Friday 24 May, 2019

O’Dayne Richards claims shot put bronze at NACAC Championships

O’Dayne Richards.

O’Dayne Richards.

O’Dayne Richards finished third in the men's shot put final to secure Jamaica's first medal at the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Championships in Toronto, Canada on Friday's opening day of action.

Richards, the 2018  Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games champion, threw 20.89m to win the bronze medal.  The Jamaican bronze medal throw came with his second attempt after he opened up with 19.80m.

American Darrell Hill had a massive throw of 21.68m, close to his season’s best, to take the gold medal in a championship record. Second three years ago in San Jose, Costa Rica, the 24-year old led four other men beyond the previous championships mark, including Canada’s Tim Nedow, who finished second for the silver medal with a throw of 21.02m and Richards.

Ashinia Miller, the other Jamaican in the final, finished fourth with 20.85m, an effort which also surpassed the previous championship record of 20.54m set by American Jonathan Jones in 2015.

Meanwhile,  the Jamaican pair of Janieve Russell and Leah Nugent are through to the women's 400m hurdles final after winning their semi-final heats.

Russell, the 2018 Commonwealth Games champion, cruised to 55.07 seconds in the first of the two semi-finals to advance with the second fastest qualifying time.

“That was the aim today to make the final and to do it comfortably saving a lot of energy for the final,” she said.

 “I feel a little rusty. I am glad to get the run today to shake off the webs.”

Also through from that semi-final heat were the USA’s Georgeanne Moline (55.38), Zurian Hechevarria of Cuba (55.53) and Noelle Montcalm of Canada (56.73).

Nugent, however, had the fastest time of the semis, winning her heat in 54.85 seconds, easily beating USA’s Shamier Little, who clocked 56.30  for second place to book her spot.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Sparkle McKnight also made it through to the final in 57.14 seconds, while Tiana Adana Belle of Barbados (57.67) made it through as one of the fastest losers.

In the men's equivalent, both Jamaicans progressed to the final.  Annsert Whyte won heat two in 49.56 seconds to book his spot, while Shawn Rowe (49.91) qualified after finishing third behind  Kyron McMaster (49.16) of the British Virgin Islands and American Khallifah Rosser  (49.68).

McMaster's 49.16 is the fastest qualifying time heading into the final ahead of Whyte's 49.56. Rowe has the sixth fastest qualifying time.

The 400m hurdles finals are scheduled for Sunday's third and final day.

Stephenie Ann McPherson and Christine Day are through to Saturday's final of the women's 400m with the second and third fastest qualifying times.

McPherson won her semi-final heat in 52.22 to progress to the medal round, while Day clocked 52.53 seconds to finish second behind American Courtney Okolo, who clocked the fastest qualifying time of 51.81.

Both Jamaicans have also progressed from the semi-finals of the men's 400m. Demish Gaye clocked 46.62 to finish second behind Nery Brenes Cardenas (46.55) of Costa Rica in heat one to book his spot in the final, while Fitzroy Dunkley (46.55) finished third in heat two behind American Myles Pringle (46.28) and Grenadian Bralon Taplin (46.37).

Pringle's 46.28 is the fastest qualifying time heading into the final on Saturday.

All four Jamaican sprinters have progressed to the medal round of the 200m scheduled for Sunday.

Shericka Jackson and Jodean Williams have the second and third fastest qualifying times heading into the medal round.

Williams won heat one of the semi-finals in 23.03, while Jackson (22.97) finished second in semi-final two won by Canada's Crystal Emmanuel in 22.82, the fastest qualifying time.

In the men's 200m, Jamaicans Nigel Ellis (20.76) and Jahnoy Thompson (20.79) have the third and fourth fastest qualifying times heading into the final.

Trinidad and Tobago's Kyle Greaux (20.74) who beat Ellis in semi-final two has the fastest qualifying time going into the final.

The championship record fell twice in the women’s 100m hurdles semifinals, setting up an exciting battle in the final on Saturday.

Jamaica’s 2015 world champion Danielle Williams set the tone with a championship record of 12.72 in the first heat. The record would be short-lived as USA’s world record-holder and world indoor champion Kendra Harrison lowered it to 12.66 in the second semifinal. Jamaica's Yanique Thompson clocked 13.17 seconds for fourth place to also qualify for the final.

Jamaica's Hansle Parchment (13.42) has the second fastest qualifying time entering the men's 110m hurdles final behind USA's Devon Allen (13.37), who beat him in the second semi-final heat.

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