Jamaicans Roshawn Clarke and Antonio Forbes secured victories in their preliminary round heats of the men’s 400m hurdles at the World Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia on Wednesday.
Clarke, who set his personal best of 49.39 when winning his national U20 title in Kingston last month, easily progressed out of the round with a 50.71 clocking, the third quickest in the heats.
Forbes clocked 52.45 seconds to get the better of Hungary’s Csaba Molnar, who finished in 52.49.
Forbes’ 52.45 puts him 24th overall of the 27 qualifiers for Thursday’s semifinals.
Yan Manuel Vazquez of Puerto Rico leads all qualifiers with 50.66, a new personal best time.
Slovenia’s Matic Ian Gucek, who finished fifth in last year’s world U20 final, is the second quickest with 50.68 seconds.
Turkey’s Ismail Nezir, who is a strong medal contender after lowering his personal best to 49.59 last month at the Mediterranean Games, is the eighth quickest with 51.21 seconds.
In the men’s 200m, Jamaica’s Bryan Levell progressed from the preliminary round following a third-place finish in his heat.
Levell clocked 20.85 seconds to secure the third and final automatic qualifying spot from his heat. He finished just behind Malaysia’s Muhd Azeem Fahmi, who won in a national U20 record of 20.83, and Australia’s Aidan Murphy (20.85).
The other Jamaican – Sandrey Davison – was a no-show after pulling up shortly after his 100m semifinal heat on Tuesday.
Fresh from winning the 100m gold in a world U20 record on Tuesday, Letsile Tebogo of Botswana returned to drop another impressive time in the 200m after running 19.98 to break the championship record and win his heat comfortable.
Blessing Akwasi Afrifah of Israel is the second quickest in the heat with a national U20 record of 20.37 seconds.
Britain’s Jeriel Quainoo, who has improved from 21.60 to 20.40 this summer is the third quickest with 20.56 seconds.