BEIJING, China (CMC) – The Bahamas won its first medal of the 15th IAAF World Championships when Jeffery Gibson took bronze in the 400 metres hurdles on Tuesday.
It was the only medal for the Caribbean on a shortened day of competition which included domination by Kenyan runners.
Gibson set a new Bahamas record of 48.17 seconds to claim the bronze medal behind surprised winner Nicholas Bett of Kenya and Russian Denis Kudryavtsev. Bett’s winning time of 47.79 is a world lead while Kudryavtsev also set a new Russian record.
It has been a spectacular season for Gibson who has now lowered the national record four times within six weeks.
He has recorded times of 48.77 in Luzern, Switzerland on July 14, 48.51 to win the gold at the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada on July 23 and twice at the World Championships in Beijing including 48.37 in the semi-finals on Sunday.
“The medal is great achievement but I take it as the next stepping stone towards the future,” he said.
“I know I can perform much better, there were a couple of things I have to work on and I am looking forward to more races and more training for the Olympic season.”
Shericka Jackson led a quartet of Jamaicans advancing to the women’s 400m final on Thursday.
Jackson had the second fastest qualifying time and personal best of 50.03, behind American Allyson Felix (49.89).
The former world junior and youth champion Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas also qualifies with 50.12.
Stephenie Ann McPherson (50.32), Novlene Williams-Mills (50.47) and Christine Day (50.82) are the other Jamaicans who will line up in the final which will also include Great Britain’s reigning world champion Christine Ohuruogu (50.16) and American Phyllis Francis (50.50).
“This is my first World Championships so I am very grateful I made it to the final,” said Jackson.
“I tried to catch up with Allyson Felix from the beginning. My coach told me to do my best to get there and the personal best is a great result.”
There were no major surprises in the first round of the men’s 200m with race favourites and rivals Usain Bolt (20.28) and Justin Gatlin (20.19) advancing to the semi-finals.
Fresh from his 100m victory on Sunday, the Jamaican star is worried about his fitness to complete the sprint double.
“I did my time. It is good to win the first one. It (the 200m) means a lot more to me,” he said.
“I’m a little worried about my fitness and I need to work a lot over 200m. But I think I’m a better technical runner over the 200m, so we see what happens. I’m tired and my legs are still sore, but I’m going to have another bath tonight and hopefully tomorrow I’ll be there.”
Julian Forte (20.16), Warren Weir (20.24) and Nickel Ashmeade (20.40) will join compatriot Bolt in the semi-finals.
Miguel Francis (20.38) is the other Caribbean qualifier.
Olympic champion and world record holder David Rudisha gave Kenya a second gold medal to wrap up Tuesday’s competition at the Bird’s Nest Stadium.
Rudisha led from the front in the 800 metres to secure victory in 1min 45.84sec ahead of Poland’s Adam Kszczot.
Amel Tuka of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who holds the year’s fastest 800m time, took bronze.