By RENALDO DORSETT
The Bahamas fielded its biggest team ever - 18 members - for the 8th IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine and the team produced three semifinal qualifiers on day one of the week long meet.
Janeko Cartwright received an automatic qualification in the Boys 400m when he finished first in heat seven. His personal best time of 47.25s is the seventh fastest time headed into the semifinal.
Cartwright will run in lane three of semi-final two today at 10:25AM local time.
The first two in each heat and the next two fastest times will qualify for the final.
Kinard Rolle finished sixth in heat five with a time of 59.51s, 45th overall.
Xavier Coakley also reached an automatic qualification with a second place finish in heat one. His time of 54.11s was 26th overall and will advance to semifinal one, lane seven, run at 12:40PM local time.
D’Mitry Charlton finished fifth in heat three in 56.09s for a 42nd place finish overall.
The women’s 100m produced the Bahamas’ third qualifier of the day when Jenae Ambrose finished second in heat six. She advanced in 10.99s, the 16th fastest time overall and will run in semifinal one, lane eight at 10:50AM.
Makeya White finished fifth in heat two in 12.61s, 49th overall.
On the girls side of the 400m, Kadeisha Hield finished sixth in heat seven in 57.63s, 40th overall.
In the boys long jump, Laquan Nairn’s best jump of 7.33m just missed the finals qualifying mark 7.35m. He scratched on his first attempt, landed his recorded mark on the second and 7.31m on his final jump to finish 13th overall, and ninth in flight B.
In the boys 100m, Ian Kerr and Keannu Pennermann failed to advance, placed in some of the fastest heats of the first round.
Kerr finished third in heat three in 11.04s, behind Mo Youxe of China, the second overall qualifier in 10.64s and Jeongtae Lee who qualified with a 10.97s.
Pennerman finished third in heat four in 11.21s. His heat was won by top qualifier Kenzo Cotton of the United States in a personal best time of 10.52s, followed by Marek Sefranek of Slovakia who also qualified with a time of 10.91s.
Kerr’s time was faster than at least two automatic qualifiers, Daniel Martinez of Mexico, who finished second in heat 10 in 11.08s and Le Trong Hinh of Vietnam finished second in 11.11s.
In the girls 400mH, Talia Thompson finished seventh in heat two in 1:04.43s, 32nd overall, while Mesha Newbold was one spot behind in 33rd, sixth in heat four in 1:05.72s.
Also in action today, Brashae Wood will compete in the shot put at 9:1am, Xavier Coakley in the heats of the 110mH at 10:40am and Laquan Nairn in the high jump at 10:45am.
The team is led by head coach Dianne Woodside, who is assisted by Stephen Murray, Patrick Adderley, Lavern Eve and James Rolle.
Woodside, who previously coached a World Youth team at the second edition of the championships in 2001 in Debrecen, Hungary, said the Bahamas has continued to see an improvement in its performances since the inception of the biannual championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, in 1999.