The 18th World Athletics Championships were off to a swift start for Jamaica. Track and Field fans were in a frenzy at the Hayward Field Stadium in Eugene, Oregon as they anticipated the performance of athletes both on the track and in the field.
Jamaica began their medal hunt in the first event on track for the Championship placing third in their Mixed 4x400m semi final in 3:13.95s and qualified for the final.
Following the Opening Ceremony which started the evening session, Danniel Thomas-Dodd achieved a mark of 19.09m to advance to the Women’s Shot Put final. Her compatriot Llyodricia Cameron’s 17.65m was unable to get her into the final.
After much drama, Tajay Gayle did manage to compete but ended with no mark in the long jump thus failing to advance to the final. However, Wayne Pinnock, the other Jamaican in action, was able to advance to the final with a leap of 7.98m.
Adelle Tracey ran her first race in the black, green and gold in the 1500m, where she placed sixth and qualified as an automatic qualifier in a time of 4:05.14s. Tracey will aim to become the first Jamaican athlete since Yvonne Mai-Graham to make the final in the event as the semi-finals will be held later today.
The Men’s 100m showed some amazing performances as American, Fred Kerley ran the fastest time in the Heats in a solid 9.79s. As Jamaica managed to secure spots in the Semifinal of the Mens’ 100m with Ackeem Blake who was second in his Heat in 10.15s. Oblique Seville announced himself as a real threat in his heat by running a solid 9.93s while beating Olympic Champion Marcel Jacobs in the process. National Champion Yohan Blake had to finish second in his heat with a 10.04s who was beaten by Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo who ran a World U20 Record of 9.94s. All three Jamaican men are slated to run in Semifinals one, two and three respectively later today. With the Final being held later tonight.
The day ended with the Mixed Relay final as Jamaica’s team of Demish Gaye, Tiffany-James-Rose, Karamye Bartley and Stacey Ann Williams ran a season’s best of 3:12.17s to place fifth. The Dominican Republic placed in first, the Netherlands in second and the United States in third. As Track and Field Legend, Allyson Felix won her final World Championships medal for the United States.
Jamaica is expected to continue its Gold Rush in Eugene, Oregon as athletes are set to take centre stage in the qualification of the Women’s Triple Jump, High Jump, heats of the Men’s 110m Hurdles and 400m Hurdles. We’ll also see the heats of the women’s 100m where Jamaica will compete in heats one to four. The Men’s Long Jump, Men’s Shot Put and Men’s 100m are set to close day two of the championships.
– Kemal Forde