By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
Sprinters Teray Smith, Tayla Carter and Anthonique Strachan, along with quarter-miler O’Jay Ferguson, all advanced through the preliminary rounds of their respective events on Independence Day as the IAAF World Junior Championships got underway Tuesday in Barcelona, Spain.
Smith, the second Bahamian to see action at the Olympic Stadium (the site for the 1992 Games where Frank Rutherford made history by winning the first track and field medal for the Bahamas with his bronze in the triple jump), clocked 10.58 seconds to win the first of nine heats on Tuesday during the first session of the five-day championships.
“I adjusted to the weather. I love it and I enjoy being here,” Smith was quoted as saying on the championships’ website after he placed 15th overall. “Everything is perfect.”
Smith, who turns 18 on September 28, had the 15th best time as he moved on to run in today’s semifinal. He will be in lane seven in the first of three heats where the first two finishers plus the two fastest times will book their lanes in the final that will close out day two.
Anthony Farrington was fifth in heat eight in 10.78 as he ended up tied with two other competitors for 35th, failing to move on.
Also during the first session on Tuesday, Teshon Adderley was unable to advance out of the women’s 800 preliminaries after she got sixth in the third if six heats in 2:07.18. Renelle Lamote of France, who ran 2:06.89 for fifth in Adderley’s heat, went in with one of the six fastest times outside of the first three automatic qualifiers in each heat.
Adderley was the first Bahamian to compete in the championships, but she was the last competitor out of a spot in the semis as she stood 23rd overall. A total of 22 of the 41 competitors advanced.
In the evening session on Tuesday, O’Jay Ferguson advanced to the men’s 400 semifinal, while Elroy McBride got eliminated.
Tayla Carter and Anthonique Strachan will be going after a spot in the women’s 100 final after they too clinched their berths in the semis on Tuesday.
Ferguson, who will be 19 on October 17, came through second in 46.69 behind Trinidad & Tobago’s Michael Cedenio in 46.58, while McBride was seventh in 48.18 in heat six, but it wasn’t fast enough to get him into the semis.
Ferguson went in with the 14th best time and McBride was 42nd looking on the outside.
Ferguson will now run out of lane seven in heat two just ahead of Cedenio, who will be in lane six in today’s semifinal.
In the women’s 100 heats, Carter’s time of 12.00 got her third in the second of seven heats with an automatic qualifying spot for today’s semis amd she will be joined by Strachan, who won the last heat in 11.59. Strachan ended up with the fifth fastest time overall, while Carter was 24th with the final qualifying spot out of a field of 41 competitors.
During today’s early session, Grand Bahamian and National Open champion Rashad Brown will compete in the first round of the women’s 400 in lane six in the second of six heats. Defending world junior champion Shaunae Miller will be in lane nine of the fourth heat.
On the championships’ website, there was a preview between Miller and American Ashley Spencer.
It noted that while Miller won at the 2010 World Junior Championships and last year at the World Youth Championships, the only woman to win those global titles in that order, Spencer won the highly competitive NCAA Championships in 50.95, the fastest time by a junior over one lap of the track since 2008.
Miller’s best this year is her national junior record of 51.25, which means the St. Augustine’s College graduate, who is bound for the University of Georgia in August after she makes her debut at the Olympics, will have to run another exceptional race to retain her crown.
Also in action today will be National Open championships’ high jump runner-up Ryan Ingraham. He will be the 13th out of 16 competitors in Group B. There are also 16 competitors out of Group A. The qualifying height for the final is 2.19 metres or at least the best 12 will advance to the final.
Ingraham, the 18-year-old former basketball player for the CI Gibson Rattlers, has a season and personal best of 2.28m.