DAEGU, Korea – The University of Florida was represented by seven current or former Gators in the first two days of competition at the IAAF World Championships in Korea’s Daegu Stadium as junior sprinter Tony McQuay, and former Gators Aaron Armstrong, Will Claye, Kerron Clement, Joseph Moise, Christian Taylor and Novlene Williams-Mills began their quests for world titles representing four respective countries.
Former All-American Williams-Mills, participating in her fourth World Championships representing Jamaica, advanced to the finals of the women’s 400 meters on Sunday night.
After winning her heat in the qualifying round on Saturday with a time of 51.30, Williams-Mills then sprinted to a 50.48 finish, good for sixth in the semifinals and a spot in Monday’s finals.
McQuay, the USA men’s 400 meters champion participating in his first World Championships, narrowly missed a qualifying time in the same event, sprinting to a time of 46.76.
Armstrong, a three-time World Championships participant representing Trinidad and Tobago, failed to advance out of the heats of the men’s 100 meters, finishing fifth in his heat with a time of 10.48.
Haiti’s Moise, a four-time World Championships participant, 2004 Olympian and cross country and track standout at Florida, finished sixth in his men’s 800 meter heat with a time of 1:48.17.
There are still many former Gators who have yet to step foot into Daegu Stadium. Two-time 400 meter hurdles World Champion and two-time Olympic medalist Clement enters the competition on Monday with the heats for the 400 meter hurdles. Clement is the two-time defending World Champion in the event, having won gold in 2007 and 2009.
NCAA Champions Claye and Taylor will face off in the triple jump beginning on Friday with the finals of that event on Sunday. Claye also begins his journey for a long jump world championship on Thursday with the finals of the long jump taking place on Friday.