Athletes make final push for Moscow

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Sunday, June 23, 2013

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A number of Jamaican athletes will be facing decisive moments on this afternoon's final day of the four-day JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships if they are to put themselves in positions to be selected on the team for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow next month.

The crucial events look to be the women's triple jump, where only Kimberly Williams has achieved a 'B' qualifying standard so far; the men's shot put, where only local-based Raymond Brown has surpassed the 'B' standard, while only two Jamaicans have surpassed the 'A' qualifying standards in the women's 100m hurdles already with a handful under the 'B' qualifying mark.

Meanwhile, the first national record of the championships was broken yesterday when US-based, Canadian-born Daina Levy broke the 12-year-old women's hammer record, throwing a personal best 64.30m to beat Natalie Grant, the former national champion.

Levy, who holds the Auburn University record, won silver for Jamaica at the 2011 Pan-American Games in Miramar, Florida, broke the 63.75m set by Gretel Miller-Tjiroze in Provo, USA, way back in 2001.

Today, three Jamaican women will be seeking to punch their tickets to Moscow in the triple jump -- Kimberly Williams is the top Jamaican so far with a season best 14.25m set at the Pre-Fontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, and is over the 'B' standard of 14.20m, but will no doubt be gunning for the 'A' standard of 14.40m.

The London Olympic Games finalist has a personal best 14.53m set in the first round in London, and also had a wind-aided 14.78m in Eugene.

Former Vere Technical student Shanieka Thomas, who won at Penn Relays this year for San Diego State and who has been chosen for the World University Games in Russia in three weeks' time, has a season-best 14.15m, while London finalist Trecia Smith jumped 13.46m so far.

Danielle Williams is the Jamaican leader in the women's 100m hurdles with 12.89 seconds, well inside the 12.94 seconds 'A' standard, with Andrea Bliss also inside the mark with a 12.91 seconds set a few weeks ago at a JAAA Development meet at the National Stadium, her best result in about eight years.

Behind those two are a bunch of runners who are inside the 13.10 seconds 'B' mark, led by former World Championships and Olympic Games 400m champion Melanie Walker (13.05 seconds), former World Junior Championships silver medallist Shermaine Williams, who just missed the final in London by a whisker (13.07 seconds) so far this year, Kimberly Laing (13.09 seconds), while the veteran Vonette Dixon and Latoya Greaves have both clocked 13.10 seconds.

Dorian Scott created shot put history last year by making it to the final in London, the first by a Jamaican man, but is still to make at least the 'B' mark so far, while Brown, who trains at GC Foster Sports College, has a personal best 20.13m this year, just over the 'B' mark of 20.10m.

US-based Chad Wright and former World University Games champion Odayne Richards are also expected to line up for the event.




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