A personal best from Barbadian Jonathan Jones made him the fastest qualifier through to the next round of the 400 metres at the IAAF World Under 20 Championship at the Ratina Stadium in Tampere, Finland, this morning.
Running in the fifth heat of the event, Jones stopped the clock in 46.05, well ahead of the United States’ Howard Fields, who hit the line more than a second later in 47.08. The other qualifier from that heat was Germany’s Jean Paul Bredau in 47.11.
In the meantime, pre-race favourite Christopher Taylor barely broke a sweat as he shut down in 46.14 to win heat six of the event and drag Italy’s Edoardo Scotti to a personal best 46.52. Switzerland’s Ricky Petrucciani 47.03 was the third automatic qualifier from the heat.
“I’m just very excited. I needed to come out here and qualify for the next round and I did that,” said Taylor after the race.
“This competition means a lot to me, knowing that I am the champion from World Youths in 2015,” he said.
Despite Jones’ impressive run, Taylor was still confident of bringing home a gold medal.
“Once I am focused I should be able to pull it out,” he added.
Australia’s Christopher Davis had to wait for the final heat to confirm his spot but made it through as one of the fastest losers.
Another Jamaica, Chantz Sawyers, is also through to the next round, clocking 46.52 to win heat four ahead of South Africa’s Gabriel Louw(47.32) and Poland’s Szymon Kreft (47.35). Serbia’s Boski Kijanovic, with a personal best of 47.42 qualified from a non-automatic spot with his time.
There was some disappointment for the Caribbean during the heats as the Bahamas’ Correy Shod will not take further part in the 400s, having finished fourth in the first heat of the day. Sherrod, clocked 48.22 and was very quickly out of the race for a best loser spot.
The heat was won by Canada’s Khamal Stewart-Baynes in 47.10, While Bahrain’s Musa Isah was second in 47.50. The third and final qualifier came from Panama in the form of Antonio Grant, who stopped the clock in 47.64 seconds.