Tina on course
Mixed fortunes for Jamaica on day one of World Under-20 ChampionshipsThursday, August 19, 2021
BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
NAIROBI, Kenya — Jamaica failed to capitalise on a promising start to day one of the World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday as some athletes failed to push on and deliver the result hoped for in the afternoon session.
Jamaica booked their spot in the final of the mixed 4x400m relay with a third-placed finish in section one of two, in what was the first track event at Kasarani Stadium in the morning, but finished outside the medals in the final in the afternoon session.
Aalliyah Francis and Malachi Johnson were brought in to replace Antonio Hanson and Dejanea Oakley in the final, and even though Jamaica ran a faster time in the final than in the first round, they were unable to finish in the top three as Nigeria won the event when Bamidele Ajayi caught Patryk Grzegorzewicz, of Poland, on the line. India took the bronze as Kapil held of the challenge of Johnson on the final leg.
The women's 100m proved to be a successful event and Tina Clayton, who celebrated her 17th birthday on Tuesday, won both her heat and semi-final comfortably to advance to today's final.
Kerricka Hill also advanced to the final on time after she finished fourth in semi-final two. Earlier she had finished second in her heat behind Praise Ofuku of Nigeria.
Ofuku and race-favourite Beatrice Masilingi of Namibia will also line up in what is expected to be an explosive final in the penultimate event today.
The men's 100m promised much, but in the end there was massive disappointment as both athletes failed to advance to the final.
Alicke Cranston had a solid first-round performance to advance to the second round, but stumbled out of the blocks in semi-final one and never recovered. Letsile Tebogo of Botswana ran a stunning personal best of 10.11s to win the race, while Cranston trailed home in eighth place in a pedestrian 10.94s.
Bryan Levell, who was a clear medal hopeful for Jamaica, was comfortable in winning his heat in the morning, but false-started in semi-final two, which was won by Ali Balushi of Oman in a smart 10.27s.
The third semi-final was won by Godson Oghenebrume in 10.22s, the second-fastest time in the round.
The men's 100m final will close the show today.
Except for a very good performance from Oneika McAnnuff in her heat of the women's 400m, the other three Jamaicans participating in the one-lap event all crashed out in the heats.
McAnnuff was dominant in her win in heat two of three, as she won in 54.13s, ahead of Molepo Precious of South Africa, who was second in 54.41, and Anna Orlova of the Ukraine, who was third in 54.68.
Annalee Robinson failed to spark in her heat and faded in the home stretch to finish in fifth place in 56.56s, and failed to advance.
Jeremy Bembridge would have been expected to at least make the final for Jamaica, but he never finished his heat as he fell to the ground just as he was about to enter the home straight and had to be removed from the track on a stretcher. He later complained of stomach issues.
Tahj Hamm was left looking bemused as he finished a very disappointing seventh in 47.73s in heat three. After appearing to be in touching distance of the race leaders when he came off the turn in lane seven in the home stretch, he faded out of contention as South African prodigy Lythe Pillay won in 46.55s.
Kobe Lawrence, the lone performer in the field on day one, advanced to the finals of the men's shot put when his mark of 18.65m was enough to place him second in Group B behind Authorised Neutral Athlete, Semen Borodayev, who had a best of 19.22m. Lawrence was sixth overall, heading into this afternoon's final.
Gariel White and Moseiha Bridgen will contest the heats of the women's 400m hurdles in the morning session, while Roshawn Clarke and Devontie Archer will participate in the men's equivalent.
Cedricka Williams will contest the women's discus throw, which will be a straight final while Ackelia Smith will be in Group B of the qualifying round of the triple jump.