Ackeem Blake emerged as the top qualifier in the men’s 100m semi-finals at the National Senior and Junior Championships at the National Stadium on Friday.
Blake, who holds the fastest time among Jamaican males this season with an impressive 9.89 seconds, outbattled Oblique Seville in the first semi-final to book his spot in tonight’s final.
Blake crossed the finish line in 10.21 seconds, just ahead of Seville who recorded a time of 10.23 seconds. Kadrian Goldson finished third with a time of 10.26 seconds, securing the other automatic qualifying spot from the heat.
In the first heat, Ryiem Ford claimed victory with a time of 10.23 seconds, securing his place in the final. Rohan Watson (10.26) and Jelani Walker (10.28) finished second and third, respectively, earning the other automatic qualifying spots. However, Kishane Thompson from the MVP Track Club, who delivered an impressive personal best time of 9.91 seconds to beat Blake in the heats on Thursday, did not appear for the semi-finals. Thompson, a 21-year-old athlete, was listed to compete in the heat won by Ford.
Also progressing to the final are Michael Campbell (10.34) and Tyquendo Tracey (10.34). Unfortunately, World Under-20 silver medalist Bouwahjgie Nkrumie, who earlier this year became the first Jamaican junior athlete to achieve a sub-10 time, missed out on advancing to the final. The 19-year-old sprinter clocked 10.39 seconds for sixth place in semi-final two.
The final is scheduled for 8:53 pm.
The championships, set to conclude on Sunday, are serving as the Jamaica Trials for upcoming international competitions.
Senior athletes are fiercely contending for coveted spots to represent the country at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, scheduled to take place from August 19 to 27.
Alongside selecting the team for the World Athletics Championships, the Jamaica trials will also determine the composition of the squads for three junior competitions. These competitions include the NACAC Under-18 and Under-23 Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica (July 21-23), the Pan American Under-20 Athletics Championships in Puerto Rico (August 4-6), and the Under-18 Commonwealth Youth Games in Port of Spain, Trinidad (August 6-9).