The National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
DEVYNNE Charlton came close to her national record in making the final in her Olympic debut in the women’s 100 metre hurdles, while Pedrya Seymour bowed out in her bid for her second straight appearance in the big dance.
In Sunday’s dramatic semi-finals at the 2020 Olympic Games on day three of the track and field competition at the Tokyo National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, Charlton had to keep her composure as there were some casualties around her midway in the ten flights of 33 inches hurdles as Jamaican Janique Thompson and Hungary’s Luca Kozak crushed and didn’t complete the race.
The 25-year-old Charlton, who had to sit out the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil because of a back in jury, came through the finish line in second place in 12.66, just off her national record of 12.61 as she trailed Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan, who took the tape in 12.62.
The graduate of Purdue University, coached by Bahamian Lonnie Greene, came out of the heats with fourth place in 12.84 for 12th overall. She ended up seventh in the semifinal field.
Right after Charlton secured her berth, Seymour had to restart her second heat three times before she eventually slipped all the way to eighth place in a photo finish in 13.09 with seventh place finisher Mulern Jean of Haiti.
Jamaica’s Britney Anderson pulled of the upset in the heat in a lifetime best of 12.40 over American world record holder Kendra Harrison, who had to settle for second in 12.51. They had the second and third fastest times in the semi’s.
The 26-year-old Seymour, sixth place in her first Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, was fourth in her first round heats in 13.04 for fourth place for 25th overall. She was 22nd in the field of the semis.
The graduate of the University of Illinois, Champaign came into the games with a season’s best of 12.88 and a personal best of 12.64, but was in no where near that form.
If that wasn’t enough excitement, Puerto Rico’s world leader Jasmine Camacho-Quinn posted an Olympic record of 12.26 in third heat to remain undefeated this year.
Jamaican Megan Tapper was second in 12.62 for fifth overall.
There’s still some more business left as the top eight competitors will come back for the final on Monday. Charlton will be in the mix with Camacho-Quinn, Tapper, Amusan, Anderson and Harrison as one of the top contenders for one of the three medals.