19yearold Dexter Lee became the first man ever to win back to back World Junior titles in the men’s 100m as he narrowly secured his country’s first gold medal of the Championships here in Moncton.
The Jamaican dipped to the line to stop the clock at 10.21, the fastest Championships winning time since Darrell Brown’s competition record in 2002 with just 2 hundredths of a second to spare over American Charles Silmon.
France’s Jimmy Vicaut, very convincing in this afternoon’s semi final had to be content with bronze at 10.28 with the second US runner, Michael Granger taking fourth at 10.32.
Lee was the pre-event favourite to win gold but winning tonight didn’t prove as easy as he might have expected. The lanky Jamaican had to recover from a poor start and although he was lying in fourth until 30 metres to go, the defending champion regrouped and out-dipped the rest of the field on the line.
In fact the lead changed three times in the second half of the race; Granger blasted out the blocks faster than a rocket but the diminutive American couldn’t hold off the challenge coming from the lane to his left where Vicault was powering hard. It wasn’t long before Silmon made his move having a temporarily hold on the event. Silmon may have thought he had done just enough when Lee running in the outside lane 7 sped past and dipped to the line.
Silmon and Lee waited before celebrating, none of the two knowing who would go home with the gold medal tonight. Eventually the photo finish gave the nod to the Jamaican who is now halfway through his declared objective of securing the sprint double.
While Lee embarked on a lap of honour draped in the green and yellow colours of his Jamaican flag, Vicault, who still co-holds the fastest time of the year at 10.16, remained on the track evidently disappointed not to have taken the best of medals tonight.
Canada’s favourite, Aaron Brown who had defeated Lee in the earlier semi final clocked a season’s best 10.48 for fifth.