Antoine Andrews has struck gold at the World Junior Championships!
The Bahamian junior hurdler knew regardless of what happened in the men’s 110 meters (m) hurdles final at the World Athletics U20 (Under-20) Championships last night, he would have left the event as one of the more accomplished Bahamian young men in the history of the championships.
Chasing former national record holder Shamar Sands as the only Bahamian to win a medal in that event at the World Junior Championships, Andrews came through in flying colors, duplicating the medal feat at the Estadio Olímpico Pascual Guerrero in Cali, Colombia. Sands won bronze in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2002, and Andrews took it a step further last night, winning gold.
The Bahamian teenager was fantastic, equaling an under-20 world-leading time of 13.23 seconds for the gold medal. It’s also a new junior national record, improving on the 13.36 run he had in the first round heats. American Malik Mixon won the silver medal in a personal best time of 13.27 seconds, and Matthew Sophia, of the Netherlands, settled for the bronze, in 13.34 seconds. Sophia has also run 13.23 seconds this season, but last night belonged to the Bahamian.
Following a rain delay, Andrews went out there and did what he had to do. Running out of the center of the track in lane four, he got out of the blocks quickly like he usually does, maintained his composure over the 10 hurdles and paced himself to the gold medal.
It’s the first gold medal in any hurdles event for The Bahamas in a global championships, and the 10th medal in the history of the World Junior Championships for The Bahamas – five gold and five bronze.
Andrews has had a fantastic meet so far, running 13.36 seconds in the heats, 13.39 seconds in the semis, and now a new junior national record world-leading time of 13.23 seconds in the final. It’s the three fastest times in his career and the three fastest times by a Bahamian junior in the history of that event.
With tremendous speed in the flat 100 as well, Andrews is expected to run a leg of the sprint relay that will commence this afternoon.
Javonya Valcourt was in action in the women’s 400m semifinals and ran a personal best time of 54.89 seconds but she brought up the rear in her semifinal heat in eighth. Valcourt, just 17-years-old, finished 22nd overall.
In the men’s 200m, Wanya McCoy finished third in his first-round heat to grab one of the automatic qualifying spots for the semifinals. He was timed in 21.38 seconds. McCoy came back in the semis and ran a time of 21.23 seconds, failing to get into the final. He finished seventh in his semifinal heat and was 20th overall.
Shimar Bain ran in the qualifying round of the men’s 400m hurdles. Bain was seventh in his heat and finished 32nd overall in 52.88 seconds, failing to advance to the semifinals.
Competing today for The Bahamas will be Keyshawn Strachan in the qualifying rounds of the men’s javelin, Paige Archer and Lacarthea Cooper in the women’s 200m heats, and the men and women’s 4x100m relay teams.
Strachan, number two in the world rankings as listed by World Athletics Top Lists for 2022, will be the second thrower in Group A of the men’s javelin qualifying competition. That competition will get underway at 10 a.m. this morning and just the 12 best throwers, or an automatic qualifying distance of 72.50m (237’ 10”), will qualify for the final. Strachan has a personal best national record throw of 79.89m (262’ 1”) that was done at the CARIFTA Games in Kingston, Jamaica, in April. The final of the men’s javelin is set for 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Friday.
In the women’s 200m heats today, Archer will run out of lane five in the second of six first-round heats at 12:57 p.m. today. Cooper will run out of lane four in the fourth heat at 1:11 p.m. today. The top three in each heat and the next six fastest times will move on to the semifinals which are set to get underway at 6:15 p.m. this evening.
The Bahamas women’s 4x100m relay team will hit the track at 4 p.m. this afternoon, running out of lane five in the first of three heats. Just the top two in each heat and the next two fastest times will move on to the final which is set for Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The Bahamas men’s 4x100m relay team will run in the heats of that event at 5:25 p.m. this afternoon. The Bahamas will be in lane three in the first of four heats. The country will face a tough task as just the winner in each heat and the next four fastest times will advance to the final which is set for 8 p.m. Friday.
A total of 11 athletes are representing The Bahamas at the World Junior Championships – seven young men and four young women. The Head Coach of the team is Corrington Maycock and he is assisted by Daron Lightbourne and John Ingraham.
Overall, there are over 1,500 athletes representing 145 nations in 45 events at the World Junior Championships. It is the preeminent meet for under-20 athletes in athletics in the world.