IAAF World U20s get underway in Finland
It was a bittersweet start for Team Bahamas at the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) World U20 Championships, which got underway yesterday in Tampere, Finland, as one athlete made it through to the semifinals of the boys 100 meters (m) while the other did not.
As the country celebrated its 45th independence on Tuesday, Joel Johnson and Adrian Curry were looking to get Team Bahamas off to a fast start at the World U20s.
Curry was up first, running out of lane seven in heat one, and it just wasn’t his day as he crossed the finish line in a modest 10.70 seconds. He was sixth in his heat and will not run in today’s semis.
Johnson was a different story. He nearly matched his personal best, finishing second in his opening round heat and qualifying for the semis with the fifth fastest time. Johnson appeared to pull a muscle as he crossed the finish line, but still finished in an impressive 10.34 seconds to trail just Jamaican Michael Stephens to the tape. Stephens won the heat in a personal best time of 10.30 seconds, just squeezing past Johnson in the final 10 meters of the race. Johnson reached for his hamstring as he crossed in 10.34. The world leader, Anthony Schwartz of the United States, was third in that heat in 10.40 seconds.
Stephens and Lalu Muhammad Zohri, of Indonesia, qualified for the semis with the fastest time, both running 10.30 seconds. Zohri was in the same heat as Curry.
Johnson will run in the second of three semifinal heats today. He will run out of the center of the track in lane four, right next to Stephens. That race will be held at 10:58 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) in The Bahamas. The local time in Tampere is seven hours ahead of EST here in The Bahamas. Just like he did in the first round, Johnson will have to get out to a quick start in the semis and maintain that pace as just the top two in each semifinal heat, and the next two fastest times out of all the heats, will qualify for the final.
The final is also set for today, 1:05 p.m. EST in The Bahamas.
Also in action today for The Bahamas’ 12-member team are Denvaughn Whymns and Oscar Smith in the opening round heats of the boys 110m hurdles, Corey Sherrod in the heats of the boys 400m and Jaida Knowles in the heats of the girls 100m.
By the time most read this article, Whymns and Smith would have completed their first round heats of the boys 110m hurdles; Sherrod would have ran in his heat of the boys 400m and Knowles would have completed her heat of the girls 100m.
First up today is Whymns. He runs out of lane seven in the second of seven first round heats at 2:37 a.m. EST in The Bahamas. The other Bahamian in that event, Smith, runs out of lane four in heat five at 2:58 a.m. EST in The Bahamas. The top three in each heat and the next three fastest times move on to the semis which will get underway at 9:40 a.m. EST today.
In the boys 400m, Sherrod runs out of lane seven in the first of seven opening round heats. His race was at 4:20 a.m. EST in The Bahamas. Just the first three in each heat and the next three fastest times move on to the semis which will be held at 12:40 p.m. EST tomorrow.
Knowles lines up in the fifth of five first round heats in the girls 100m today. She runs out of lane six, and her race was held at 5:59 a.m. EST today. The first four in each heat and the next four fastest times move on to the semis which are set for tomorrow. The girls 100m semis will get underway at 11:00 a.m. EST tomorrow. The final will also be held tomorrow, set for 2:15 p.m.