Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
ODEAN SKEEN was Jamaica's saving grace on yesterday's second day of action at the 14th IAAF World Junior Championships, as he captured the bronze medal in the final of the 100 metres to earn the country's first medal.
Skeen ran a season best of 10.28 seconds to secure for himself a place on the medal podium.
"It's a great feeling; I actually want to cry, but I can't show it right now," an emotional Skeen shared following the race.
"My coach, Christopher Harley, gave me a pep talk, and some way or somehow it sunk in my head and I just came out and did my best. I came out here with a game plan, executed my race and got a bronze medal," he added.
The 2010 Youth Olympics Games champion got the best start in the field with a reaction time of .118 seconds, but faded during the middle part of the race before putting in a strong finish to nip the United States' Tyreek Hill (10.29) and compatriot Jazeel Murphy (10.29) on the line.
Great Britain's Adam Gemili, who came into the championships as the world leader in the event, won in a new championship and British junior record of 10.05 seconds (wind/speed +0.1m/s).
Gemili's victory brought an end to Jamaica's dominance at the junior championships and male sprinting in general. Dexter Lee had won the previous two junior championship titles - 2008 in Bydgoszcz, Poland, and two years ago in Moncton, Canada.
Prior to yesterday, Jamaica held all the global 100-metre titles.
Jamaica was not represented in the final of the female equivalent, as the Edwin Allen duo of Monique Spencer and Shawnette Lewin failed to get past the semi-finals.
Lewin placed fifth in heat in 12.09 seconds, while Spencer fell just short after stopping the clock at 11.73 for fourth in heat three.
Bahamian Anthonique Strachan won the event in a World Junior leading time of 11.20 seconds (wind/speed +1.7 m/s). Turkey's Nimet Kapakus (11.36) and Tamiris De Liz (11.45) of Brazil were second and third, respectively.
It was a very challenging day for Jamaica's team, as Simoya Campbell, who qualified for the semi-final of the 800m, took ill and was not able to participate in the event.
Campbell fainted on her way to the stadium and had to be rushed to del Mar hospital where checks by doctors did not reveal any ailment.
Javon Gallimore also fainted and had to be treated by the cham-pionships' medical personnel for what appeared to be
dehydration. This was after he and teammate Shavarn Barnes had booked their places in the semi-final of the men's 400m hurdles.
Gallimore was second in heat four with a time of 51.40 seconds, while Barnes ran 51.52 seconds to place second in heat seven.
A very courageous run by Javon Francis saw him battle his way into the final of the men's 400m, as he ran a new personal best of 46.06 seconds in heat three to shave .25 seconds off his previous best, 46.31.
Jamaica's male team captain, Ashinia Miller, could only muster a throw of 18.70 metres in the men's shot put final, which saw him place
Jamaicans' schedule today
Women's 400m hurdles heats - (Janieve Russell) - 2:15 a.m.
Women's long jump qualifying - (Chanice Porter) - 2:40 a.m.
Men's 200m heats - (Tyquendo Tracey and Julian Forte) - 2:55 a.m.
Women's 200m heats - (Jodean Williams and Shericka Jackson) - 4:25 a.m.
Men's 400m hurdles semi-finals - (Shavon Barnes and Javon Gallimore) - 5:20 p.m.
Women's 200m semi-finals - 11:30 a.m.
Men's 200m semi-finals - 12 p.m.
Men's discus FINAL - (Fedrick Dacres) - 12.55 p.m.
Women's 400m semi-final - (Chrisann Gordon and Opal James) - 1:35 p.m.
Men's 400m FINAL - (Javon Francis)- 2 pm