Damion Thomas wins the 110m hurdles at the Jamaican U20 Championships (Athelstan Bellamy) © Copyright
Preview Tampere, Finland

Preview: men’s 110m hurdles – IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018

World U18 champion De'Jour Russell's rise through the ranks is such that he made the Jamaican senior team for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in April, making the final just days after celebrating his 18th birthday.

But the superlative standard at U20 level in Jamaica is also such that Russell, who has already clocked 13.32 over the senior barriers, has only been selected for the 4x100m relay in Tampere. This is despite the fact he is still more than two-tenths faster over the 0.99cm hurdles than the fastest non-Jamaican sprint hurdler in 2018.

The search for a replacement for Usain Bolt in the 100m and 200m is ongoing (Jamaica doesn't have any sprinters ranked inside the top 10 in either event at senior level in 2018 at the time of writing) but they have a crop of outstanding young hurdlers led by Damion Thomas who equalled the world U20 record (pending ratification) with 12.99 at the Jamaican U20 Championships.

Thomas began as one of the favourites for the title in 2016 but the 17-year-old's campaign came to an inauspicious halt in the semifinals when he hit a hurdle and fell. Thomas, who has competed more frequently over the senior barriers this season, will be hoping to avoid any such misfortunes in his final season in the U20 ranks.

But right behind him at the Jamaican U20 Championships was Orlando Bennett who clocked 13.00, running Russell out of the team in the process.

Spain's Luis Salort is third on the entry lists with 13.31 just ahead of Cory Poole, who won both the 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles titles at the US Junior Championships, with 13.34. Poole has entered both events in Tampere.

Steven Mills for the IAAF