By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Kyron McMaster narrowly missed a bronze medal by .07 seconds in the closing stages of the 400m Hurdles at the 17th IAAF World Championships inside Doha’s Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar on Monday, settling for fourth place in a season’s best 48.10 seconds—the best finish by a BVI athlete in the outdoor championships.
In the process, he became the BVI’s first male IAAF World Championships finalist and first outdoor championships track finalist male or female, after he was reinstated in the 400m Hurdles on Saturday, when he finished 3rd in his heat in 48.40 seconds. The first two finishers automatically advanced to the final and he had to await the results of a protest filed by BVI Athletics Association officials after he was initially disqualified for hitting the first hurdle, which officials judged that he didn’t clear, but the ruling was eventually overturned and he advanced to the final as the fastest non automatic qualifier.
Norway’s Karsten Warholm joined the USA’s Edwin Moses, Dominican Republic’s Felix Sanchez and the USA’s Kerron Clement, as back to back 400m Hurdles champion, when he crossed the line in 47.42 seconds. Rai Benjamin of the USA—who represented Antigua and Barbuda as a Jr.—was third in 47.66. Host Qatar’s Abderrahman Samba—running from the outside corridor—passed McMaster in the last few strides for bronze in 48.03.
“The race was pretty good, wished I got the bronze, silver or even the gold,” McMaster said. “But running out of lane two in a hard field like that, coming towards the end, just couldn’t hold on to something that we thought was secured in the bag after coming off hurdle eight going into hurdle nine.”
He added: “After hurdle 10, I tried to hold on as much as possible, but I couldn’t hold it for much longer. My aim was to run through the last phase of the race as hard as possible—not only for medal wise but time wise—just to secure something positive in the end, win lose or draw.”
McMaster’s finish eclipsed Chantel Malone’s seventh place in the Long Jump in 2017, as the BVI’s best showing in the event, since its 1983 debut. Tahesia Harrigan-Scott—who won an IAAF World Indoor Championships 60m bronze in 2008—was a 100m semifinalist in 2009.
Shot Putter Eldred Henry, ranked No 16 with a best of 21.47m (70’5¼”) will be next to see action on Thursday in the qualifying rounds. The finals are set for Saturday. Also Saturday, Pan Am Games Long Jump champion Chantel Malone, swings into action in the qualifying rounds of her pet event, in which she’s ranked No 7 in the World with 6.90m (22’7¾”). The finals are scheduled for Sunday’s last day of action.
In all 1,972 athletes are competing for $7, 530,000 over the 10-day competition.