Gaither fails to make 100m final

DOHA, Qatar – Tynia Gaither came up short of making her first-ever major meet final of the women’s 100 meters (m) on Sunday, bowing out on the semis at the 17th International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) World Championships here in Doha, Qatar.

In her opening round heat on Saturday she clocked 11.24 seconds, and then came back on Sunday at the Khalifa International Stadium and crossed the finish line in 11.20 seconds. She was fifth in her semifinal heat and failed to move on to the final which was also held last night. Gaither ended up tied for 13th overall.

“I feel like it definitely could have been better but the season doesn’t always play out like you want it to,” she said. “You have to be able to take the good with the bad and take what you can from it. My start just wasn’t there tonight. I was really flat and I just didn’t put the pieces together like I wanted to. I feel like my finish was a little better than it was in the opening round. I’m not satisfied, but I’m grateful.”

Gaither, who had a busy season running both the 100 and 200m, said she just tried to push as hard as she could and focus on her race, but added that it was hard for her to recover from a start that wasn’t her best.

She came into the race with a personal best time of 11.04 seconds that was ran in Montverde, Florida, USA, in July. She has always had more success in the 200m, but said she felt she was really progressing in the shorter race this season. However, making her first-ever global meet final in the 100m just wasn’t to be, and now she will have to focus on the 200m that got started today. She was already running in her first-ever 100m semifinals at the world championships and wanted to take it a step further but fell short last night.

Winning Gaither’s semifinal heat was Marie-Josee Ta Lou, of the Ivory Coast, in 10.87 seconds. Jamaican double sprint Olympic Champion Elaine Thompson crossed the finish line in 11 seconds flat, grabbing the second automatic qualifying spot for the final in that heat.

Overall, Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a seven-time gold medalist at the world championships, was the top qualifier for the final, running 10.81 seconds. European Champion Dina Asher-Smith, of Great Britain, and Ta Lou, were tied for the second-fastest time in the semis. The 10.87 mark for Asher-Smith was a season’s best time for her.

Between the two races, Gaither ran more than 30 times this year, but she said she trains for a heavy workload and it’s the volume of work that she puts in that keeps her going and helps her to progress further.

“This is probably one of the longest seasons that we have all had, but I’m not tired at all. I still have the 200 to go so I’m looking forward to that and finishing strong,” she said. “I just want to thank you guys (in The Bahamas) for the continued support. We love you guys and we hope that we are making you proud.”

Gaither and Anthonique Strachan will represent The Bahamas in the opening round heats of the women’s 200m today.

Gaither is another one of the athletes on Team Bahamas from Grand Bahama and said that no matter what happens in the 200m, her overall goal is just to represent the Northern Bahamas well in the wake of the devastation and destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian at the beginning of September.

The women’s 200m heats get underway at 5:05 p.m. today in Doha, 10:05 a.m. back in The Bahamas.

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Sheldon Longley

Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.

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