BEIJING, China:Gold medal hopeful Elaine Thompson says she is excited and focused on doing well at what is her first appearance at the World Championships, noting ahead of the 200m final that she is growing in confidence after each round.Thompson added that she has made a special effort not to let the occasion get to her, and though she has impressed in her two races to date, the sprinter isn’t ready to count her eggs before they hatch as she prepares for the biggest race of her young career and focuses on properly executing her races.”I am excited! It’s, of course, my first World Championships individual 200m appearance. It’s been a good experience, and all I’ve been doing is following my coach’s instructions to advance to the final,” she said.Thompson was again impressive in her semi-final win, shutting off the engine with 50 or so metres to go, stopping the clock at 22.13 seconds making her the second-fastest qualifier going into today’s final. She got the better of American Candyce McGrone, 22.26, and Bulgaria’s Ivet Lalova-Collio, 22.32.”It was okay, a comfortable run. I didn’t want to blow out so fast, just wanted to get to the final,” said Thompson, who seems primed to dip below the 22-second barrier when she gets going in the final.”I’m excited, but let the day speak for itself. It would mean a lot to me to get on the podium, I have been watching these guys since I was small, so it would mean a whole lot,” said Thompson. “It’s a big day, so let’s see what happens.”Two other Jamaicans contesting the final are Veronica Campbell-Brown and Sherone Simpson.The women’s 200m final takes place at 8 a.m. today.- A.L.
Robin Jerstad: Valdez/Marjorie Kamys Cotera: Andrew WhiteDemocratic candidates for governor Lupe Valdez and Andrew White. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez has accepted an invitation to debate her runoff opponent, Andrew White, on May 11 in Austin, according to her campaign. White, who was the runner-up in the March primary, has been pushing to debate Valdez since the beginning of the runoff. Up until now, her campaign has expressed openness to debating White without committing to anything.The event, which comes three days before early voting starts, will take place at the University of Texas at Austin, according to organizers. It is being put on by a coalition of party groups that includes the State Tejano Democrats, Texas Coalition of Black Democrats, Texas Stonewall Democrats, Texas Young Democrats, Texas College Democrats and the Travis County Democratic Party.“I look forward to telling my story, and showing how decades of experience delivering progressive solutions and keeping people safe have prepared me to be Texas Governor,” Valdez said in a statement. “I have long known what my values are. I’m a Texas Democrat.”White added in his own statement: “The debate is on! Democratic voters are looking for the best candidate to beat [Republican Gov.] Greg Abbott, and I welcome the opportunity to convey my message of common sense, sanity, and doing right by Texas.”White, the son of late Gov. Mark White, is running against Valdez, the former Dallas County sheriff, to take on Abbott.Valdez’s decision to debate White comes after a rocky few days for the candidate. After struggling to answer questions on her record as sheriff at a town hall Sunday organized by young Latino activists, she lost the group’s endorsement to White. She has since apologized for letting the group down, sought to provide a better explanation of her time in Dallas County and gone on the offense against White over a company he owns that has been criticized as a “border security business.”Valdez kept up the newly aggressive tack in her statement agreeing to debate White.“I look forward to seeing which opponent shows up: The ‘very conservative Democrat’ or ‘moderate Republican,’” Valdez said.“My positions on the issues — education, health care, immigration, jobs — are clear and forthright,” White said in a statement earlier Wednesday, after Valdez first questioned whether Democrats could trust him. “I can’t say the same for my opponent who has kept voters largely in the dark on her policy positions. Happy to discuss further in a debate.” Share