TAMPERE, Finland — Jamaicans Damion Thomas and Orlando Bennett will seek to make it a 1-2 finish for the nation when they compete in the final of the men’s 110m Hurdles at the 2018 World U20 Championships on Thursday (12).
Thomas and Bennett came to Tampere 2018 as the two fastest U20 hurdlers in the world this season, with the former leading the way as the joint World Junior record holder.
The pair trail Great Britain’s Jason Nicholson as the second and third fastest qualifiers from the semi-finals with respective times of 13.37 and 13.45, but they are expected to go much faster in the final.
In fact, Thomas, who posted a time of 12.99 seconds to set a new National Junior record and matched the World Junior standard at the Jamaica Championships last month, revealed that he wants sole ownership of the record.
“I knew coming into the (championships) that it was possible, so equalling the record was a big achievement for me, but now going into World Under-20, I feel that I can go way faster,” the Florida-based Louisiana State University star told the Jamaica Observer.
The 19-year-old fell in the semi-finals at the last championships in Bydgoszcz two-year-ago and he’s determined to make up for missing out.
“The urge to come out here and work hard comes from what happened two years ago… knowing that I was supposed to do great things two years ago, so this year [during] training I have had it in my mind and [am] using it as motivation,” he said.
“It has helped me as far as running the time that I did and how I ran and during the NCAA season.”
Thomas will have countryman Bennett for company in the final.
Bennett navigated his way through the semis with a semi-final heat winning performance, but with a personal and season’s best time of 13.00 seconds, the 18-year-old is confident about his chances of winning the gold medal as well.
On paper, Jamaica is expected to finish 1-2, but Britain’s Nicholson, who qualified the fastest with a 13.32 PB will be hoping to spoil the predictions.
Belgium’s Michael Obasuyi and Enrique Llopis of Spain are also possible medal contenders.