Walton into semi-finals at World Championships

Jamal Walton (file photo)

Jamal Walton, the Cayman Islands lone representative at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, cruised into the semi-finals of the men’s 400m with his performance in the heats on Saturday, 5 August.

The 18-year-old finished third in his opening round heat with a time of 45.05 seconds, just being edged by former Olympic gold medallist LaShawn Merritt of the United States (45.00) at the line. Both trailed Botswana’s Isaac Makwala (44.55) to the finish.

The top three from each of the six heats gained automatic qualification to the semi-finals and will be joined by the six fastest others.

Running in lane two, Walton had a strong start and made up the stagger on Kenya’s Raymond Kibet and Fiji’s Sailosi Tubuilagi in the lanes outside of him before the halfway mark. He entered the homestretch behind only Makwala and held form toward the finish but was just edged by 2008 Olympic gold medallist and 2009 World Champion Merritt at the line.

The Caymanian, who is competing at the IAAF World Championships for the first time, was 10 fastest overall in Saturday’s six heats. He next runs in the semi-finals at 1:40 p.m. Cayman Islands time on Sunday.

Walton has been in good form this year, breaking his own Cayman Islands national record and the Pan American U20 Championships record in July to win gold in 44.99 seconds and booked his place in London.

That was the second time for the year that Walton, who attends high school and trains in Florida, has broken the national record. Earlier in the year, he also set the 400m and 200m records at a high school meet in Florida.

Also in June, Walton won the 200m and 400m double at the NatWest Island Games in Gotland, Sweden to follow his so 200m gold and 400m silver at the Flow CARIFTA Games in Curacao in April.

National 100m record holder Kemar Hyman was originally slated to represent the Cayman Islands at the championships but days before the meet, he announced his withdrawal due to an injured hamstring.


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  1. Pingback: Walton makes Cayman proud at World Championships – Cayman Sports Buzz

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