File Photo: Ristananna Tracey
Ristananna Tracey became only the third Jamaican woman to win a medal in the 400m hurdles at the World Championships when she produced a magnificent late surge to displace the defending champion Zuzana Hejnova from the last medal position and claim the second bronze medal for the country at the games in London on Thursday.
After two solid performances in the heats and semifinals where she won both races, Tracey elevated herself from a mere finalist to contender for a medal ahead of the final. The former Edwin Allen standout ran a solid back stretch to stay in touch with the leaders but was passed on the inside by Olympic champion Dalialh Muhammad on the run for home. Kori Carter, the other American running out of lane nine, also slipped away leaving the battle on for bronze.
Trailing the defending champion by a few steps in the home stretch, Tracey drew level while clearing the final hurdle before sprinting for the line to secure her first senior global medal in a personal best time of 53.74s. Carter won the gold medal in 53.07s while Muhammad was second in 53.50.
“This is my fourth World Championships and this is my first World Championship final so I am extremely grateful for this third place,” said a delighted Tracey.
Tracey was inspired by the words of her coach shortly before the final as he suggested that she was in shape to run a personal best.
“I think you are going to run a personal best and once you get a personal best, I believe you are going to be on the podium,” Maurice Wilson advised her before the race.
“I came out here and executed a good race and now I am going to be on the podium so I am grateful. I am only looking forward from this,” said the determined 25 year old.
Earlier in the evening, Kimberly Williamson was only able to clear 1.89m in the high jump and failed to advance to the final.
It was rough on the two women in the 800m as neither advanced beyond the first round. National champion Natoya Goule led heat three for most of the race but faded in the last 30m to end up in fifth in 2:01.77. The race was won by South African Caster Semenya who is one of the favourites for gold. Kimarra McDonald was ran out of her heat, finishing 7th in 2:09.19.
Despite having three women in the semifinals of the 200m, Jamaica will not have any representation in the final of the event. Shashalee Forbes who is participating in her first World Championships finished 5th in 23.09 in heat one, Simone Facey just missed a place in the final when she finished fourth in 23.01 in heat two, while the other debutant, Jodean Williams was 7th in 23.32 in heat three.
The Women’s 100m hurdles will take centre stage for Jamaica on day 8 of the championships.