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Special News Items on World Championships
By Clayton Clarke of Trinidad & Tobago
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Lucas copped TT’s  first medal in Berlin.

Josanne Lucas won bronze in the women’s 400 metres Hurdles finals to put Trinidad and Tobago on the medals table at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.  She is also the first female TT to earn a medal at a senior global final.  Going into the finals she was the country’s first ever female track finalist emulating the feats of Candace Scott who qualified for the Hammer throw  finals(2003 in  St Denis, 2005 Helsinki).  The 25 year old clocked 53.20 seconds to set a new national record erasing the 53.98 she set in the semifinals.  Speaking after the race Josanne said “I knew I had to run a personal best to medal  but I was more concerned  about running my race and not being distracted by the other runners and not matter what finishing strong to the line”.

On become the first TT female to make a world track final she said “ I did not let that affect me.  I was very, very relaxed before the race and very confident”. In looking back at the race she added, “I pushed really hard for the first three hurdles and maintained rhythm but (I expected) the biggest factor (to be) the last 100m because it is going to close. It is going to be tight and the whole idea was to hold on the line and fight to the very end. I was trying no matter what, to run all the way through the line because you could never tell who is on the outside lane.  It was difficult to see being on the inside. I am very happy as I ran a new national record and a medal”.

On her success Lucas explained that “my training has been going very well because I have been coached by Henry Rolle, the same coach as Marc Burns (seventh place finisher in the men’s 100m finals last Sunday, his third straight world championships final.  He is also a finalist last year in Beijing.  He is also a two-time World junior 100m medalist 3rd/2000 and 2nd/2002).  This year I had a lot of experience on the circuit competing against the entire field competing in the race.  So that was confidence-boosting knowing that I have competed against them before and beaten them before.

Following her success in Berlin, she said she has some more meets for the year.  On her bronze medal the Auburn Tigers All-American said “I am proud to be a medalist and happy I made Trinidad and Tobago proud”.  She added that as she crossed the finish line “I was not sure (of the place) as main focus was looking straight ahead and finish no matter what so I had to wait a while to see the results on the score board”.

Olympic champion Melaine Walker of Jamaica won in 52.42 a new championship record and the second fastest ever run.  Lashind Demus of the USA was second in 52.96 to match her silver medal won in Helsinki in 2005. Lucas now jumps to 17th on the  400m hurdles all time list  ahead the 2002/2006 Olympic 400m flat champion Marie Jose Perec of France(53.21) and just behind the 2008 Olympic hurdles champion Debbie Flintoff-King of Australia (53.17).

Other achievements:

2008:  Beijing Olympics: 6th/heat 4 57.76 seconds

  CAC senior championships: 1st, 56.55


2006: CAC Games, 2nd, 55.60

          NCAA Divison one champs, 2nd 400m H, 55.29

                                                          5th, 100m H 13.02


2005:  World Champs, Helsinki, 5th / heat 4 58.99

            CAC Senior champs:      4th, 57.63

            NCAA                           5th, 55.59


2004: NACAC under 23 champs: 1st 400m H, 55.99

                                                2nd 100mH, 13.26


2003: CAC Senior Champs: 6th, 59.37

         PAN AM Junior Champs: 2nd, 58.43

         Carifta Junior Champs: 3rd, 58.55


2000: CAC Junior Champs: (Under 17)2nd 300m H, 45.34

                                                       4th, 100mH, 14.73

                                                       7th, Long Jump 5.52w

19/08/09: Tobagonians come forth.  

There are four Tobagonians on the Trinidad and Tobago national contingent of 19 competing at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.  All four (Josanne Lucas, Reny Quow, Kelly Ann Baptiste and Semoy Hackett) have advanced to at least the semifinal round of their events.  Lucas is in the finals of the women’s 400m finals while Quow qualified for the medal round of the men’s 400m. Lucas (2003 Pan American Junior silver medallist) set a new national record of 53.98 in finishing second in her semis and has gone sub-54 for the first time. The former Auburn Tigers All-American is now the 41st fastest ever over the one lap race.

Quow made it to the top eight with a new pb of 44.53 and the second fastest in the semis. Quow, who is part of triplet won the 2006 World Junior title and finished 7th at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Quow is also a two-time winner at CAC junior ( 2004 and 2006) and back to back Junior Carifta champion (2005 and 2006).

Baptiste made it to top sixteen of the women’s 100m earlier this week and will contest the 200m semi on Thursday (20th).  She dipped under 11 seconds(10.94) for the first time in taking the TT 100m crown  earlier this year . The Plymouth resident won the NCAA Division one 60/100 double in 2008 for the LSU tigers.  The 22 year old won bronze at the 100m at the 2003 World Youth championships and finished fourth in the 200m at the 2004 World Juniors.  She also copped the CAC Junior title in the Girls under 20 2000m in 2004 and the ( Girls under 20) sprint double at the 2005 Junior Carifta before her home crowd. Baptiste is also the double national record holder (10.94/22.60) won her first national women’s sprint title at 18 years clocking 11.17 seconds.

Hackett, who just finished her freshman year at Lincoln University, took the NCAA Division two sprint double (11.19/22.95).  The 21 year old sprinter made it to the semifinals of the women’s 100m in Berlin and the quarterfinals in Beijing last year.  Hackett is the 2009 CAC Senior 100m silver medallist and 2006 CAC junior (under 20) double bronze medallist(100/200).

Baptiste and Hackett are part of TT women’s sprint relay team is down to compete in the German capital.  The pair part of the national record breaking quartet which ran 43.32 earlier this year  and 43.43 set in winning the 2008 CAC Senior gold.

Tobago (pop. est. 55,000) hosted the 2005 Junior Carifta Championships at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet.

Braithwaite wins Barbados first gold at World Champs.
In the men’s 110m hurdles, Ryan Brathwaite created history for Barbados by taking in 13.14 seconds. Terrence Trammell of the US had to settle for silver in 13.15 seconds, with compatriot David Payne was third in the same time.

Usain ‘bolts’ to 19.19secs 200m World Record
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt continued his extraordinary display with another world record run at the World Championships here at the Olympics Stadium on Thursday. Bolt, who last Sunday ran 9.58 seconds to lower his 100m world mark, returned today to clock a stunning 19.19 seconds to beat the 19.30 he ran last year.

"I did not really have it on my mind. I said early in the season that I had to get my start right. I worked on it. That was the key in this final. I got my start right. Today I was just in my room playing video games all day. It keeps me calm," said Bolt. These performances, along with those in Beijing last year, makes Bolt arguably the greatest sprinter of all time.

Olympic Champion Walker wins women's 400m Hurdles in CR time.

Olympic champion Melaine Walker of Jamaica won the gold medal in the women’s 400-meters hurdles, running 52.42 seconds, a Championships record. Walker said: "This is a fantastic time and a new CR – everything went perfectly today. I have been looking forward to this race because this is the only time you can do it. I have never think about the records, I always run the race the best as I can."

Lashinda Demus of the United States took silver in 52.96 while Josanne Lucas collected of Trinidad and Tobago’s first ever female medal at a global event, running 53.20 for third.
Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark React
1 4 545 Melaine Walker JAM 52.42 (CR) 0.142
2 5 982 Lashinda Demus USA 52.96 0.159
3 3 913 Josanne Lucas TRI 53.20 (NR) 0.186
4 6 543 Kaliese Spencer JAM 53.56 (PB) 0.149
5 2 1040 Tiffany Williams USA 53.83 (SB) 0.161
6 7 777 Natalya Antyukh RUS 54.11 (PB) 0.205
7 8 947 Anastasiya Rabchenyuk UKR 54.78 0.206
8 1 759 Angela Morosanu ROU 55.04 0.183

 20/08/09: Lucas on course to become TT’s first female global medallist

 BERLIN – Josanne Lucas in on course to become the first athlete from Trinidad and Tobago to medal at the 2009 World championships. She is also in line to become the first TT woman to medal.

All six off the country’s medals were won by male sprinters. However, Lucas says she is in Berlin just hoping to compete. Her expectation was quite understandable given that she was eliminated in the 2005 championships in the heats in the wet and cold conditions in Helsinki, did not compete in Osaka 2007 because of injury and was knocked out of the first round at 2008 Beijing Olympics after recovering from injury.

After winning the Trinidad and Tobago national 100m and 400m Hurdles titles in June, Lucas declared that "she is fit and ready for Berlin". She said "the year has been very good . I am blessed. I thank God every day because I am healthy and stronger this year and I am running a lot faster. My training has been going well this year. My coach (Henry Rolle) has been very supportive and very patient with me". By then she had reduced her TT 400m hurdle record to 55.24 in Belem, Brazil and had dipped under 13 seconds in the sprint hurdle clocking 12.99 in Florida, USA .

She then journeyed to Europe and put in some solid runs including reducing her national record to 54.17 in winning in Rheims, France and a 4th place in Paris in 54.88. In Monaco, Lucas was third in 54.21 behind Lashinda Demus who clocked a sensational 52.63, a world leading time. She was pipped on the line by Olympic champion Melanie Walker finished second in 54.20.

The former Auburn All-American arrived in Berlin aimed to continue to fine form she shown in Europe. She made it into the semis finishing second (55.41) to Kaliese Spencer, the 2006 World Junior champion, to become the fourth TT woman to make advance to the semifinals at World/Olympics level.

The three others before her did it the 100m earlier in the week. She then became the first to make it to a global senior final. She again reset the national record clocking 53.98 to duck below the 54 second mark for the first time in her career and leaped to 41st on the all-time list.

The 25 year old goes into the finals with the second fastest time behind Walker (53.26). If Lucas is looking for inspiration ahead of Thursday’s 20:15 pm (EST) final she may just have to look inside own TT camp. Her 17 year old compatriot and fellow one-lap hurdler Jehue Gordon turned the hurdles world side down when he advanced to the finals of the men’s 400m hurdles on Tuesday and was just edged out of a medal by 0.03 seconds. He arrived in Berlin with a “B” standard of 49.45 and left with the second fastest junior al-time clocking of 48.26.

Lucas trains with the likes of three time world 100m finalist Marc Burns and Leevan Sands (bronze medals at the 2003 World and 2008 Olympic in the triple jump).

Lucas is one of four Tobagonians on the TT team in Berlin. Reny Quow, Kelly-ann Baptiste, and Semoy Hackett all come from the 2005 Junior Carifta host island with a population of about 55,000. Tobago hurdler seems set to bring the twin-island republic its first female World championship medallist.

On Monday after the first semi-final round, Lucas said: "I feel incredible. Everytime I compete, my objective is to show the best performance and if it is good enough for a medal, it is even better. My motivation is my personal satisfaction and that I do my best everytime I compete. My training group and training partners are supporting me here a lot.