Caption: Jason Rodgers (second from left) competing in the Men’s 100m Semi-Finals on Tuesday August 6, 2019 in Lima, Peru. (Photo: LIMA 2019)
St. Kitts and Nevis will get a chance win its first medal at the 2019 Pan Am Games in Peru, after Jason Rogers qualified for the finals of the Men’s 100m. As coach Lonzo Wilkinson predicted, Jason is focused and ready to medal and would make the finals. Despite not having any competition before the Pan Am Games due to the fact he just recovered from injury, Jason managed to finish third in his semi-final heat to be the only athlete in the final that does not have a season best. “I’m feeling really good that I finished third place and made it through the finals but I am not as happy with the time. I think the time could have been better and execution could have been better as well. I am glad to make it through the finals so in the finals I just want to get a better time, execute better, clean up the start and everything should be good,” he said. Cehjae Greene of Antigua and Barbuda won that semi-final heat with a time of 10.31 followed closely by American Cravon Gillepsie with a time of 10.32.
He believes if he had gotten some competition under his belt for the year, he would have performed better. “This is my first race for the year and if I had a few races—about three, four races before this meet, I would have been in a better position…I have to take what I have and make it work,” he said.
Jason is confident he will medal come Wednesday when the finals runs at 5:52pm Eastern Caribbean time (4:52 Peruvian time). “For the semis I just wanted to feel my body, feel the race and get back that feeling and (Wednesday) I should feel much better and I think I have a good chance of getting a medal and that’s what I am going for,” he said.
The two St. Kitts and Nevis female athletes were not that fortunate as both Shenel Crooke in the 100m and Reanda Richards for the 400m hurdles finished last in their respective semi-finals. Shenel ran a time of 12.36 seconds in a race won by Carly Emmanuel running a time of 11.48 seconds. After the race in the mix zone, Shenel said she executed her start as planned but the race did not come together as it did in training. “I feel like I executed my start today. I ran really well and what I have been working on in practice really showed. After the start it was a little bit difficult for me towards the end of the race. I wasn’t performing the way I thought I would, especially based on how practice was going but overall I think I executed the best as I could but unfortunately the result was not what I wanted.”
Meanwhile Reanda Richards ran a time of 52.49 seconds from lane 8 in a race won by Grace Claxton of Puerto Rico. A total of five athletes qualified from Reanda’s group, as the top three qualifiers were joined by the two fastest losers, making it a very tough group for Reanda. For Wednesday’s 100m finals, Jason will be running from lane two. He will be up against: Keston Bledman of Trinidad and Tobago in lane 3, Rodrigo do Nascimen of Brazil in lane 4, Paulo Braandre of Brazil in lane 5, Cejhae Greene of Antigua and Barbuda in lane 6, Michael Rodgers of the USA in lane 7 Ray Dwyer of Jamaica in lane 8 and Cravon Gillepsie of the US in lane 9.