Sunday 12 July, 2020

Shericka Jackson strikes gold in 400m at Pan American Games

Shericka Jackson of Jamaica celebrates winning the gold medal in the women's 400m final during the athletics at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia).

Shericka Jackson of Jamaica celebrates winning the gold medal in the women's 400m final during the athletics at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia).

Shericka Jackson produced the highlight for Jamaica on the third day of track and field at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on Thursday by winning the women's 400m gold medal.

The world-ranked No.4 quarter-miler had to dig deep to beat Mexico’s Paola Morán. Jackson, 2016 Olympic bronze medallist, clocked 50.73 seconds, while Morán, the 2019 World University Games champion, ran a personal best of 51.02. USA’s Courtney Okolo was third with 51.22.

Jamaica secured five other medals on the day through Demish Gaye, who won a silver medal and Russell Clayton, Kimberly Williamson, Megan Tapper, and Kemar Mowatt, all of whom claimed bronze.

Anthony Zambrano of Colombia celebrates winning the gold medal in the men's 400m final during the athletics at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019. Demish Gaye of Jamaica won the silver medal.

Gaye secured his silver medal in the men's 400m.

The 26-year-old Gaye clocked 44.94 seconds to finish behind Anthony Zambrano, who became the first Colombian to win the gold medal with his triumph in 44.83. The 21-year-old, world-ranked No.12 just managed to beat the Jamaican in the closing stages. American Justin Robinson was third in 45.07.

Clayton secured women's 400m hurdles bronze medal in 55.53 seconds.

Canada’s Sage Watson took the gold medal in a season-best 55.16. The 25-year-old, world-ranked No.14, had been initially disqualified, but later was reinstated upon appeal. Watson ran a controlled race and delivered a strong kick to become the first Canadian to win this event. USA’s Anna Cockrell was second with 55.50.

The women’s high jump was an all-Caribbean affair with Williamson rounding off the medals by finishing third for the bronze with 1.84m

Saint Lucia’s Levern Spencer won the gold medal. The 35-year-old retained the title she won four years ago in Toronto on countback at 1.87m. Antigua and Barbuda’s Priscilla Frederick also repeated her second place from Toronto topping 1.87m.

Tapper earned a bronze medal with a third-place finish in the women’s 100m hurdles in 13.01 seconds.

History was unfolded in the event where Costa Rica’s Andrea Vargas won in 12.86 (0.1 m/s) delivering her country’s second-ever gold medal, and the first medal by a woman. Vargas upset USA’s Chanel Brissett, who was second with 12.99.

The other Jamaican in the race, Yanique Thompson, was fourth in 13.11 seconds.

Mowatt finished third in the men's 400m hurdles in 49.09 seconds for the bronze medal as Brazilian Alison Alves dos Santos extended his outstanding season to the Pan-Am Games and grabbed the title with a South American U20 record of 48.45.

Dos Santos, bronze medallist at the 2018 World U20 Championships and world-ranked No.9, entered the final 100m of the race behind Dominican Republic’s Juander Santos. Both were level at the final hurdle, but Santos clipped it and fell. Dos Santos won comfortably over USA’s Amere Lattin (48.98).

This is the fifth time that dos Santos improves his own South American U20 record in 2019. This season he also won the South American title, the Pan American U20 Championships and the World University Games. His 48.45 clocking places him third at the all-time U20 lists, while his victory in Lima makes him the second Brazilian to win the 400m hurdles after the three titles by Eronilde de Araújo (1991, 1995, 1999).

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica waits for the start of a women's 200m semifinal.

Meanwhile, Jamaica will have two qualifiers in the 200m finals, which are scheduled for Friday.

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce easily advanced to the medal round of the women's 200m after winning the first semi-final in 22.90, well clear of second-place Ángela Tenorio (23.16) of Ecuador. Marileidy Paulino (23.40) finished third and secured her spot on time.

Fraser-Pryce's teammate Schillonie Calvert-Powell (23.46)  failed to progress after finishing fourth in the third and final heat won by Brazil's Vitória  Cristina Rosa in a personal best 22.72.

US college athlete Andre Ewers is the other Jamaican in the 200m final. The 24-year-old advanced to the men's 200m medal round on time after finishing third in heat 2 in 20.69 seconds. Cuba's Reynier Mena won the heat in 20.56.

Julian Forte (21.18) crashed out following a fourth-place finish in the first semi-final won by Ecuador's Alex Quinonez in 20.41, the fastest qualifying time going into the final.

The six medals on the day kept Jamaica 14th in the medal standings with a haul of 14 (4 gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze). Track and field accounted for 12 of the medals

Boxer Ricardo Brown (bronze) and diver Yona Knight-Wisdom  (silver in the one-metre springboard diving competition) accounted for Jamaica's two other medals.

The USA are leading the medal table with 208 (82 gold, 69 silver and 56 bronze). Brazil are second with 115 (36 gold, 28  silver and 51 bronze).

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