Jones in World Juniors final
AKELA JONES underscored her world class status last night by leaping into the women’s finals of the long jump at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Jumping last (17th) in the “B” flight, Jones produced 6.32 metres on her final attempt to qualify for today’s final. That distance was second in her flight and second overall going into the final. She also leaped 6.18 and 6.08 metres.
Norway’s Nadia Akpana Assa has the best qualifying leap of 6.39 metres, which is a new junior national record in her country. Jogaile Petrokaite of Lithuania is third with 6.30 metres, but none of the nine other finalists cracked 6.20 metres.
Jones went into the games ranked third in the event behind Romania’s Florentina Marincu with 6.71 metres and Nigeria’s Ese Brume who did 6.68m and 6.60m this season. Marincu is not competing, while Brume had a very disappointing outing with two fouls and a best of 5.18m, failing to advance.
Portugal’s Teresa Carvalho, who was ranked fourth behind Jones with 6.52m, also did not qualify with a best of 5.97m.
However, one athlete to watch in the final will be Maryna Bekh of the Ukraine. Although she did a very conservative 6.03m, she has a personal best of 6.78m, while Jones’ best is 6.55m.
None of the other Caribbean athletes in the field made it out of the qualifying round.
Jamaica’s Claudette Allen, who Jones beat at the CARIFTA Games to capture the Under-20 gold medal, was ranked sixth in the world with a best leap of 6.45 metres, but she only managed 5.97m last night. Compatriot Annastacia Forrester, with a best of 6.30m, was only good for 5.87.
St Kitts’ Kristal Liburd leaped 5.82 and also missed the cut, but Dannielle Gibson of The Bahamas did not make a mark at all.
Sprinter Tristan Evelyn, the other Barbadian who was in action late last night, was fifth in her heat of the women’s 100 metres in 11.91 seconds and did not reach the semi-finals.
Today, sprinter Levi Cadogan will be running out of lane eight in the semi-finals of the men’s 100 metres. The CARIFTA Games silver medallist, finished second in his heat yesterday, easing up on the line to clock 10.45 seconds. Britain’s Ojie Edoburun won the heat in 10.43.
Cadogan was 15th overall, and will run in the first heat, with the final scheduled for later in the evening.
Michael Nicholls barely missed the cut for the semi-finals of the men’s 110m hurdles after finishing fourth in this heat in 13.92 seconds.
CARIFTA Under-20 champion Wilhem Belocian of Guadeloupe, now competing for France, won in 13.40.
Also in action today will be Rivaldo Leacock and Jerrad Mason in the men’s 400m hurdles.
Leacock, the CARIFTA Games silver medallist and Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Under-18 gold medallist, will be running out of lane two of the second heat. Mason, a CAC Under-20 bronze medallist, will also run out of lane two of the seventh heat.