By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
AS the Bahamas began competition at the International Amateur Athletic Federation's Under-20 Track and Field Championships in Tampere, Finland on Independence Day, Joel Johnson was the first athlete from Team Bahamas to advance to the next round in their event.
Competing along with Adrian Curry in the preliminaries of the men's 100 metres yesterday at the Ratina Stadium, Johnson posted the fifth fastest qualifying time of 10.34 seconds to advance to the semi-final today after he placed second in the sixth heat behind Jamaica's Michael Stephens, who had the second fastest time of 10.30.
The fastest time posted in the first round was 10.30 by Lalu Muhammad Zohri from Indonesia in heat one. In that heat was the other Bahamian, Adrian Curry, who got sixth in 10.70 for 31st overall as he failed to move on.
In today's semi-final, Johnson will run out of heat two in lane four, sandwiched between Stephens in three and Henrik Larsson of Sweden in five. The top two in each heat and the two fastest losers will clinch their berth into the final. Also today, two more Bahamians will compete in the preliminaries of the Boys' 110m hurdles with Denvaughn Whymns running out of lane seven in heat two with a personal and season's best of 14.01 and Oscar Smith will be in lane five in the fifth heat with his PB and SB of 13.75.
The first three in each heat and the next three fastest losers will go onto the semi-final.
And Jaide Knowles will be competing in the preliminaries of the Girls' 100m as well today. She will be in lane six in the last of five heats. The first four in each heat and the next four fastest losers will qualify for the semi-final. The championships wrap up on Sunday.