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Good day for region

Sherrylyn A. Toppin in London

Good day for region

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LONDON – Caribbean athletes, especially those from Jamaica, made a good start to the athletics segment yesterday morning at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium.
All three of the Jamaicans – Novlene Williams-Mills (50.88), Rosemarie Whyte (50.90) and Christine Day (51.05) – were among the top three in their heats, ranked sixth to eighth respectively, while Guyana’s Aliann Pompey recorded a season’s best 52.10 to also make it despite falling off the pace after a very fast start.
Among the casualties was Shaunae Miller of The Bahamas who pulled up in the backstretch during her heat. Vincentian Kineke Alexander also pulled up and did not finish, while Kanika Beckles of Grenada did not start after picking up an undisclosed injury during training on Thursday, Afia Charles of Antigua clocked 54.25 and did not advance.
Two of the four men in the 400 metres hurdles also advanced to today’s semi-finals.
Former CARIFTA champion Jehue Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago was quite impressive with his run of 49.37 seconds, placing second behind defending Olympic champion Angelo Taylor (49.29) of the United States.
Also advancing was Leford Green of Jamaica with 49.30 seconds in the second heat behind American champion Michael Tinsley (49.13). Jamaica’s Roxroy Cato and Josef Robertson both finished fifth in their heats and missed the cut.
Cato was out of it coming into the final turn as his time of 50.22 seconds showed, but Robertson made the unforgivable error of slowing down in the gather lines and lost about two places, missing out with a time of 49.98 seconds.
Veteran Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic won that heat in 49.24. Briton David “Dai” Green, the World, Commonwealth and European champion, won his heat in 48.98, but it was Javier Culson of Puerto Rico with the fastest time of 48.33 seconds ahead of American Kerron Clement (48.48), the 2009 World champion.
In the field events, Dorian Scott of Jamaica qualified 11th overall, the second last spot in the men’s shot put, with a best of 20.31 metres.
Reese Hoffa of the United States led all qualifiers with 21.36 metres and David Storl of Germany was second with 21.15 metres.
Kimberly Williams of Jamaica produced a personal best 14.53 metres on her very first attempt in the women’s triple jump to book her spot in the final 12.
Compatriot Tricia Smith, who fouled her first and third attempts, did 14.31 metres to advance.