A total of twenty-two Caribbean athletes were on show across five events on the opening session of track and field at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The men’s 400mh featured four Caribbean athletes.
Jamaican champion Jaheel Hyde and Kemar Mowatt, and Shawn Rowe earned automatic qualifications to the semi-finals. The fourth Caribbean athlete was Kyron McMaster, representing the British Virgin Islands, who also advanced to the semi-finals.
Mowatt was fourth in heat number one with a time of 49.06 seconds. Hyde went on to take the second heat in a time of 48.54 seconds. McMaster took home heat number 4 in a time of 48.79 seconds, with Rowe finishing third in a season’s best of 49.18 seconds.
The eagerly awaited women’s 100m saw Elaine Thompson- Herah strolling 10.82 seconds to take the second heat. Trinidadian Kelly-Ann Baptiste, who finished sixth in a time of 11.48 seconds, failed to advance.
Jamaican women’s 100m record holder Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce showed her class by cruising 10.84 seconds to take heat number 5. Heat number six featured Bahamian TyNia Gaither, who clocked 11.34 seconds for third and qualified automatically for the semi-finals.
The seventh and final heat saw Trinidadian star Michelle-Lee Ahye nipping newcomer to the 100m, Shericka Jackson, on the line in a time of 11.06 seconds. Jackson’s time was 11.07 seconds.
Joella Lloyd from Antigua and Barbuda, 11.54; Tristan Evelyn, representing Barbados and 11.42 Amya Clarke from St. Kitts and Nevis, 11.71 failed to make the 100m semi-finals.
The men’s discus featured three Jamaican athletes, including national champion and Doha 2019 silver medallist Fredrick Dacres. The latter saw the 12th and final qualifying spot going fellow countryman Chad Wright.
Wright advanced with a throw of 62.93 metres.
Fedrick Dacres could only manage 62.91 metres on the day. At the same time, the third Jamaican in the event, Traves Smikle’s throw of 59.04m, was only good enough for 25th in the overall standings.
Earlier this year Dacres underwent surgery on his hand for a torn ligament.
Jamaican women 800m medal prospect Natoya Goule led the qualifications by winning heat number two in a time of 1.59.83 seconds.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ Shafiqua Maloney with 2.07.89 seconds in heat number five was only good enough for seventh.
Three Caribbean men competed in the high jump, all of whom failed to advance to the final. In the event, the highest placed Caribbean athlete was Donald Thomas, representing the Bahamas, clearing a height of 2.21 metres to place twenty-fifth.
Jamal Wilson, representing the Bahamas, cleared 2.17m, placed 32nd.