We did our best - Ja's 400m men

August 09, 2017
Jamaica's Nathon Allen (left) watches as South African Wayde Van Niekerk races home to win the gold medal in the Men's 400m final during the World Athletics Championships in London yesterday.
Demish Gaye
Danielle Thomas Dodd

LONDON, England:

The Jamaicans left the men's 400m final inside the London Stadium without a medal but the pair of Demish Gaye and Nathon Allen walked off the 2017 IAAF World Championships track with a piece of history and a healthy serving of confidence.

Jamaica has produced a plethora of top-quality quarter-milers, many of whom have made the World Championships their stage over the years. Only the United States (14 medals) has produced more World Championships medals in the men's 400m than Jamaica (4), a fact that is also reflected in the 4x400m, where the Jamaicans (nine medals) are again bettered only by the Americans (10).

Despite the country's healthy 400m history, London 2017 was the first championship that saw two Jamaicans in the men's 400m final. Gaye, not a man of many words, believes himself and Allen can play a leading role in the event in years to come.

"Yes, I think we can," he said. "I am confident this experience will make me a better athlete. I am determined and I am hard-working and I will come back stronger."

Gaye finished sixth in 45.04 seconds with Allen one place better with a time of 44.88 seconds. As expected, the event was won by South African Wayde Van Niekerk, 43.98, ahead of Bahamas' Steven Gardiner, 44.41 and Qatar's Abdalelah Haroun, 44.48.

"It was a great feeling being in the final. I felt great competing against those guys. I'm not really not pleased with the time but I did the best I could and I give God thanks," added Gaye, who improved from failing to make the final on his first attempt to qualify for a national senior team two years ago to competing in a global final and gradually taking his personal best down to 44.55 seconds, which he ran in the semi-final here.

"I feel good about it and I feel good to have represented my country and to the best of my ability," Gaye noted.

Despite the result in the men's 400m final, yesterday was still a positive day for the Jamaicans overall with shot put athlete Danniel Thomas-Dodd also creating history by becoming the first Jamaica woman to directly make a World Championships final in the event. Thomas-Dodd's second attempt landed 18.42m from the ring to book her automatic spot to the final.

Kim Barret was retroactively promoted to the Helsinki 2005 final after several competitors who originally placed ahead of her were later stripped of their performances for doping offences. Gleneve Grange struggled and only managed one legal put - 15.96m, which left her 15th in her group and out of the qualifying places.

Ristananna Tracey's, 54.79 seconds in the women's 400m hurdles gave her the win in her semi-final, the second-fastest time heading into tomorrow's final at 9:35 p.m. (3:35 p.m.). She is the only Jamaican to advance. Leah Nugent, 56.19 finished sixth in her semi, while Rhonda White was disqualified after finishing down the track in her semi-final.

All three Jamaicans are through to the next round in the women's 200m. Simone Facey, 22.98 was second in her heat, while Sashalee Forbes, 23.26 finished third in her. Jodean Williams, 23.38 was fifth in her heat but also made it through to the semi-finals.

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