Athletics

Off to Finland!

Seven western-based athletes named on team for IAAF World Under-20

BY PAUL A REID
Observer West writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, July 05, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Seven athletes from the western region are part of the Jamaican team that will start leaving the island today for the IAAF World Under- 20 championships in Tampere, Finland. The championships takes place from July 10-15.

The St Elizabeth Technical pair of Leonardo Ledgister and Stacey-Anne Williams, the Petersfield duo of Shaquena Foote and Okera Myrie, as well as Cornwall College's Owayne Owens were named in the 42-member team last week, following the four-day JAAA National Championships held at the National Stadium from June 21-24.

Joining them will be former Rusea's High School's high jumper Lamara Distin and former Mt Alvernia High sprinter Kemba Nelson, who will be making her first national team.

Williams was a part of the silver medal -winning women's 4x400m team when the championships were held two years ago in Bydgoszcz, Poland, while Foote and Owens were members of the Jamaica team that took part at last year's IAAF World Under-18 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.

Foote, a relay medallist in the Mixed 4x400m in Nairobi, Kenya, last year, was a double winner at the JAAA National Championships as she won the Under-20 girls 400m in 54.17 seconds and the 800m in a new personal best time of 2 minutes 05.79 seconds.

Myrie, a Carifta Games medallist, was also a double champion at the meet as she took the Under-20 girls sprint double the 100m in 10.53 seconds and the 200m in 23.51 seconds.

Owens, who was fifth in Nairobi and the only male triple jumper named on the team, leapt to a personal best 15.70m to win the Under-20 boys' event his second national title, after winning the youth championships last year.

Owens, who also won the event at the Penn Relays in late April, achieved the qualifying mark in the first round when he landed at 15.60m, before ending the competition with a jump which was 10-centimetres longer.

Distin, who attended Corinaldi Avenue Primary, won the Under-20 girls high jump with a personal best equal 1.85m, the fifth best jump in the world among Under -20 women.

Ledgister was second in the Under-20 boys' 400m hurdles running 50.31 seconds — beaten by Calabar's Malik James-King and beating Rhodes Hall High's Rovane Williams, who was third — despite having earlier in the years run 49.94 seconds, the only Jamaican junior under the 50.00 seconds barrier.

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