Tina Clayton strikes gold at World Athletics Under-20 ChampionshipsFriday, August 20, 2021
BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
NAIROBI, Kenya — Tina Clayton lived up to expectations at the World Athletics Under-20 Championships when she struck gold for Jamaica in the women's 100m final in a personal best 11.09s at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday.
It was the first medal won at the championships, at which many anticipate another rich medal haul for Jamaica.
Heading into the final with the fastest time of 11.34s in the semi-finals, Tina, who had teammate Kerrica Hill for company, was expected to be seriously challenged by Beatrice Masilingi, but shook of the challenge of the Namibian as she stormed to victory to win by a clear five metres.
Tina had a quick start out of the blocks and was clear of the field after 30 metres. She then powered away from the rest of the field and kept opening up the gap as she raced toward the finish. She opened her arms in triumph as she crossed the line, even as she defended the title won by Briana Williams for Jamaica in Tampere, Finland, in 2018.
Masilingi was second in in 11.39s, while Melissa Gutschmidt of Switzerland was third in 11.51. Hill finished seventh in 11.67s.
Jamaica's other finalist on the day was Kobe Lawrence in the men's shot put. The youngest in the field of 12 finalists at 17 years old, Lawrence finished in a creditable eighth position in difficult conditions.
Heavy afternoon rains forced postponement of some events and a delay in others, including the shot put which was rescheduled twice before the athletes actually began the competition. The throwing circle was wet throughout the competition with the throwers forced to dry out the ring before every throw, and despite that, a number of them fell while throwing.
In the end, Lawrence ended with a best of 18.32m which was off the 18.65m he threw to make the final. Juan Gomez of Cuba won the event with a best of 19.73m, Yauheni Bryhi of Belarus was second with a personal best 19.70m and Jephte Vogel of Switzerland was third with 19.16m.
The other participant in the afternoon session for Jamaica was Ackelia Smith in the women's triple jump and she safely advanced to today's final, with a jump of 12.99m.
The other athlete down to compete in a final yesterday was Cedricka Williams in the women's discus, but that event was rescheduled for this morning.
Meanwhile, Jamaica enjoyed a very good morning session on day two, as all the athletes advanced in their various disciplines.
Garriel White and Moseiha Bridgen both booked their spots in the finals of the women's 400m hurdles event.
White was the first Jamaican on show on the second day of the championships and ran a well-judged race to lead from start to finish in winning in 58.65s, the fourth fastest in qualifying.
Brigden, who was in lane six, ran a smart race as she stayed on the shoulders of Savannah Sutherland of Canada, who was just outside of her in lane seven, all the way around the track.
Sutherland had the second fastest time in qualifying of 58.45s in winning the heat while Bridgen was second 58.88s and Maria Tarabanskaya (Authorised Neutral Athlete) was third in 59.18s to also qualify for the final.
Roshawn Clarke equalled his a personal best 50.93s, easing down at the line, to win heat one of the men's 400m hurdles, while his teammate Devontie Archer won heat four in 52.17s while easing across the line as well, which suggests that they both have a lot more left in the tank for the semi-final round.
In the men's 800m, Jamaica's lone representative Chevonne Hall advanced to the semi-finals after finishing third in heat two in 1:49.57, behind winner Kacper Lewalski of Poland who was first in 1:48.84 and Abdullahi Hassan of Canada who was second in 1:49.09.
Hall began the race in his usual front-running style but was unable to respond to the push from Lewalski and Hassan in the latter stages of the race. He will contest the semi-final on Saturday afternoon.
Jamaica's medal hopeful Ackera Nugent will run out of lane four in heat two of the Women's 100m hurdles while Oneka Wilson will run out of lane five in heat five, while Vashaun Vascianna will run out of lane two in heat two of the men's 110m hurdles.
Shantae Foreman will compete in Group B of the women's long jump.
Brianna Lyston will run in lane four in heat four of the women's 200m and Aalliyah Francis will run from lane three in the fifth and final heat.
Gregory Prince will run out of lane eight in heat two of the men's 200m, while Bryan Levell, who false started in the semi-finals of the 100m, will hope to begin to make amends, when he lines up in lane seven in heat three of the 200m.
The semi-finals for both the hurdles and the 200m will be contested in the afternoon session.