Despite arriving in Lille with its squad missing two of their top sprinters, O’Dail Todd filled the void and delivered the race of his life for Jamaica in one of the closest boys 100m finals ever in the history of the World Youth Championships.
Todd, who celebrated his 17th birthday on 9 June, built on his solid start through the line to win in 10.51, knocking a massive 0.16 from his personal best to take the gold, just .01 ahead of Japan’s Kazuma Oseto. With the Japanese in lane one, and Todd in five, it took a while for the two to be separated by the photo before the edge was given to the Jamaican.
Todd brilliantly made up in the best of ways for the absence of Jazeel Murphy, the season’s fastest youth performer, and Odean Skeen, last year’s Youth Olympic Games champion and the year’s third fastest, who were left behind in Jamaica due to injuries. Todd becomes the sprint power Island nation’s second World youth champion after Dexter Lee in 2007.
Urged on by the vociferous crowd, slow-starting Michael-Meba Zeze of France spent 80 metres of the race running himself back into it, and managed just in time, nabbing the bronze in 10.57, to edge American Ronald Darby who clocked a personal best 10.61.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF