Malik James-King leads Jamaican duo into 400m hurdles final

By July 13, 2018
Malik James-King surged late to earn an automatic qualifying spot in the 400m hurdles final. Malik James-King surged late to earn an automatic qualifying spot in the 400m hurdles final.

Jamaica’s Malik James-King surged down the home stretch to be an automatic qualifier for the men’s 400m hurdles final at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland on Friday.

His teammate Leonardo Ledgister ran faster but finished third in his heat in a personal best time, which allowed him to advance to the finals.

James-King began well but found himself in third with just over 100m to go. Digging deep, he surged down the stretch to win handsomely in 50.34s ahead of Italy’s Mahdi Pirjarhan 50.90s, who was also an automatic qualifier.

Ledgister got out well but was unable to maintain a pace to match gold medal favourite Sokwakhana Zazini of South Africa, who ran away from the field to win in 49.43s. The 2017 World U18 champion was the only athlete under 50 seconds in the semi-finals.

Ledgister, meanwhile, found himself locked in a battle with Great Britain’s Alastair Chalmers who ran a personal best 50.11s to claim the other automatic qualifying spot. Ledgister faded slightly but still managed a personal best 50.13 to make it into the final.

The first heat was won by Brazil’s Alison Dos Santos in 50.90, well clear of Bassem Hemeida of Qatar (51.14)

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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