Source: Jamaica Gleaner
THE JAMAICAN fans in Hayward Field didn’t have to wait long to see their women display their strengths in the 100-metre heats on yesterday’s second day of the World Athletics Championships.
Reigning World 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is hoping that they have a good seat to witness something special and she gave a preview, strolling to victory in 10.87 seconds to win her first-round heat.
With purple hair flowing, Fraser-Pryce said she felt comfortable in the race and is appreciative of those who made the trip to see the women impose their authority in these championships
“I was trying to execute as easy as possible and as slow as possible. I felt OK. I have to go back and look at the start because from my angle, I couldn’t see the start properly,” Fraser-Pryce said.
“The Jamaican fans are a big addition to the championships. Having so many of them make the trip wonderful. I am glad they are able to see us, especially at a time when we are planning to dominate.”
On her birthday, national double sprint champion Shericka Jackson clocked 11.02 for a comfortable win in her heat. Double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson Herah won her heat in 11.15. Kemba Nelson made her senior team debut, clocking 11.10 to finish third and automatic qualify for tomorrow’s semi-finals which start at 7:33 p.m.
Nelson, the University of Oregon graduate, said that despite being back at Hayward Field to compete, she knew that it was not business as usual.
“Maybe because I know it is the World Championships and not a regular meet here. The start was there but I don’t think I transitioned very well. But I finished in the top three and the nerves are gone now,” Nelson said.
It was a landmark day in the field events as World Championship silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts, Kimberly Williams and Ackelia Smith advanced to tomorrow’s women’s triple jump final, the biggest number for the country in a major championship.
Ricketts advanced third from Group A with a 14.45-metre jump, her first and only effort, while compatriot Ackelia Smith measured a distance of 14.36 for a personal-best effort on her very final attempt. Smith qualified in one of the non-automatic spots in eighth overall. Williams advanced from Group B with a non-automatic qualifying distance of 14.27 in 12th overall.
Smith said that she was privileged to share the stage with Ricketts and Williams, who have inspired her athletic journey.
“Growing up I have looked up to those ladies. I have watched their jumps a million times and being able to compete with them, it’s a great honour,” Smith said.
Two Jamaicans will be in the women’s high jump final as national record holder Lamara Distin and national champion Kimberly Williamson, both advanced after the first round. Distin, who is ranked fourth in the world this year, with a best mark of 1.97 metres, cleared the bar at 1.90m while competing in Group A. Williamson also cleared the bar at 1.90 from Group B and is pleased with the milestone the two have reached.
“This is history. I am really happy that both Lamara and I got through because that was the goal. After all, I knew that all season Lamara has been consistent at 1.95. So I didn’t have any doubt that she would make it. My goal was to just be there with her in the final,” Williamson said.
Tokyo Olympic champion Hansle Parchment, and compatriots Rasheed Broadbell and Orlando Bennett qualified for today’s semi-finals of the men’s 110m hurdles. Parchment, the fastest Jamaican in the event this year, won heat four in 13.17 seconds, the second-fastest time of the round.
Broadbell finished second in heat one in 13.36 while running from lane eight. He was beaten by the United States of America’s (USA) Trey Cunningham (13.28), while Great Britain’s Andrew Pozzi was third in 13.45. Bennett was fifth in his heat, advancing as a non-automatic qualifier in 13.55.
National 400m hurdles champion Jaheel Hyde along with Kemar Mowatt and Shawn Rowe advanced to the semi-finals of the men’s 400m hurdles. Hyde automatically qualified, clocking 50.03 to finish third in his heat, which included Olympic champion and world record holder Karsten Warholm, who won in 49.34.
Mowat clocked 49.44 for a second-place finish while Rowe’s time of 49.51 was good enough to advance as a non-automatic qualifier.
Today’s opening session will see the 400m men and women featuring national champions Jevaughn Powell, and Candice McLeod, as well as women’s team captain Stephenie-Ann McPherson, world championship debutant Charokee Young, and Christopher Taylor.
The men’s heats start at 1:05 p.m., while the women’s heats begin at 2: 00 p.m.
The men’s discus qualification round will start at 8:30 p.m. with Fedrick Dacres, Traves Smikle and Chad Wright, who arrived late to camp because of visa issues.