The fourth day of action at the 19th Edition of the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 in the Hungarian capital of Budapest was one of optimism for the Caribbean. Powerhouse Jamaica led the way with some impressive performances on the track.
On the track, 2017 World U18 Champion Anthonio Watson became the 3rd fastest Jamaican of all time when he won his semi-final in 44.13 seconds. Trailing in Watson’s wake were American Vernon Norwood, who ran a personal best of 44.26, and two-time champion Wayde Van Niekerk (44.65), who squeezed into the final as one of the non-automatic qualifiers.
Grenada’s Kirani James, the 2011 champion, qualified for his sixth World Championships final when he finished second in his semi-final in 44.58 seconds. Jamaica’s two-time national champion Sean Bailey, the younger brother of Veronica Campbell-Brown, finished second in his semi-final in 44.94 seconds to make his first world championship final.
Meanwhile, the third Jamaican quarter-miler, Zandrion Barnes, finished sixth in semi-final two in 45.38 seconds and failed to advance. The 2022 World Indoor champion, Jereem ‘The Dream’ Richards of Trinidad and Tobago, finished fourth in 44.76 seconds, failing to advance from his semi-final. For the second consecutive year, Bahamian Steven Gardiner suffered the indignity of an injury forcing him out of a World Championship. The Olympic champion pulled up coming off the top bend in his semi-final.
The news was more encouraging in the women’s 400m hurdles. The 2019 World bronze medallist Rushell Clayton produced a lifetime best to win her semi-final in 53.30 seconds. “My aim is always to get faster and to the final, this is my third. I’m always going to give it my best run each time I step on the track. I’m super grateful for today’s PB, I’m feeling good.” Clayton will be joined by compatriots Janieve Russell and Andrenette Knight in a historic final.
World Leading mark in women’s 100m hurdles at Budapest 23
The women’s 100m hurdles took center stage at the start of the evening session. World U20 Champion Ackera Nugent renewed her rivalry with Masai Russell with a photo finish deciding the winner with both athletes accredited with 12.6 seconds. Nugent got the nod after the times were measured to the thousandths (.594 to .599). Bahamian Devynne Charlton ran a national record of 12.44 seconds while chasing USA’s Kendra Harrison, who sped to a world-leading 12.24 seconds, in the second heat. Jamaica’s Danielle Williams, the 2015 champion, finished third in 12.51 seconds.
In the final heat, World champion Tobi Amusan (12.48) of Nigeria edged out Jamaica’s Megan Tapper (12.51).
Elsewhere, Jamaica’s Navasky Anderson was disqualified from the men’s 800m heats for obstruction. It was the second time this season that Anderson got penalized for an obstruction. He was disqualified after winning the NCAA Division One Indoor Championship.