day and could only manage a best of 7.13m, which is unlike a jumper of his quality.
Jhon Andres Berrio of Colombia took the silver with a lifetime best of 7.97m, which he produced on his first jump, while the gold medallist, Erwan Konate of France, also produced a lifetime best and World Under-20 lead of 8.12m on his fourth jump after being tied with Kerr on 7.90m following his third jump in an intense long jump final.
But before Kerr closed the show for Jamaica on day three his teammates had enjoyed a fairly successful day.
In the morning session, the sprint hurdlers got the show on the road with red-hot favourite Ackera Nugent and her teammate Oneka Wilson both advancing to the semi-finals of the women's 100m hurdles with first-round wins in 13.35secs and 13.36secs, respectively.
Vashaun Vascianna was also a winner in the heats of the men's 110m hurdles in a season's best 13.37secs to book his semi-final spot.
The hurdles were followed by the 200m as both females, Brianna Lyston and Aalliyah Francis, booked their semi-final spots in contrasting fashion. Lyston cruised to victory in 23.18secs, while Francis was made to work for her spot in the semis when she finished third in 24.06secs.
Bryan Levell overcame his 100m semi-final disappointment following his false start to win his heat and advance to the semi-finals in 20.90secs. However, Gregory Prince, who ran in heat two, was the only athlete who failed to advance in the morning session as he finished a disappointing eighth in 21.53secs.
In the women's long jump, Shantae Foreman qualified through to Sunday's final with the fourth-best jump of 6.27m, which she managed on her one legal jump.
There was no joy for Cedricka Williams, whose discus final had been postponed from Thursday afternoon to Friday morning due to heavy afternoon rain on day two.
The Holmwood Technical High School student registered one legal attempt of 48.65m on her very first throw, but failed to register another legal mark on her subsequent five throws to end up in seventh place.
And while Kerr would be the star of the show in the afternoon session for Jamaica, it was a mixed bag from the other athletes.
Ackelia Smith, who came into the championships as one of the top-ranked triple jumpers, failed to make the top eight in the final, placing ninth with a best of 12.91m.
Wilson was a fraction slower in 13.39secs when she won semi-final one of the women's 100m hurdles, but Nugent was significantly faster as she made a statement of intent in semi-final three with a time of 13.02secs to equal the time done by Ditaji Kambundji of Switzerland in semi-final two to set up a showdown of enormous proportions.
Vascianna was marginally quicker in his semi-final in another season's best 13.35secs and will head into the final with the second-fastest time after Sasha Zhoya of France smashed the World Under-20 record with a sensational performance in heat two when he stopped the clock at 12.93secs.
The women's 200m semi-finals were dominated by the Africans with Christine Mboma of Namibia winning semi-final one in a championship record of 22.41secs, while Brianna Lyston ran a personal best 23.18secs for second, and Barbora Splechtnova of the Czech Republic coming in third in 23.64secs.
The record set by Mboma would last only a few minutes, as her teammate Beatrice Masilingi erased it with an amazing run of 22.19secs.
Favour Ofili of Nigeria seems to be the only person who is capable of spoiling the Namibian party as she ran 22.37secs to win semi-final three, while Francis followed her home in a personal best 23.70secs to join Lyston as the other Jamaican in the final.
Levell, who had eased his way through the first round, found the going a lot tougher in the semi-finals and was edged out by .01 after he finished in third position in 20.71secs behind second-placed Jakub Pietrusa of Poland, who was second in 20.70, and Tazana Kamanga-Dyrbak of Denmark, who won the race in 20.61secs.
Trevor Gunzell and Ralford Mullings will get things going for Jamaica today in the men's discus throw before the women and men 4x400m relays take place.
Round one of the 4x400m and 4x100m for men will close the morning session. Jamaica will run out of lane six in heat two of the 4x400m and in lane six in heat one of the 4x100m.
The women will contest straight finals for both events on Sunday.
In the afternoon session, Jamaica will go on the hunt for medals in the 100m hurdles for women, the 110m hurdles for men, the 400m for women and men, and the 200m for women.