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Author Topic: DOUBLE TROUBLE: Thompson, Burns cruise into 100 semis; Brown injured out  (Read 1011 times)

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Offline fLaSh

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Thompson, Burns cruise into 100 semis; Brown injured out
Kwame Laurence In Beijing
Saturday, August 16th 2008

Trinidad and Tobago's Richard Thompson and Marc Burns are among the 16 sprinters still in the hunt for men's 100 metres precious metal, at the 2008 Olympic Games, here in Beijing, China.

At 8.05 this morning (T&T time), Burns will face the starter in semi-final heat number one. He has been drawn in lane four. And eight minutes later, Thompson lines up in lane seven in the second semi.

Based on their performances in the second round, at the Bird's Nest Stadium yesterday, Trinidad and Tobago could have two representatives in a century final for the first time in Olympic history.

Any hopes of seeing three T&T uniforms at the start line, ahead of today's 10.30 a.m. (T&T time) championship race, were dashed when Darrel Brown limped out of the event in the first of five quarter-final heats.

About 30 metres into the race, Brown was struggling, and close to the halfway mark the 23-year-old sprinter gave up his bid for a semi-final berth, hobbling to the line eighth and last in 10.93 seconds.

"Something behind my (right) knee, like it yanked," a bitterly disappointed Brown told the Express, shortly after his elimination. "That was it."

The T&T medical team here in Beijing reported that Brown sustained a hamstring injury, but that the severity had not yet been determined. The 2003 World Championship silver medallist was scheduled to have an MRI scan early this morning (T&T time).

In the opening round of the 100m dash, contested on a sun-drenched blue sky morning here in Beijing, Brown finished third in heat four in 10.22 seconds. The heat was his first individual Olympic race.

Some eight minutes earlier, Thompson made an impressive Olympic debut, winning heat three in 10.24.

"I just came in there like another meet," the 23-year-old sprinter told the Express, "had fun and tried not to let the moment get the best of me."

In the quarter-final round, Torpedo Thompson produced an excellent run in heat two. He moved away from the field midway through the race, before shutting down near the end, the T&T sprinter clocking 9.99 seconds for an easy victory.

Reigning double world sprint champion Tyson Gay was among the sprinters left in his wake, the American copping second spot in 10.09.

"I felt very comfortable," Thompson declared. "I feel as though I have a lot more within me. Nothing is guaranteed. God has a plan for everyone and I hope that His plan coincides with what I want tomorrow (today), which is making the final and being a medallist."

In the opening round, Burns was second in heat nine in 10.46 seconds. In the quarters, though, he stepped up his game, clocking 10.05 to win heat three. Though slow out of the blocks, following a false start from Slovenia's Matic Osovnikar, Blazing Burns was in cruise control at the end of the race, a strong second half earning him the top spot.

The reigning national 100m champion, however, told the Express he is bothered by a particular development.

"A bit disappointed with these athletes coming in here and deliberately false starting, trying to throw off all the other athletes. But it's a rule put in place and it's just something I have to put behind me, and come out here and try to run a complete race."

At the 2004 Athens Olympics, Burns exited in the first round via the false start route.

"As my coach (Henry Rolle) said, if it does happen it's better to be safe than sorry, and sit low. I'm in good form right know, so if it does happen come the final, God spare life, I just have to try and put that behind me-a poor start or a good start, just try and execute and hopefully come out there with a medal."

Jamaica's world record holder Usain Bolt (9.72) underlined his status as favourite with the easiest 9.92 seconds run imaginable, in quarter-final number four. He won the race to lead all qualifiers into today's semis. Thompson and heat one winner Churandy Martina of the Netherlands Antilles were joint second at 9.99. Bolt's teammate Asafa Powell produced the fourth fastest time, 10.02, to top the fifth and final quarter-final heat. Burns' 10.05 run was sixth best.

T&T field athlete Cleopatra Borel-Brown as well as sprinters Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Semoy Hackett and Sasha Springer-Jones were in action after press time last night. Borel-Brown was bidding for a spot in the women's shot put final, scheduled for 9.10 this morning (T&T time), while Baptiste, Hackett and Springer-Jones competed in the opening round of the women's 100m dash. The quarters will be contested from 8.35 a.m.

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Burns (3rd 9.97) and Thompson (2nd 9.93) are in the finals!!   Gay is out!


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