Down the final 20m Alsono Edward was gaining. Gaining quickly. But not quickly enough to earn a medal.
The former Barton Community College track star came up just short and took fourth place in the finals of the men’s 200m at the 15th IAAF World Championships in Beijing Thursday.
In addition to Edward, three other former Barton stars were in competition on day six. Veronica Campbell-Brown moved into the finals of the 200m for the women. The other two saw their competition end without a medal.
Leevan Sands finished 10th in the men’s triple jump and Aleec Harris did not make the finals of the men’s 110m hurdles.
The main draw in the men’s 200m was the battle between Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and the United States’ Justin Gatlin. Running in near still conditions, that battle didn’t disappoint. The two ran nearly even until the final 50m when Bolt pulled away for the win. He did so with a world best this season of 19.55. Gatlin was second with a 19.74. It was the fourth straight World Championship win in the 200m for Bolt.
Edward, from Panama, chased down South Africa’s Anaso Jobodwana but lost in a photo as both runners finished with a 19.87. The actual breakdown was 18.61 for Jobodwana and 18.63 for Edward. It was a career-best for Jobadwana and a new national record in South Africa.
For Edward it was a season-best effort and the third-fastest time of his career. It was the best showing for Edward at the World Championships since his silver medal in 2009.
Campbell-Brown was able to stay in her lane the entire way this time and took the last spot in the finals. She finished third in the third and final heat of the semifinals. The top two of each heat automatically qualified along with the next two best marks. Campbell had the second of those next two.
Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain, 19 years old, won the heat with a time of 22.12 – a career best for her. Jeneba Tarmoh of the US was second in 22.38. Campbell, 32 years old, ran a season-best 22.47 for third.
Campbell’s Jamaican teammate Elaine Thompson turned in the next fastest time in winning the first heat in 22.13. Campbell will start in lane 2 in the finals to be run today.
Sands wasn’t able to hit that break-through jump in the finals of the triple jump and finished 10th. Sands jumped 54-8.75 on this first jump of the finals and was not able to better than mark. That left him in 10th.
Sands is in his first year of jumping since his knee injury at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He already has a qualifying mark of the 2016 Olympics and Rio and will now spend the next year preparing for his fourth Olympics.
Christian Taylor of the US won the event with a big final jump of 59-9. He was already in first but extended to the longest jump in the world this year and the second longest in history. Cuba’s Pedro Pichardo was second at 58-2.
Harris was not able to advance to the final in the 100m after taking fourth in his semifinal heat. Each of the three heats took automatic qualifiers as well as the next two fastest times. Harris missed out by .04.
In the end it was the runner in front of him in the first heat that took that last spot. Garfield Darien of France ran 13.25 for third in the heat and took the last non-automatic spot. Harris ran a 13.29.
Campbell is the lone individual from Barton still competing in Beijing with the finals of the 200m today.
The 4x100m relays that start Saturday will have former Cougars running. For the women’, Campbell is in the relay pool for the Jamaican team. On the men’s side Tyson Gay is in the US pool and Akeem Haynes is in the pool for Canada.