Nugent lands gold, silver for Vascianna on penultimate daySunday, August 22, 2021
BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
NAIROBI, Kenya — Jamaican Ackera Nugent lived up to the expectations of her nation when she won gold in the women's 100m hurdles at the World Athletics Under-20 Championships at Kasarani Stadium here yesterday.
Nugent was expected to face a stern test from Ditaji Kambundji and that was the case until the Swiss athlete hit two hurdles and went crashing to the ground midway the race.
Credit must be given to Nugent who remained focused and stormed to victory way ahead of the field in 12.95s. Viktoria Forster of Slovakia also had hurdle trouble and failed to finish the race. Both athletes were later disqualified under rule TR22.6.2
Anna Maria Millend of Estonia managed to avoid the carnage to win an unexpected silver medal in 13.45s, while Anna Toth of Hungary snatched the bronze medal in 13.58s.
There was some disappointment for Jamaica in the race as Oneka Wilson, who was favoured for a medal, failed to show for the final. Up to press time, the reason for her no-show was unknown. Wilson wasn't the only Jamaican athlete to not show for a final, as Oneika McAnnuff was also a no-show for the women's 400m final after putting in an excellent performance in the first round.
The race favourite also delivered in the men's 110m hurdles final as Sasha Zhoya of France, who was billed as one of the stars to watch, decimated his own record that he set in the semi-finals on Friday to win gold yesterday in an amazing 12.72s.
Jamaica's Vashaun Vascianna, who hit two hurdles shortly after gaining on the Frenchman midway the race, somehow managed to stay on his feet and secure the silver medal in a personal best 13.25s. The bronze medal went to Jakub Szymanski of Poland in 13.43s.
The women's 200m final brought no joy for Jamaica as the African ladies swept the top three spots. The Namibians, Christine Mboma, and Beatrice Masilingi were first and second in 21.84s and 22.18s, respectively, while Favour Ofili of Nigeria was third in 22.23s. Brianna Lyston was fourth across the line, but was later disqualified for a lane violation, while the other Jamaican Aalliyah Francis was seventh in 23.96s.
The women's 400m final which should have seen McAnnuff run, was won by Nigerian Imaobong Nse Uko in a personal best 51.55s. Kornelia Lesiewicz of Poland was second, also in a personal best 51.97s, while Sylvia Chelangat of Kenya also ran a lifetime best to secure bronze in 52.23s.
The men's 400m hurdles semi-finals brought mixed fortunes for Jamaica as team Captain Devontie Archer advanced to the final after finishing second in semi-final one in a personal best 49.93s, but his teammate Roshawn Clarke missed out on a spot.
He was beaten into first place by Berke Akcam of Turkey, who ran a personal best and national record of 49.73s, as the two battled to the line in a brutal semi-final. Ezekiel Nathaniel of Nigeria squeezed into the final as one of the non-automatic qualifiers, after he, too, ran a personal best of 51.39s to finish third.
Clarke, who ran in semi-final three, was expected to join Archer in the final and was perfectly poised to do so when he came over the final hurdle in second place, but he lost all momentum a few metres before the line and ended up in fourth place, thereby, missing out on today's final.
It would prove to be tough going for Chevonne Hall in semi-final two of the men's 800m as the “Champs Champion” found the going a lot more difficult on the international stage. He chose to run from the front in his usual style and after battling with Noah Kibet for first place for most of the second lap was unable to stay with the pack and faded into to sixth place in the final 100m.
The Kenyan won the race in 1:46.47, while Jakub Davidik of the Czech Republic was second in a national record of 1:46.59s. Abdullahi Hassan of Canada was third in 1:46.89.
Despite his sixth-placed finish, Hall's time of 1:48.50 was a personal best for the Edwin Allen High student.
Meanwhile, in the morning session things went smoothly for Jamaica as all the men who competed advanced to their respective finals.
Ralford Mullings threw an automatic qualification distance of 62.49m on his second throw to advance to the final, while Trevor Gunzell squeezed into the final with the 11th-best throw out of the top 12.
The 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams both finished second and advanced to today's finals where Jamaica will field four teams, including the women as they look to add more medals to the current haul of four.
Jamaica will contest nine of the 14 finals on the final day of the Championships. Jaydon Hibbert will start the ball rolling in the men's triple jump, before Garriel White and Moseiha Bridgen go in search of medals in the women's 400m hurdles. Captain Archer will then follow the ladies in the men's 400m hurdles.
Mullings and Gunzell will go after discus glory, after which Shantae Foreman will look to make a big mark in the sand in the women's long jump.
The four relay teams will then look to cap things off with a barnstorming finish in the relays, for which Jamaica has become famous.