IT was another tough day in the saddle for Trinidad and Tobago athletes at the World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia on Wednesday.
Sprinters Shakeem McKay and Revell Webster did not advance to the men’s 200m semi-final while Dillon Leacock was disqualified from the men’s 400m hurdles.
Running out of lane six of heat two, McKay placed fifth in 21.30 seconds. His time was 29th fastest overall and well outside the advancing 24 semi-finalists.
Webster, who ran in lane two of heat three, placed sixth in 21.42s. His time was 35th fastest of the 51 competitors.
Only the top three from each of the seven heats and the next three fastest finishers moved on to the next stage.
In the 400m hurdles, Leacock vied for a semi-final spot running out of lane six of heat one. Leacock initially crossed the finish line in fifth place.
But according to the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) Facebook page, the hurdler made two crucial errors during the race.
The NAAA post read, “his result was annulled as officials ruled that his trail leg went below the horizontal plane of the hurdle (contrary to Rule 23.7.2). Officials also adjudged that he stepped out of lane (contrary to Rule 7.4.2)”
After the race, Leacock was almost moved to tears. He said prior injuries may have taken a toll on him this time around.
“It’s a good experience (representing TT after being ruled out last year’s U20 Worlds in Nairobi because of injury.) I did pull my hamstring earlier this year so it’s a blessing that I could even come back and still run,” he told NAAA media.
Leacock added, “From junior year to Nairobi last year, I didn’t rest. Every week was a track meet trying to get my time down and I ended up straining my groin. The physical therapist said it was because of over-use. My performance wasn’t the best but God allowed me to run.”
Although eliminated, Webster was still pleased with his performance which, he said, came close to his personal best time of 21.26s.
“I’m competing against the best so I need to go and train harder,” he said.
Similarly, McKay said it was a tough race against class international opposition.
“I tried to shake off some of the cobwebs I had from not running the 200m for a little while. It was a good race though,” he affirmed.
In Thursday’s events, TT’s Anthony Diaz begins his U20 men’s javelin campaign by throwing out of group B. To qualify for the final, he must throw the automatic qualifying mark of 72.50m or finish among the top 12 in the opening round. Javelin begins at 11am (TT time).
Shaniqua Bascombe contests the women’s 200m heats from 12.50pm. She runs out of lane three in heat one.
At 4pm, the TT women’s 4x100m relay team vie for a spot in the final in lane seven of heat one. Athletes will be selected from the pool of Bascombe, Natasha Fox, Reneisha Andrews, Kayla Caesar and Kyah La Fortune. Jamaica are also in heat one.
The men’s 4x100m relay team also hunt a place in the medal race. They begin at 4.45pm. The team will be chosen from McKay, Webster, Devin Augustine, Elijah Simmons, Jayden De Souza and Anthony Diaz.