Caribbean men through to 400 finals

By October 02, 2019
From right: Kirani James, of Grenada, Steven Gardiner, of Bahamas, ​Demish Gaye, of Jamaica and Leungo Scotch, of Botswana compete in a men's 400-metre semifinal at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. From right: Kirani James, of Grenada, Steven Gardiner, of Bahamas, ​Demish Gaye, of Jamaica and Leungo Scotch, of Botswana compete in a men's 400-metre semifinal at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. AP Photo/Petr David Josek

It was a good day for Caribbean 400-metre running at the 116th IAAF World Championships of Athletics in Doha, Qatar on Wednesday, with entrants from the Bahamas, Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago, and Jamaica all making it through to the event's final on Friday.

Most impressive of all the qualifiers was the Bahamas’ Steven Gardiner, who did not seem to come out of second gear in a battle with the returning Kirani James of Grenada.

Gardiner would go on to win the semi-final heat in a season’s best 44.13 seconds, barely breaking a sweat against the more hard-working James, who also clocked a season’s best 44.23 seconds.

In fact, the top three in that event, Demish Gaye finishing third in 44.66 seconds, all went faster than they have all season. Gaye’s time was good enough to see him qualify as one of the two non-automatic qualifiers.

Gardener seems to have mastered the art of spreading out his 400-metre phases so as to minimize efforts.

James started the fastest in their heat, leaving Gaye and Gardiner with work to do. Gaye struggled to catch up, but Gardiner slowly pulled himself to the front, coming off the top of the curve ahead of his Caribbean counterparts.

James went to work and began lifting his knees and driving his arms in a bid to catch the loping Gardiner but the latter stayed relaxed and maintained his lead with apparent minimum effort.

The United States’ Fred Kerley also looked in positively sublime form, winning his heat in 44.25 seconds, putting himself in the mix for a gold medal, especially with the disappointing semi-final performance of his major rival, Michael Norman.

Norman seemed to have a problem and faded to seventh in his heat, finishing in a pedantic 45.94 seconds behind the season’s best run of Trinidad and Tobago’s Machel Cedenio, 44.51 seconds, Colombia’s Jose Zambrano, 44.55, and Jamaica’s Akeem Bloomfield, 44.77.

Zambrano’s qualification time was a national record, while Bloomfield was quick enough to land the second non-automatic qualifying spot.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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