Goule, Thompson-Herah, Fraser-Pryce impress as track and field show gets underway
The opening session of the track and field portion of the Tokyo Olympics was highlighted by a trio of strong performances, with Jamaicans Natoya Goule, Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce showing impressive form.
Overall, though, there were plenty of solid performances as the event that will see the bulk of the Caribbean’s athletes, competing over the next few days, got underway.
First up, the Jamaican trio of Fedrick Dacres, Traves Smikle and Chad Wright opened competition in the Men’s Discus. Wright was the only one to progress to the final as the last qualifier, finishing 12th overall with a throw of 62.93 metres.
Dacres was only two centimetres behind Wright, throwing 62.91m to finish 13th overall, while Smikle could only manage a best distance of 59.04m to finish 25th overall.
Goule was the first competitor to grace the track and started things off with a bang as she ran a very impressive 1:59.83 to win Heat Two of the Women’s 800 metres.
The Men’s 400 meters hurdles saw four Caribbean men progress to the semi-finals. The list included Jamaicans Kemar Mowatt, Jaheel Hyde and Sean Rowe and The British Virgin Islands Kyron McMaster.
Mowatt finished fourth in Heat One with a time of 49.06. Hyde ran 48.54s to comfortably win Heat Two. Both McMaster and Rowe advanced from Heat Four, with McMaster winning with a time of 48.79 and the Jamaican finishing third with a season’s best of 49.18.
The session was capped off by the heats of one of the most highly anticipated events at the Olympics, the Women’s 100 metres.
The event featured 10 athletes from the Caribbean.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Joella Lloyd finished seventh in Heat One, in a time of 11.54.
Heat Two was comfortably won by Jamaica’s defending double Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah, who signalled her intent at these games with a smooth 10.82.
Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago also competed in Heat Two and finished sixth in 11.48.
Tristan Evelyn of Barbados ran 11.42 to finish sixth in Heat Three.
Amya Clarke of St. Kitts and Nevis finished seventh in Heat Four with a time of 11.71.
Heat Five was the turn of multiple-time Olympic and World Champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, to announce herself in Tokyo.
She didn’t disappoint, winning in a time of 10.84 to advance to the semi-finals.
Tynia Gaither of the Bahamas was next up on the track, finishing third in Heat Six to advance.
Heat Seven saw the most Caribbean representation with Shericka Jackson of Jamaica, Michelle Lee-Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago and Jasmine Abrams of Guyana all taking part.
Ahye won the Heat with a time of 11.06, finishing just ahead of Jackson who ran 11.07 for second while Abrams finished seventh in 11.49.
The fastest overall qualifier from the heats was Marie-Jose Talou of the Ivory Coast who ran 10.78 to win the fourth Heat. (Sportsmax)