OLYMPICS – Caribbean’s athletes have mixed results
Ristananna Tracey was the quickest of the qualifiers through to the semi-finals of the 400-metres hurdles at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last night.
Tracey ran the first heat from lane 8 and forced to push the pace early to ensure she was a comfortable qualifier.
Her 54.88 put her in front of potential medallist, the Czech Republic’s Zuzana Hejnova, who looked comfortable in 55.54.
Cuba’s Zurian Hechavarria was seventh in 57.28 seconds.
Janieve Russell of Jamaica was also a comfortable qualifier, finishing second in 56.13 seconds, behind Poland’s Joanna Linkiewicz.
The heat was too slow though, and led to the demise of Barbados Tia-Adana Belle, whose fourth place finish and time of 56.68 meant she was out.
Sparkle McKnight of Trinidad and Tobago was also out, her 56.80 and fifth place finish not good enough.
There was to be some good news for the Caribbean though, as Puerto Rico’s Grace Claxton finished third in 56.40 to earn an automatic qualification spot.
Controversy surrounded the Jamaica’s third qualifier, who ran from Heat 3, Leah Nugent.
Nugent finished in second place in the heat, coming across the line in 55.66 behind Ashley Spencer.
However, at the end of the race, she was said to have been disqualified for carrying her trail leg around a hurdle and lower than that hurdle.
However, upon appeal, Nugent was re-instated and takse her place in the semi-final.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Janeil Bellille also qualified after finishing fourth in 56.25.
Jamaica has continued to show themselves a dangerous unit, with Omar McLeod the fastest athlete into the semifinals of the 110 metre hurdles in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
McLeod took on the first heat of the night and eased to victory, taking control of the race early to come across the tape in 13.27 seconds.
The former NCAA champion, who has not been beaten once he has crossed the tape this year, ran during rain.
That rain got heavier for the second heat and Jamaica’s Deuce Carter found himself out after losing his rhythm. Though he crossed the line, his heat recorded him as being disqualified.
Jhoanis Portilla of Cuba was also in that heat but finished fifth and out of the event.
The event was put on hold on account of the rain when another Jamaican, Andrew Riley stepped onto the track.
Disaster seemed to be in his future, as the Jamaican hit the first three hurdles but recovered to finish third in 13.52 seconds. He is through to the semifinals.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Mikel Thomas was sixth in 13.68 and will take no further part in the event.