Thursday 21 February, 2019

Xavier Naire qualifies for 200m semis at World Under-20 Championships

Jamaican Xavier Naire to compete in the men's 200m semi-finals later at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland.

Jamaican Xavier Naire to compete in the men's 200m semi-finals later at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland.

Jamaican Xavier Naire has secured a spot in the men's 200-metre semi-finals on day three of the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland on Thursday.

Naire advanced from his heat as one of the fastest non-automatic qualifiers after failing to secure a top four spot.

The Wolmer's Boys student clocked 21.32 seconds, a time which was only good enough for fifth place in heat 3.

The British duo of Charles Dobson and Jona Efoloko led the 200m heats with identical lifetime best performances of 20.65 ahead of the United States' Khance Meyers in 20.70 and fastest entrant Eric Harrison in 20.73.

Efoloko won heat 3, while Dobson took heat 4.

After exiting in the 100m heats with a 10.70 clocking, South Africa’s Thando Dlodlo – who has run 20.41 for the 200m this season – was a non-starter in heat five.

The semi-finals will take place later with Naire competing in the second heat scheduled to start at 10:32 am Jamaica time.

Jamaican Malik James-King qualifies for the men's 400m hurdles semi-finals.

Meanwhile, the Jamaican pair of Malik James-King from Calabar High and St ElizabethTechnical High School's Leonardo Ledgister have secured automatic qualifying spots into the men's 400-metre hurdles semi-finals, which is scheduled for Friday.

James-King won heat 6 in 51.54, easily beating Japan's Yusuke Shirao (52.09) to secure the ninth fastest qualifying time going into the semi-finals; while Ledgister (51.65) was well beaten into second-place by Barbados' Rasheeme Griffith, who clocked a season best 51.02. Ledgister will enter the semi-finals with the 12th fastest qualifying time.

Kenyan Moitalel Mpoke Naadokila, who was a silver medallist – albeit a distant one – behind South Africa's Sokwakhana Zazini in Nairobi last summer at the World Under 18 championships,   was the fastest across the six heats with a lifetime best of 50.87.

Zazini hit the second hurdle but was otherwise impressive in his heat, qualifying at a canter in 51.21.

Cory Poole, who will be contesting the110m hurdles final later, opened proceedings with victory in the first heat in 52.12 but one notable absentee from the semifinal line-up is Mexico's Sergio Armando Esquivel – third on the 2018 world U20 list – who only cleared one hurdle before pulling up injured.

In the women's long jump competition both Jamaicans crashed out at the qualifying round.

Ackelia Smith finished 10th and last in Group A with a best effort of 5.90m; while Susan Francis also finished at the bottom in the other group. Francis only registered one legal jump, which was 5.47m achieved on her third and final attempt.

USA's Tara Davis led the qualifying round with a second-round jump of 6.40m.

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