DOHA, Qatar – Sucking it up as a learning experience in his first-ever world global meet, Terrence Jones said that it is something that he could build on. He was disqualified in his opening round heat of the men’s 200 meters (m) at the 17th International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) World Championships at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday.
The 17-year-old youngster, who is still listed as the fastest youth athlete in the world this year in the 200m, stepped on the line coming around the bend in his heat on Sunday and was subsequently disqualified. He had crossed the finish line in 21.40 seconds in eighth place before the disqualification was announced.
Jones, who won gold in the under-20 boys 400m at CARIFTA this year, said that he enjoyed the experience of his first-ever world championships and is looking forward to representing the country at this level for many years to come. Prior to this season, he had never made a world under-18 or world under-20 team much less a senior world championships team. He said that he is grateful for the season that he had, undoubtedly making progress in both the 200 and 400m.
“First of all, I’m extremely grateful to be given this opportunity to come out here to run against these professional athletes and just do my best,” he said. “I was satisfied. I didn’t know I was going to run that fast because I am in
offseason, so I’m grateful to be able to run 21-low. I’m going to take this experience, move on and hopefully get ready for Tokyo 2020.”
As mentioned, Jones had shut down his season. In his previous race up to this point, he ran that sensational junior national record time of 20.43 seconds at the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations’ (BAAA) Senior National Championships in July – a time which earned him an invitation to these senior world championships.
At CARIFTA in George Town, Cayman Islands, in April, he ran a personal best time of 46.29 seconds in the under-20 boys 400m for the junior regional title in that event.
Being from Grand Bahama, he said he wanted to come out and represent the Northern Bahamas well at these world championships given what happened in the passing of Hurricane Dorian at the beginning of September, but in all things, he is grateful and looking forward to his continued progression.
“I feel blessed,” he said. “I’m still extremely confident despite. I always try to stay confident and focused. I just wanted to come out here, perform well, and show all Bahamians that we are strong and will represent them well. This is definitely something that I could learn from and come back even stronger,” he added.
Winning Jones’ heat on Sunday was Adam Gemili, of Great Britain, in a season’s best time of 20.06 seconds. Gemili actually had the fastest qualifying time for today’s semifinals. Defending World Champion Ramil Guliyev, of Turkey, settled for second in 20.27 seconds, and Taymir Burnet, of the Netherlands, grabbed the third automatic qualifying spot in that heat, in 20.37 seconds.
As for Jones, he said he’ll now prepare for his senior year at Tabernacle Baptist Academy in Freeport, Grand Bahama, and attempt to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. At just 17, he still has two more seasons remaining as a junior athlete, and is eligible for CARIFTA through the 2021 season.
The qualifying times for next year’s Olympic Games are 20.24 seconds in the men’s 200m and 44.90 seconds in the men’s 400m. Jones’ personal best times are 20.43 and 46.29 in those two events respectively.