Nugent dances into 100mH final
Jamaica's Ackera Nugent has come full circle by qualifying for her first women's 100 metres hurdles World Championships final after an injury robbed her of her chance to make the senior team last year.
She was dancing in the mixed zone after yesterday's semi-finals at the National Athletic Centre in Budapest, Hungary, and feels there is more in store.
Nugent finished second in her semi-final with 12.60 seconds, just behind defending champion Tobi Amusan, to get an automatic spot in today's final at 2:22 p.m. Jamaica time.
Jamaica's former winner, Danielle Williams, joined Nugent by clocking 12.50 seconds to progress as a non-automatic qualifier. However, Williams ironically knocked out national champion Megan Tapper, whose time of 12.55 was not enough to get through.
In a turnaround season where she captured the outdoor collegiate title, it was a moment to savour for Nugent, the former Under-20 World Championships winner.
"I think I am the youngest in the field, but guess what, we did that!" Nugent exclaimed.
"We made a little adjustment from yesterday, and my coach was like, 'It's game time, you have to go out there, you got to stay focused. They are coming with their A-game' so, basically, I did what I had to do. There was a mishap on hurdle nine, but at the end of the day, we made it through and finished strong.
"It's amazing to see how dedicated I have been and how many tears I felt. I had to do so much to get to where I am today. It just shows how dedicated I am as an athlete," Nugent said.
Williams, who will compete in her fourth final, said she was pleased to have another chance at a medal because of the uncertainty of the goal earlier this year.
"It didn't look like it would happen at the beginning of the season. Doubts started creeping, but I kept practising and being faithful, and here I am," Williams said.
National champion and world under-20 record holder Roshawn Clarke graded his first senior season highly after finishing fourth in the men's 400 metres hurdles final, won by world record holder and Olympic Games champion Karsten Warholm in 46.89 seconds.
"That sixth hurdle would have set me up to challenge for a medal. It happened, but we got to move forward. I am happy with the race," Clarke said.
Candice McLeod finished seventh in the women's 400 metres final, clocking 51.08 seconds. Dominica's Marileidy Paulino took the title with a national record of 48.72 seconds. Poland's Natalia Kacmarek was second in 49.57, and Barbados' Sada Williams won back-to-back bronze medals in 49.60.
National winner Nayoka Clunis had a rough outing in the women's hammer throw in her debut World Championships. Her best effort of 58.10 metres was deficient to progress to the final.
Defending 200 metres champion Jamaica's Shericka Jackson began the defence of her title in a comfortable time of 22.51 seconds to take heat three. Natalliah Whyte got second place in heat four in 22.44, behind Julien Alfred, who won with 22.31. Kevona Davis, in her World Championships debut, progressed to the semi-finals, clocking 22.49 to finish second. Ashanti Moore's time of 23.12, to finish fifth in heat one wasn't quick enough to advance.
Two-time national champion Andrew Hudson progressed in his World Championships debut in the Jamaican colours, clocking 20.25 seconds to finish second. Compatriot Rasheed Dwyer, in heat five, secured the final automatic qualifying spot with 20.40 seconds, finishing third.