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July 16, 2014
Star Sport


Hyde, Bryan to lead the way for Jamaica

Left: National junior 400m hurdles record holder Jaheel Hyde. Right: Christoff Bryan

AFTER topping the world a year ago at the World Youth Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine, Jamaica will be hoping for another grand performance at the July 22-27 World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Based on performances so far this season, however, Jamaica's boys may have to dig much deeper to top the medals at the World Juniors.

Most attention, from a local standpoint, will be focused on the sprints and hurdles with Wolmer's Boys' Jaheel Hyde set to lead the way for Jamaica.

Hyde who shocked the world a year ago after a gold medal in the 110 metres hurdles in Donetsk, will only be competing in the 400 metres hurdles. He set a National Junior record in the event at Boys and Girls' Championships in March, clocking 49.49 seconds. He is the world leader and looks set to go all the way. American Tim Nelson, with a best of 49.90, is the closest to Hyde.

National Junior sprint champion Michael O'Hara of Calabar High and Jevaughn Minzie of Bog Walk High, the runner-up in both the 100m and 200m, will carry the country's hopes in these events.

Minzie, with a best of 10.16, and O'Hara, with 10.19, are fourth and fifth, respectively, on the IAAF World Top list. American Travon Bromwell will be the big favourite after his smashing world junior record run of 9.97 seconds several weeks ago for Baylor University. Another athlete who will be in the sprint spotlight is Zharnell Hughes of Anguilla. Hughes, then competing for Kingston College, clocked 10.12 at Boys and Girls' Champs to capture the Class One title.

back from injury

Both Jamaicans will also participate in the 200m, where Minzie is third ranked with 20.37 seconds and O'Hara, fourth, with 20.50 seconds. Once again they will have Hughes to contend with, along with the Trentavis Friday of the United States, who clocked a wind-aided 20.03 to win at the USA Trials. Hughes clocked 20.33 to win at the recent Junior CAC Championships in Mexico and is the world leader in the event with 20.32. He is unlikely to double after just coming back from injury, so one of the Jamaicans could be among the medals here.

Tyler Mason of Jamaica College, with a best of 13.25, can get among the medals in the 110m hurdles. Mason is third on the list just behind Willem Bellocian of Guadeloupe (13.23). Bellocian will represent France at the meet. The world leader is David Omoregie of Great Britain with 13.17.

World Youth 400m champion Martin Manley has a season best 46.24 (15th in the world) and will have to improve if he hopes to be among the medals. The world leader is Machel Cedenio of Trinidad and Tobago with 45.23.

World Youth bronze medallist in the high jump, Christoff Bryan is determined to make up for his disappointment of a year ago where he was the favourite. He has been in good form all season, and with a best of 2.23 metres, he is at number four. But with the world-leading height at 2.26m, he is not far off this and should be among the medals.

In a meet that should be very competitive, the Wolmer's Boys pair of Hyde and Bryan, along with JC's Mason, are definitely the country's best hopes of mining individual medals.

( l - r ) Michael O'Hara, Jevaughn Minzie

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