Photo: Nathon Allen and Demish Gaye competing at the national championships in June.
After running personal bests to qualify for the finals of the men’s 400m at the IAAF World Championships, both Nathon Allen and Demish Gaye finished just outside the medals on Tuesday, placing fifth and sixth respectively in a race won by Olympic champion Wayde Van Niekerk of South Africa in 43.97s. Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas was second in 44.41 and Abdalelah Haroun of Qatar ran on late to snatch the bronze in a season’s best 44.48s.
Van Niekerk was the overwhelming favourite going into the final especially after the IAAF denied the main challenger, Isaac Makwala of Botswana the chance to run citing that the athlete was carrying a contagious virus. Van Niekerk duly obliged, winning by a clear five meters. Allen running in lane 6 tried his best to stay with the winner but found the going tough in the home stretch and was unable to hold on. Gaye produced his usual late surge but it was too little too late. It was clear that the rounds had taken a toll on the legs of the two youngsters as they both ran their slowest times in the final. Allen finished in 44.88 and Gaye in 45.04.
All three women advanced to the semifinals of the 200m, Jodean Williams on time, after finishing fifth in 23.38 in heat one, Shashalee Forbes was third in 23.26 in heat three and the veteran Simone Facey second in 22.98 in heat 4.
The ladies were not as lucky in the 400m hurdles semifinals as only Ristananna Tracey made it to the final eight. Leah Nugent has not been in the form that saw her qualify for the Jamaican World Championships team, finishing sixth in 56.19 in semifinal one. Tracey showed her class once again in winning the second semifinal in 54.79s. Rhonda Whyte was disqualified in heat three.
Danniel Thomas-Dodd advanced to today’s final of the women’s shot put with a qualifying throw of 18.42m but her teammate Gleneve Grange could only muster 15.96m and failed to progress. Jamaica will be represented in other finals today, by Kemar Mowatt in the 400m hurdles final and Shericka Jackson, Novelene Williams-Mills and Stephenie-Ann McPherson in the women’s 400m which is the final event of the evening.
The first athlete on show on day six for Jamaica will be Aisha Praught in heat two of the women’s 3000m steeplechase, followed by Kemoy Campbell in heat two of the men’s 500m.