Valcourt qualifies for the semifinals; female sprinters come up short
Antoine Andrews continues to build on the season of his life in athletics.
Continuing to build off a bronze medal run at the CARIFTA games earlier this year, the Bahamian junior sensation ran his second-fastest time ever in the men’s 110 meters (m) hurdles yesterday, to get into his first global final at the 2022 World Athletics U20 (Under-20) Championships at the Estadio Olímpico Pascual Guerrero in Cali, Colombia. His fastest, 13.36 seconds, was a new junior national record in the heats.
On Tuesday, day two of the championships, Andrews won his semifinal heat in 13.39 seconds, going into Wednesday’s final as the fastest qualifier. He will run out of the center of the track, in lane four, in the final which is set for 7:25 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) this evening.
The Bahamian got out of the blocks quickly, was the first to the first hurdle, and despite clipping that hurdle, it was smooth sailing the rest of the way. Andrews was clean over the remaining nine hurdles, easing up at the tape for the comfortable win. He has been totally impressive in his two runs in Cali, setting the two fastest times of his life in the hurdles, and now prepares for what could be a top three finish for him in the final.
Matthew Sophia, of the Netherlands, who ran a world-leading under-20 time of 13.10 seconds in the heats, is the second-fastest qualifier for the final, running 13.43 in the semifinals. American Malik Mixon is the third-fastest qualifier for the final, running a personal best time of 13.52 seconds in the semis. Other than those three, there is one Jamaican, two Australians, an athlete from Austria and an athlete from Serbia in the final.
Andrews is attempting to become the third Bahamian to win a medal in the men’s 110m hurdles at the World Junior Championships, following in the footsteps of Eugene Greene in Sudbury, Canada, in 1988 and former national record holder Shamar Sands in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2002.
Andrews has already past both of them in times.
Also on the track for The Bahamas at the World Juniors yesterday was Javonya Valcourt in the women’s 400m. Running out of lane seven, Valcourt was fifth in her semifinal heat and obtained the final qualifying spot for the semis, running 55.31 seconds. She will certainly have to go faster in the semis as just the top two finishers in each semifinal heat and the next two fastest times move on to Thursday’s final.
Yemi Mary John, of Great Britain, is the fastest qualifier for the final, equalling her personal best time of 52.42 seconds in the heats.
In the semis today, Valcourt will run out of lane one in the first of three heats at 6 p.m. As mentioned, just the top two finishers in each semifinal heat and the next two fastest times move on to the final.
There were two Bahamians in the women’s 100m heats on Tuesday, but neither moved on to the semifinals.
Paige Archer was fourth in her heat and finished 33rd overall in 11.78 seconds. Grand Bahamian Shatalya Dorsett finished eighth in her heat and was 44th overall in 11.94 seconds.
Other than Andrews and Valcourt, competing for The Bahamas today will be Shimar Bain in the heats of the men’s 400m hurdles and Wanya McCoy in the heats of the men’s 200m.
In the men’s 400m hurdles, Bain will run out of lane four in the seventh of seven first-round heats at 12:13 p.m. Just the top three finishers in each heat and the next three fastest times move on to the semifinals. In the men’s 200m, McCoy will run out of lane seven in the first of seven first-round heats at 12:25 p.m. The top three finishers in each heat and the next three fastest times qualify for the semifinals.
A total of 11 athletes are representing The Bahamas at the World Junior Championships – seven young men and four young women. The Head Coach of the team is Corrington Maycock and he is assisted by Daron Lightbourne and John Ingraham.
Overall, there are over 1,500 athletes representing 145 nations in 45 events at the World Junior Championships. It is the preeminent meet for under-20 athletes in athletics in the world.