Elaine Thompson en route to her Jamaican 100m title (© Athelstan Bellamy)
Olympic champion Elaine Thompson retained her national 100m title with a hard fought victory over two-time Olympic and three-time world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce on Friday (22), the second day of the Jamaican Championships in Kingston.
It was Fraser-Pryce who looked the likely winner at the halfway stage after getting a flying start and opening up a three-metre gap on the field. Thompson, drawn on the outside, had other ideas as she scythed through the field going by Fraser-Pryce at the 85-metre mark before bursting the tape in 11.01 (0.4m/s). Fraser-Pryce held on for second in a season’s best of 11.09 ahead of the fast-finishing Shericka Jackson, stepping down in distance, in a personal best of 11.13.
“I have to give credit to my coach Stephen Francis for his patience the last couple of weeks which were very rough as I couldn’t train due to my achilles after the Prefontaine Classic,” said Thompson.
“I was running out of lane seven for the very first time in a 100m but the lane doesn’t matter, I just went out there and kept my composure. The start wasn’t great and I just decided not to panic but stay in my lane, swing my arms, and lift my knees.”
Fraser-Pryce was gracious in defeat. “I am pleased with my performance and excited about the outcome. I don’t think I can ask for anything else.”
Tracey beats delays to take men’s 100m crown
Chaos reigned in the first semi-final of the men’s 100m as the starter and his assistants were kept busy throughout after two faulty starts and two false starts which delayed the event for over 15 minutes. The two athletes who violated the rule included 2011 world champion Yohan Blake and 2010 national champion Oshane Bailey. Both decided to run under protest. 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Kemar Bailey-Cole was infuriated by the farcical events that unfolded around him and took no further part as he walked away in disgust.
Blake eventually won the race in 10.19 (-0.9m/s) but was excluded from the final which went to Tyquendo Tracey in a new personal best of 10.07 (-0.01 m/s) ahead of Kenroy Anderson 10.24.
Russell and Whyte take 400m hurdles wins
Commonwealth Games champion Janieve Russell blitzed the field in the women’s 400m hurdles to regain her national title in 54.18. Leah Nugent was a distant second in 54.70.
“Last year was a mishap, it feels very good to win tonight knowing that I’ve been working so hard,” Russell explained.
Russell, the only non-US athlete on the world’s top ten list, continued, “I am happy to be national champion again. I just need to work on my race plan a little more to get it close to perfect and the time will get faster.”
In the men’s equivalent Andre Clarke, after his easy looking 48.46 run in the semi-finals, came into the finals boasting the best credentials and it was safe to say it was his race to lose – and he did.
It was Olympic finalist Annsert Whyte who prevailed in 48.90 ahead of Shawn Rowe 49.04 and Kemar Mowatt 49.16. Clarke looked out of sorts while finishing a disappointing seventh in 49.98.
Natoya Goule continued her impressive season capturing the women’s 800m in 1:58.85 just 0.03 outside of her lifetime best when collecting bronze at the recent Commonwealth Games. Kemoy Campbell won the two-man 1500m event in 3:51.04 ahead of Thaleetio Green 3:52.29.
Elsewhere Shadae Lawrence of Kansas State University killed the competition stone dead in the women’s discus after her 61.44m heave was the only effort to breach the 60-metre barrier.
Noel Francis for the IAAF