Sha'Carri Richardson anchors Star Athletics to 4x100m victory at the USATF Sprint Summit (Josh Gurnick/USATF) © Copyright
Report Texas, USA

Star Athletics team and Selmon impress at Sprint Summit

The conditions might have been challenging but athletes defied the windy and damp weather to post a number of promising performances at the USATF Sprint Summit, a World Athletics Continental Tour Silver meeting, on Saturday (3).

With exactly four weeks to go until the World Athletics Relays Silesia21, it was the women’s 4x100m which provided the highlight at Prairie View in Texas as a Star Athletics team of Kortnei Johnson, Javianne Oliver, Dezerea Bryant and Sha'Carri Richardson combined to clock 42.70 – the fastest time in the world since the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha.

Richardson raised her arms to the air as she anchored the team to victory, clearly carrying her fine 2020 form into Olympic year.

Earlier in the meeting, which was the first in the 11-event USATF Journey to Gold - Tokyo Outdoor Track & Field Series, the quartet had recorded 1:32.64 in the lesser-run 4x200m relay, which will also be among the events contested at next month’s World Relays in Poland.

The women’s 4x400m was won by the USA Blue team of Jessica Beard, Kori Carter, Kaylin Whitney and Raevyn Rogers in 3:31.86.

Over in the individual events, Kenny Selmon continued his comeback after more than 21 months out through injury to win the men’s 400m hurdles in 48.87, a world lead at this very early stage of the season.

Kenny Selmon at the 2021 USATF Sprint Summit (Josh Gurnick/USATF)Kenny Selmon at the 2021 USATF Sprint Summit (Josh Gurnick/USATF) © Copyright

Prior to his return last month at Atlanta, the 2018 US champion’s last competition had been in June 2019. In Texas, the 24-year-old won by more than a second ahead of Amere Lattin with 49.93.

Also making a 400m hurdles return was Olympic bronze medallist Ashley Spencer as she contested the event for the first time since her sixth-place finish at the 2019 World Athletics Championships. She won in 56.36 ahead of Jamaica’s Shiann Salmon with 56.90.

The meeting had opened with the women’s hammer and that provided the top field performance as the USA’s Pan Am Games silver medallist Brooke Andersen threw 74.96m in the third round to win, backing up that mark with throws of 73.31m and 73.10m.

In the women's triple jump, Dominica's Thea LaFond – the national record-holder – was just 3cm off her outdoor best with 14.35m as she won the competition by more than a metre.

Thea LaFond at the 2021 USATF Sprint Summit (Josh Gurnick/USATF)Thea LaFond at the 2021 USATF Sprint Summit (Josh Gurnick/USATF) © Copyright

Racing into a 1.4m/s headwind, there was a 100m hurdles win for Britain’s European indoor silver medallist Cindy Sember as she clocked 13.02 ahead of the USA’s Gabriele Cunningham with 13.22. Sember’s sister Tiffany Porter, the British record-holder, was third in 13.23.

Pan American Games champion Shane Brathwaite of Barbados won the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.82 (-0.9m/s).

The USA’s Olympic and 2017 world 4x100m gold medallist Morolake Akinosun went quickest in the 100m, winning the second heat in 11.26 into a -1.3m/s headwind. Gabby Thomas was second in 11.38 and both athletes returned to the track for the 200m a short while later, with world leader Thomas coming out a clear winner, running 23.04 into a -1.4m/s headwind ahead of Akinosun’s 23.45.

Liberian record-holder Emmanuel Matadi won the men’s 100m in 10.29 (-0.7m/s) and returned to finish second in the 200m in 20.97 (-0.9m/s) behind the USA’s Andrew Hudson with 20.90.

The women’s 400m featured a number of world gold medallists and it was the USA’s multiple world 4x400m champion Beard who finished on top, clocking 52.38 to win the third heat from Jamaica’s Chrisann Gordon-Powell with 52.47. Jaide Stepter Baynes was third in 52.54 ahead of world 800m silver medallist Rogers with 53.52 and world 400m hurdles record-holder Dalilah Muhammad with 53.77 in that same race. Stepter Baynes and Muhammad also ran 23.86 and 24.36 respectively for 200m.

In the men’s races, Kenya’s African 800m silver medallist Emmanuel Korir won the second 400m heat in 46.06 to post the quickest time overall. Marcus Chambers was second in 46.12.

The 1500m events were won by the USA’s Isaiah Harris in a 3:42.63 PB and Dana Mecke in 4:17.14.

Jamaica’s Shadae Lawrence won the women’s discus with 57.76m and the USA’s Reggie Jagers the men’s competition with 63.71m.

The swirling wind proved impossible for the pole vaulters as none of the five-strong field managed to clear the opening height of 5.45m.

Jess Whittington for World Athletics

Photos by Josh Gurnick/USATF