Aug. 19, 2011
SHENZHEN, China - After finishing fifth on Wednesday in the 100-meter dash final, Husky junior James Alaka did himself one better this morning, as he finished fourth in the 200-meters at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China. The London, England native ran a very solid 20.67-seconds in the final.
Just as he did in the 100-meter rounds, Alaka improved his time through each of the four 200-meter races. Through the first two rounds on Thursday, Alaka ran a 21.32 in the opener, and then 21.13 in the second round to move on to Friday's semifinals.
In today's early semifinal, Alaka dropped all the way down to 20.81 seconds to make his second final in three days. In his eighth race of the week, Alaka ran 20.67 seconds into a 0.3 meter per second headwind to finish fourth in the final. It took 20.59 to reach the medal podium, which equals Alaka's personal-best that he ran earlier this summer at the European U23 Championships.
After winning the Pac-10 titles at 100- and 200-meters to earn Pac-10 Athlete of the Meet honors, Alaka showed signs of fatigue at the NCAA Championships, though he earned All-America Second Team honors on UW's 4x100m relay, and All-America honorable mention in the 200-meters. But this summer, with a little time to recuperate, he's bounced back in a big way, setting PRs in the 100-meters (10.23) and 200-meters (20.59) and competing in his first international championship finals, taking gold and silver at the European U23 Championships and now two top-five finishes at the World University Games.
Also competing in the finals today was three-time Husky All-American and school record-holder Kyle Nielsen in the javelin. Nielsen had a big throw of 245-5 on his first attempt, one of his best marks of the year, and followed that with a mark of 244-6 on his second through, but it was not quite enough to earn him another three throws, as he finished 10th in a talented field.