World U20 Champs: Kerrica Hill, Alexis James progress to 100mh semis Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Kerrica Hill confirmed she was the one to beat in the women’s 100m hurdles at the World Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia with an easy victory in the preliminary round on Thursday.

The 17-year-old was an ultra-impressive winner of the Jamaican U20 title in 12.98 (1.5m/s) last month and she progressed to the semifinals in 13.30 when winning the first of six heats.

Hill’s teammate Alexis James was the quickest in the heats, clocking a big personal best of 13.04 to win heat five in commanding fashion. James’ previous personal best was 13.13 she achieved last month to make the team for Cali.

The 12.30 by Hill represents the second quickest in the heats.

The US challenge will be led by Jalaysiya Smith who qualified with 13.42, the fourth quickest in the heats. She ran her personal best of 13.05 (0.5m/s) in the semifinals of the NCAA Championships and went on to win the US U20 title last month in 13.21.

Meanwhile, Jamaica’s J’Voughnn Blake secured a spot in the men’s 800m semifinals but his teammate Adrian Nethersole did not progress after finishing seventh in his preliminary round heat.

Blake advanced on time after failing to finish in the top three of his heat, which was won by Ethiopia’s Mersimoi Kasahun in one minute and 48.54 seconds, the second quickest in the heats.

The Jamaica College schoolboy finished fourth in 1:48.97 to secure one of the two non-automatic qualifying spots. His time, however, represents the eight quickest in the heats.

Gold medal favourite Ethiopia’s Ermias Girma was the quickest in the heats, winning his race in 1:48.39.

The semifinals are scheduled for Friday.