File Photo: Great Britain's Mo Farah winning the 5000m at the Racers Grand Prix in Jamaica earlier this year.
Six Jamaicans out of a total of eight advanced in their respective disciplines on Friday’s opening night of the 16th IAAF World Championships in London; on the same night that Great Britain’s greatest middle distance runner of all time, Mo Farah, claimed his third World Championship 10,000 gold medal in a row, in his last World Championships.
Reigning 100m champion Usain St Leo Bolt who is also contesting his last World Championships, made progress winning heat six in 10.07 seconds ( +0.3 m/s) ahead of Great Britian’s James Dasolu (10.13) and French man Jimmy Vacaut (10.15). Bolt got off to a sluggish start and had to extend his legs over the middle part of the race to ensure the win.
Julian Forte was calm and composed in winning heat three in a personal best equaling 9.99 seconds ( 0.0m/s) to defeat the Ivory Coast’s Ben Yousset Meite 10.02 seconds and Great Britain’s Recee Prescod in 10.03 seconds.
Yohan Blake, running from lane eight, had to work hard over the last 40 meters to snatch second in his heat in 10.13 seconds ( -0.6m/s). He finished second behind Japan’s Abdul Sani Brown who won in a new personal best time of 10.05 seconds.
Senoj Jay Givans finished 7th in the first heat in a pedestrian 10.30 seconds and failed to advance to the next round of the blue riband event. The race was won by American Christian Coleman in 10.01 seconds. Former Jamaican sprinter Jak Ali Harvey, now competing for Turkey, was second in 10.13 seconds and Antigua Cejhae Greene third in 10.21 seconds.
The USA’s Justin Gatlin made progress, winning the fifth heat in 10.06 (+ 0.9m/s) ahead of Bahrain Andrew Fisher 10.19 seconds and Kukyoung Kim of Korea third in 10.24 seconds.
Damar Forbes didn’t manage to attain the qualifying mark of 8.05m in the men’s long jump, but his 7.93m final attempt was good enough to see him advancing to Saturday’s final. National champion and debutant Ramone Bailey leapt 7.76 m to finish 10th in his pool and 21st overall thus failing to make the final.
Jamaica created history on the day with both throwers making progress to the final of the Men’s Discus. National champion and world number two Fedrick Dacres produced 64.82m on his final attempt while Travis Smikle produced 63.23m, cementing their spots in the final also scheduled for Saturday’s second day.
Mo Farah produced a scintillating run to snatch the competition’s first Gold medal before his home crowd in the Men’s 10,000m final.The Olympic champion won his farewell race in that event in a sprint finish, clocking a world leading 26:49.51 seconds ahead of Uganda’s Joshua Kiprui Cheptegi, 26:49.94 seconds and Kenya’s Paul Kipngetich Tanui, 26:50.60 seconds.
O'Dayne Richards will bow into action at 4:00am local time on day two, hopeful of a podium finish after enjoying a good season in the shot put leading up to the championships. A bronze medalist in the Beijing World Championships in 2015, Richards in one of a strong field events team produced by the country known as the sprint capital of the world.
The Men's 400m heats goes off at 4:45 and will feature Demish Gay in heat 3, Steven Gayle in heat 4 and Nathon Allen in heat 6. National Champion Kimberley Williams is in flight one of the Women's Triple Jump while Shanieka Ricketts will be in flight two. Their event begins at 5:00am.
The Womens 100m sees Jura Levy in heat one, while world leader and Olympic champion Elaine Thompson goes in heat 2. Simone Facey runs in heat five while the fourth Jamaican, Natasha Morrison runs in the final heat.
The men's 100m semifinals and finals will be contested in the evening session as well as the Discus Throw and Long Jump where Jamaica are hopeful of claiming medals.