bajan moves on to next round in 400m hurdles at iaaf juniors
BARCELONA – Barbados had mixed fortunes today as competition in the IAAF World Junior Championships entered its second day in Barcelona, Spain.
Kion Joseph finished second in his 400m hurdles heat in a time of 52.29, running out of lane 8, to advance to the next round. Winning the heat was American Eric Futch in a time of 51.82 while Kenya’s Francis Mutunga was third in a time of 52.31.
Joseph, who ran a then personal best last year of 52.47 to win a Pan Am bronze medal, just got ahead of the Kenyan at the finish line to take the second position.
His compatriot, and fellow 400m hurdler Tremaine Headley, however, did not fare so well. Running out of lane 7 in the first heat of the day, Headley finished down the order in fifth position in a time of 52.56. That heat was won by Slovenia’s Mitja Lindic in 51.16 with Oskari Moro of Finland finishing in third spot in 51.65 seconds.
Meanwhile, Adam Gemili with a supercharged mid-race burst became the fourth Briton to win a coveted IAAF World Junior Championships 100 metres gold medal.
Gemili at the same venue where one of his idols Linford Christie won the 1992 Games gold medal over the distance, himself did it in magnificent style with a personal best time of 10.05, erasing the Championships record of 10.09 which Trinidad and Tobago’s Darrrel Brown achieved in Kingston a decade ago.
The Briton’s remarkable performance where he really erupted at the 60m point to draw away from the talented field, saw him drag the USA’s Aaron Ernest and Odean Skeen of Jamaica, to lifetime best marks of 10.17 and 10.28.
Gemili who only emerged as a top flight sprinter this year after forsaking a football career and came to Catalonia as his country’s quickest senior sprinter this year with a time of 10.08, followed in the footsteps of past Brit gold medalists. He emulated the feats of Christian Malcolm, Mark Lewis-Francis and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey.
In the women’s 100 metres few would have bet against Anthonique Strachan becoming Bahamas’ first ever 100m gold medalist after she produced an incredible semi-final performance clocking 11.68 into a headwind of -2.6m/s.
Less than an hour later the world leader lived up to everyone’s expectations although as in her heat the previous day she had a terrible start and was the last out of the blocks before gaining her equilibrium.
That saw Strachan streak down the home straight and slice 0.02 off the previous fastest world time she set in March this year with a mark of 11.20.
World number four Nimet Karakus from Turkey was a solid runner-up in 11.36 while Brazil’s Tamiris De Liz who set a personal best of 11.42 to win her semi-final was 0.03 slower in taking the bronze medal.
Gunnar Nixon clinched the Decathlon gold medal after a very tense 1500m contest where he had to defeat Jake Stein by 15 seconds to become the first ever American gold medalist.
Both multi-eventers produced their fastest ever metric mile times but a vastly superior Nixon ran 4:22.36 while his Australian rival more suited to the strength events recorded only 4:46.05 to surrender his lead. (WG/IAAF)