Team Bahamas is off and running at the 18th World Athletics (WA) Outdoor Championships which got underway Friday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, USA.
Both Anthonique Strachan and TyNia Gaither made it through to the semifinals of the women’s 100 meters (m) but could get no further as Strachan just fell short and Gaither suffered the most unfortunate result when she was disqualified for a false start. From the naked eye, it was near impossible to catch a false start from Gaither, but the starting blocks at World Athletics are fully automated and any glitch in the set position could trigger a false start. Gaither’s reaction time was 0.093 seconds. The allowable limit is 0.1. According to reports, she protested, but the final was ran last night without her.
As for Strachan, she ran a lifetime best in the semis, clocking 10.98 seconds, but was fifth in her heat and finished 10th overall in what turned out to be a blazing trifecta of semifinal races. A total of 10 women in the semis, including Strachan, ran under 11 seconds, possibly going down as the fastest women’s 100m semifinals in world championships history.
Strachan, who was one one hundredth of a second ahead of her previous personal best time, said she was pleased with her performance. She along with Gaither will run in the heats of the women’s 200m this evening.
“I like it. I ran a nice race and was able to get a PB (personal best time) out of it. I gave it my all and just came up short,” said Strachan from Hayward Field last night. “I am a better 200 runner, so I’m looking forward to that. I’m excited and looking forward to it.”
In the heats, Strachan ran 11.08 seconds while Gaither ran 11.16 seconds.
Last night’s final featured three Jamaicans and two Americans.
Strachan was looking to make her first global individual final on the senior side while Gaither was looking to make her third. She finished eighth in the women’s 200m at the last two world championships.
In the women’s 400m, two-time Olympic Champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo cruised into the semifinals, easily winning her first round heat in 51.10 seconds. She goes into the semis with the ninth-fastest time out of the heats and will run out of lane six in the first of three semifinal heats at 9:45 p.m. on Wednesday. Just the top two and the next two fastest times from the heats will advance to Friday’s final.
Donald Thomas was the first to see action for The Bahamas, competing in the men’s high jump on Friday. He had a best leap of just 2.21m (7’ 3”), and failed to qualify for the final. Thomas finished tied for 12th in his group and was tied for 23rd overall out of 29 jumpers.
The Bahamian had a successful clearance of 2.17m (7’ 1-1/4”) to one his competition before knocking the bar down on his first two attempts at 2.21m. Thomas went clear on his third attempt at 2.21m, but failed in all three attempts at 2.25m (7’ 4-1/2”).
LaQuan Nairn got his first taste of global competition in the men’s long jump, and also bowed out in the qualifying round. Nairn had a best jump of 7.80m (25’ 7-1/4”), well short of his qualifying leap for the worlds – a jump of 8.22m (26’ 11-3/4”) that was done at the USA Track and Field (USATF) Golden Games at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut, California, in April.
Nairn leapt 7.80m on his first and third attempts and scratched on his second. He finished 18th among a field of 32 jumpers on Friday. Just the top 12 jumpers or an automatic qualifying leap of 8.15m (26’ 9”) made it into the final.
Samson Colebrooke experienced action in the men’s 100m and failed to make it out of the first round. Colebrooke was fifth in his heat and finished fifth in his heat and was 38th overall in 10.23 seconds. The final cut-off time for none-automatic qualifiers for the semis was 10.15 seconds.
It was an American sweep in the final as Fred Kerley went on to win his first global individual title in 9.86 seconds, Marvin Bracy was second in 9.88 seconds and Trayvon Bromell ran an identical time as Bracy but was outleaned for the silver. He finished with the bronze.
Terrence Jones was also scheduled to run the 100m for The Bahamas, but according to reports, he is not vaccinated and wasn’t allowed to compete.
The Bahamas competed in the heats of the mixed relay on Friday, but the team of Bradley Dormeus, Megan Moss, Alonzo Russell and Doneisha Anderson, in that order, could only manage a time of 3:19.73 which then gave a seventh place finish in their race. They were 15th overall out of 16 countries.
The Dominican Republic went on to a stunning gold in the final coming from behind to past the United States (US). The team, featuring Olympic silver medalist in the women’s 400m Marileidy Paulino, won in a world leading time of 3:09.82, the Netherlands also past the US and finished second in a national record of 3:09.90, and the Americans featuring the legendary Allyson Felix in what should be her final world championships race, finished third in a season’s best time of 3:10.16.
Competing for The Bahamas this evening will be Gaither and Strachan in the heats of the women’s 200m. Gaither will run out of eight in the fourth of six heats at 9:21 p.m, and Strachan will run out of lane eight in heat six at 9:35 p.m. The first three in each heat and the next six fastest times will move on to tomorrow’s semifinals.
Miller-Uibo will run in the women’s 400 semifinals on Wednesday.