Perfect opening for Jamaica at Pan-American Champs

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Perfect opening for Jamaica at Pan-American Champs

Friday, July 19, 2019

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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — It was a perfect opening session for Jamaica as all 11 athletes who competed, advanced to their respective finals on this evening's second session of the 20thPan-American championships at the national stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Led by sprinters Oblique Seville and IAAF World Under-20 double sprint champion Briana Williams, the Jamaicans are looking forward to start winning medals as of this afternoon when they will feature in nine finals.

Quarter-miler Bovel McPherson ran a personal best 46.16 seconds for second place in his semi-final heat.

In addition to the finals of the men's and women's 100 metre, men's and women's 400m, men's 110m hurdles and women's 100m hurdles which had their semi-finals this morning, Jamaicans will also take part in the men's and women's long jump and men's discus throw as well as the semi-finals of the men's 800m.

“We had a very good morning,” head coach Michael McIntosh told OBSERVER ONLINE after the first session, “Obviously all 11 athletes advanced to the finals, and that was the aim.”

McIntosh had high praises for McPherson who went under his previous best of 46.28 seconds set at the JAAA National Trials last month.

“Tonight we intend to push harder,” McIntosh said, “we have to let it all go as we hope to get some medals and set the stage for more success this weekend.”

The men's 100m is set to be one of the main events and both Seville and Michael Stephens won their semi-final heats this morning.

Seville had a wind aided 10.21 seconds (3.5m/s), the fastest, and Michael Stephens ran 10.43 seconds (1.4m/s)while the USA's Matthew Boling, favourite for gold to many here, ran 10.23 seconds (0.9m/s) to win his semis.

Williams, the first Jamaican on the track today, ran 11.52 (1.7m/s) seconds for second in her semi-final,to Brazil's Lorraine Barbosa Martines -- 11.42 seconds -- before Kemba Nelson took third in her semis in a wind-aided 11.58 (4.9m/s) to qualify on time.

American Brandee Presley was the fastest in the semis with 11.24 seconds (4.9m/s).

Despite not having a 'clean' race, Akeem Cargill was the fastest in the semis of the men's 110m hurdles, winning in 13.40 seconds (1.4m/s) and said he was not pleased with his race, hitting some hurdles late.

Ackera Nugent — 13.33 seconds — (0.9m/s) and NACAC Under-18 champion Crystal Morrison --13.49 seconds — (1.1m/s) were both second in their respective semi-finals and are through to the medal round.

Nugent who was second at the NACAC Under-18, was the second fastest in the event, behind American Jasmin Jones in 13.27 (0.9m/s).

Anthony Cox won his 400m semis in 45.98 seconds, second best of the morning behind the USA's Justin Robinson 45.96 seconds while McPherson was second in his semis.

Shaqueena Foote third in her women's 400m heat in 52.94 seconds and Anna-Kay Allen ran 54.35 seconds for fifth in her heat but still made it to the finals with the slowest qualifying time.

Paul A Reid

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