Aug. 17, 2011
SHENZHEN, China - All-American junior James Alaka added to a prestigious summer of sprinting today, as he took fifth in the 100-meter finals at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China. Alaka, competing for his native Great Britain, missed a spot on the podium by just two hundredths of a second.
Alaka had to progress through two preliminary rounds yesterday just to get to the semifinals this morning. Out of more than sixty competitors that began the competition on Tuesday, Alaka advanced through the first round running a 10.48, then picked up some speed in the second round to move on again in 10.36 seconds.
In today's semifinal at the Universiade Center Stadium, Alaka placed third in his heat in 10.32 seconds into a -0.8 headwind, getting an automatic bid to the final. In the eight-man final, Alaka got down to 10.29 seconds into another slight headwind. It is the same time he won the Pac-10 title with back in May. Fourth-place went to Ronalds Arajs in the same time as Alaka, and third was Bingtian Su of China in 10.27 seconds. Jacques Harvey of Jamaica won in 10.14 seconds.
Alaka will still compete in the 200-meter dash beginning Thursday. Earlier this summer he captured the European Under-23 Championship at 100-meters and was second at 200-meters. He posted a 100m PR of 10.23 seconds to win the British U23 title and then ran a 200m PR of 20.59 seconds at the European U23 meet.
Also competing in Shenzhen this week is three-time All-American Kyle Nielsen, who just completed his record-setting Husky career in June. Nielsen placed 10th in the javelin qualifying early Wednesday morning with a best throw of 236-feet, 9-inches, on his second of three attempts. That moves Nielsen, representing his native Canada, on to Friday's final round.