Michelle-Lee Ahye joined Kelly-Ann Baptiste as the only two female T&T athletes to contest the finals of the World Championships here yesterday but neither could earn the country’s first medal in the 100 metres which was won by Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Lee Ahye finished fifth and Baptiste, sixth, as Fraser-Pryce retained her title to give Jamaica a sprint double, following on Usain Bolt’s success one day earlier, in the men’s equivalent.
Fraser-Pryce was never seriously challenged, motoring to a 10.76 victory with Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands second in 10.81 and American Tori Bowie (10.86) third. Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Browne was fouth in 10.91. Ahye finished in 10.98 while Baptiste clocked 11.01. Natashsa Morrison of Jamaica (11.02) and Nigeria’s Blessing Okagagbare (11.02) completed the field.
Earlier, Baptiste was second and Ahye, third, in their respective semifinals. Both were disappointed at not being among the medals but expressed satisfaction with their performances. Ahye was coming back from injury while Baptiste was returning to competition after serving out her time following her suspension since 2013.
Ahye admitted to being nervous before the final. “It was hell. I was scared, I almost threw twice but I got over it so I hope to learn from this.” She said she will begin to focus on the sprint relay later in the week.
Baptiste said while she was disappointed at not medalling, she felt good at getting to the finals. “I feel good. I am a bit disappointed I did not get a medal but to be honest, I am not that disappointed because if you had told me at the beginning of the year that I would be in the final, I would have doubted myself. To come here and run under 11 seconds and make it to the finals is a great accomplishment,” she said.
Baptiste said she knew she was not going to see any one of her rivals on the inside because of where she was drawn. “So Tori had a great start and I just tried to feed off her and when I felt Blessing coming on the outside at the end, I just tried to hold my form and hope that I was one of the top three because it was hard to see the others. I ran as hard as I could and that is just what I had in my legs for this race.”
She too is eyeing a medal in the sprint relay. “I think all of us are focused for the 4x100. We all know that we have the foot speed but it is not about that, it is about passing the baton and we have been working with Ato (Boldon) on our handoffs and things have been going great, so we look forward to performing really good.”
Baptiste is hopeful that the support will continue. “I want the people of T&T to be happy especially I was happy that Michele was in the final. To watch a championship meet and see two T&T ladies in the finals for the first time in history, has to make you happy.”
The other T&T sprinter, Semoy Hackett, ran a season best of 11.13 but could only finished fifth in her semifinal. She too, was pleased with her performance. “I was happy as this was my goal to do a best time and prepare for the 200 metres and then the 4x100 relays.”