Monday 13 July, 2020

Kevona Davis wins bronze in 100m at World Under-18 Championships

Kevona Davis of Jamaica. (PHOTO: IAAF)

Kevona Davis of Jamaica. (PHOTO: IAAF)

Fifteen-year-old Kevona Davis won Jamaica's second medal at the 10th and final IAAF World Under-18 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya on Thursday's second day with a third place finish in the women's 100-metre final.

Turkey’s Mizgin Ay produced a massive upset to win as the Jamaican was the big favourite for the gold medal.

Davis was unable to produce anything like her best form. She trailed from the blocks behind Poland’s Magdalena Stefanowicz and Ay, and the Jamaican visibly strained to close the advantage, but found herself pulling up before the line and clutching her hamstring shortly after, her time of 11.67 only good enough for bronze medal.

 Ay  crossed the line in 11.62 and handed the verdict over Stefanowicz, who clocked the same time in second, which was a PB.  

Tyreke Wilson won Jamaica's first medal on Wednesday's opening day.

Wilson, who was also a gold medal favourite in the boys' 100m final, had to settle for bronze

In the boys' 400 metres, Jamaican Anthony Cox was the fastest into the final with a time of 46.86 in heat two. He will be closely challenged, however, by Brazil’s Bruno Benedito da Silva, who clocked a PB of 46.87 in the third heat.

Barboara Malikova was fastest in the girls’ 400m semi-finals, winning in a PB of 53.77 ahead of Kenya’s Mary Moraa, second in 53.88.

Jamaican Saquena Foote qualified with the eighth fastest time following a 55.21-clocking for fourth place in Heat 2.

Earlier, Jamaican De'Jour Russell issued a strong statement in the heats of the boys' 110-metre hurdles with a championship record run.

Running in the first heat at the at the Kasarani Stadium, the 17-year-old Jamaican took his personal best from 13.31 (already a world-U18-leading time this year) all the way to 13.08. The time made him the second fastest U18 athlete of all time, behind his compatriot Jaheel Hyde's world U18 best of 12.96.

Russell's time was amazing given his slow reaction time of 0.221 and the fact he slowed down before the finish. With the semifinal and final scheduled for Friday, there may be much more to come from the Jamaican who recently clocked a world age-17 best of 13.32 over the senior height barriers.

None of the other hurdlers came near Russell's performance, but there were other notable runs, including the remaining heat winners: Enrique Llopis of Spain with 13.47 (a personal best by 0.25), Lu Hao-hua of Chinese Taipei with 13.57 and Saoud Al-Humaidi of Qatar with 13.72.

The early exit of Zayed Al Shamsi of the United Arab Emirates was also notable. The third fastest U18 athlete this year with 13.43 finished only sixth in his heat in 14.70 and was eliminated.

The other Jamaican sprint hurdler -  Brithton Senior - who advanced as one of the four fastest losers has the 11th fastest qualifying time. 

Senior clocked 13.83 seconds for fourth place in Heat 2, and had to wait in order to secure his spot in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Sanique Walker of Jamaica, the fastest U18 in the world this year, was the best in the girls' 400m hurdles heats, qualifying for Saturday's final with 58.74. The Lithuanian Gabija Galvydyte, running in the same heat as Walker, was the second fastest of the day with 58.94, a personal best by a whopping 1.7 seconds.

And Cemore Donald of Jamaica is out of the girls' 800m after failing to finish in Heat 2.

The fastest of the qualifiers for the semi-finals was the Kenyan Jackline Wambui, winner of heat three in 2:08.24, 1.5 seconds ahead of Hirut Meshesha of Ethiopia. The event favourite, Kenya's Lydia Jeruto, took heat one in a relatively pedestrian 2:10.37, but looked strong, running the final 200 metres in about 31 seconds.

Jamaica has won a total of 50 medals, 19 of them gold, across the previous nine editions of the championships, putting them at fifth on the all-time medals table.

Six countries, including defending champions United States, have pulled out of the championships citing security concerns. The other countries which have pulled out are Canada, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand and Great Britain.

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