Aldrich Bailey shares bronze in World Junior 400m
Another final, in the men's discus, had A&M thrower Dalton Rowan placing seventh with an impressive effort of 194 feet, 7 inches (59.31).
On Friday, another Aggie incoming freshman, Shelbi Vaughan, will compete in the qualifying round of the women's discus. Vaughan will throw in group A, which starts at 9 a.m. in Barcelona (or 2 a.m. in Texas).
Bailey posted a time of 45.52 that was matched by Steven Solomon of Australia. Both were awarded a bronze medal. The winner of the race in 44.85 was Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic. American Arman Hall claimed silver in 45.39.
"I'm not happy with this result," stated Bailey. "There is nothing on my mind at the moment. In the next championship I will come back and take my revenge."
Rowan was in sixth place after the first three rounds of the discus competition with a best of 192-9 (58.75). He had a pair of fouls in rounds four and five before reaching his best distance on the final throw, which left him in seventh place.
After winning her opening round heat earlier in the morning, Ekponé cruised to another victory in the first heat of three 200m semifinal heats. Her time of 23.49, into a head wind of 2.4, bettered the 23.58 from Jamaica's Shericka Jackson and a 23.59 by Chile's Isidora Jimenez in the same heat.
"I just really wanted to make sure to qualify for this final," noted Ekponé, who will run in Friday's final. "I kept telling myself to keep pushing and accelerate the run. You don't want to mess up in the semis and try to coast. For the finals, I'm feeling pretty confident right now. I've got to keep it going."
In the morning session the Aggies had mixed results. Ekponé won her opening round heat in the 200 meters with a 23.74, but Gregory Coleman missed making the final of the 400 hurdles by 0.01 of a second.
"It was my first time on the track this entire time while we've been in Spain," said Ekponé. "It was good to run, and get a feel for it. (Having been) on some world teams, this experience has its similarities and differences. In Singapore with the Youth Olympic Games, it was a little more interactive. The World Juniors are starting to feel a little more like an Olympic event, and I'm having a great time out here.
"I was kind of nervous coming in to this morning's race. You can't underestimate your competitors in the event. You just have to go out there and do what you do. I'm taking things as they come, round-by-round."
Coleman finished the hurdle race in third place among his semifinal heat with a time of 51.12 as Jamaica's Javarn Gallimore won in 50.45 with Russia's Timofey Chalyy second in 50.80. Coleman led the field coming into the eighth hurdle, but clipping that barrier knocked him off stride and out of sorts for the rest of the race. The last time qualifier for the final was a 51.11.
"I took the race out like I wanted, but when I hit the eighth hurdle, things started to slowly start messing up," explained Coleman. "I tried to take 13 steps all the way up to that seventh hurdle and tried to get to the eighth in the same way, but I forced the wrong leg and that's why I hit it today. And, so, I couldn't close because I messed up my whole rhythm.
"I learned a lot from this experience, but the pressure is kind of the same as it is in the NCAA. Obviously, I picked up a big international experience from the whole atmosphere, so it was great."
In the javelin qualifying round, Devin Bogert threw 220-8 (67.27) to place 12th amid his group of 22 competitors. Bogert hit his best effort in the first round and his series included marks of 212-8 (64.83) and 206-8 (63.00). The last mark to qualify for the final was 226-0 (68.90).