Favourite Christopher Taylor suffered an upset as Jamaica copped 3 medals on Friday’s 4th day of competition at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland. Having floated through the heats and semi-finals, Taylor was expected to comfortably add the world Under-20 title to his Under 18 success from 3 years ago.
And when Taylor blazed the first 300 metres, he must have thought the gold medal was in his grasp, but with every stride that gold medal slipped and he eventually had to settle for silver in 45.38 seconds. Chantz Sawyers made sure Jamaica also got bronze after finishing in 45.89 seconds. Jonathon Sacoor of Belgium won in 45.03.
Jamaica's other medal came in the women's 400 metre hurdles, thanks to Shiann Salmon. Salmon looked good for the entire race but tired legs seemed to have played a factor as she approached the second to last hurdle and she eventually copped the silver medal in 56.11.
Last year's World Under-18 champion Zeney Van Der Walt won in 55.34 seconds. Earlier, Jamaica's Brittany Anderson and Amoi Brown were comfortable in qualifying for the 100 metre hurdles semi-final on Saturday. Anderson won heat 2 in 13.37 seconds while Brown clocked 13.49 to win heat 3. The semi-finals will be run at 5:55 on Saturday morning Jamaica time.
Brianna Williams also moved one step closer to a sprint double as she won her semi-final of the 200 metres in 23.41 seconds. Williams will run out of lane 3 in the final at 7:05 am Saturday morning.
400 hurdlers Malik James King and Leonardo Ledgister also made progress to the semi-finals following 1st and 3rd place finishes respectively. James-King clocked 50.34 seconds to win heat 2 of the event while Ledgister clocked a personal best 50.13 for third in his heat. The final comes up at 7:52 Saturday morning Jamaica time.
The men's 4 X 100 metres team made progress to Saturday’s final after finishing second in their heat in 39.68 seconds. However, the girls were disqualified from their heat in the 4 x 100m after crossing the line in 6th. In the field, Owayne Owens finished 12th in the men's triple jump and failed to make progress to the final.