Monday 30 March, 2020

Tyreke Wilson wins Jamaica's first medal in Kenya

Tyreke Wilson (right) of Jamaica.

Tyreke Wilson (right) of Jamaica.

Tyreke Wilson secured Jamaica's first medal at the 10th and final IAAF World Under-18 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya with a third place finish in the boys' 100-metre final on the opening day of competition on Wednesday.

Wilson, who was the gold medal favourite, ended up with the bronze behind the South African pair of Tshenolo Lemao and Retshidisitswe Mlenga.

The Jamaican crossed the line in 10.65 seconds after he had earlier clocked 10.47 seconds to beat the eventual gold medal winner Lemao (10.50)  in the semi-finals.

Lemao delivered a historic performance, becoming the first South African athlete to win a world 100m title in any age division.

In fact, South Africa had never before won a 100m medal of any colour at the World U18 Championships, but on Wednesday they secured the top two spots.

Lemao clocked 10.57 seconds for the victory and Mlenga recorded 10.61 for the silver medal.

Earlier, world leader 15-year-old Kevona Davis of Jamaica made her way safely through to the semifinals of the women's 100m.

Davis dipped under 12 seconds to win her heat in 11.88 seconds, the second fastest qualifying time going into the semi-finals on Thursday.

Brazil's Lorraine Martins was the fastest of the qualifiers. She won her heat in 11.85.

Turkey's Mizgin Ay (11.92) also dipped under 12 seconds to win her heat.

During the morning session,  Jamaican Anthony Cox delivered a stunning effort in the men's 400m heats to shatter his personal best of 47.05, completing the one-lap dash in 46.53.

He was the only boy to run faster than 47 seconds, sticking up his hand as one of the contenders for the podium, though he will need to shake himself off and negotiate his way through the semifinals on Thursday's second day to ensure his place in the final.

The other Jamaican quarter-miler Antonio Watson won his heat in 47.22 to advance to the semi-finals with the second fastest qualifying time behind his countryman Cox.

In the first round of the girls' 400m sprint, all the medal contenders made their way safely through to the semifinals.

Jamaican Shaquena Foote clocked 55.18 seconds for second place in Heat 3 behind Dominican Milagros Duran, who won easily in 55.05.

The Jamaican has the seventh fastest qualifying time entering the semi-finals.

Kenyan Mary Moraa won her heat in a personal best of 54.07 to progress as the fastest qualifier for the penultimate round, with the first four runners in her race setting career records.

The only disappointment for Jamaica on the first day came from Kimone Reid, who failed to get out of the qualifying  round of the girl's discus.

Reid finished in 15 position with an effort of 40.84m

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.

Thursday's second day of the five-day championships  is scheduled to begin at 9:30 am (1:30 am Jamaica time).

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