Fraser-Pryce, Ashmeade open with wins

Fraser-Pryce, Ashmeade open with wins

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Saturday, May 10, 2014    

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JAMAICA'S Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce opened the defence of the women's IAAF Diamond League 100m title with a win at the Qatar Athletics Super Grand Prix in Doha, yesterday.

World and Olympic champion Fraser-Pryce, who won both the 100m and 200m Diamonds last season, was one of two Jamaican winners on the programme, as World Championships finalist Nickel Ashmeade won the men's 200m ahead of compatriot Warren Weir.

Fraser-Pryce used her usually brilliant start to get to the front early and held off a fast finishing Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria to win in a modest 11.13 seconds (-0.8m/s wind).

She told reporters after the race she was pleased that she was able to complete the race healthy and was looking forward to competing in the 200m at the Shanghai stop.

"This year is a lot different from previous years and as you prepare for the next World Championships and Olympics your programme is geared differently and I think overall I was just happy that I finished (the race) healthy," she said "It's always a good competition to come and compete against the ladies as they always show up and for us it keeps us on our toes."

Fraser-Pryce will next run in Shanghai, China, where she will run the 200m. She said she was looking forward to it and to get under the 22.00 seconds barrier.

Okagbare, who had won the 100m last week at the Jamaica International Invitational, clocked a season's best 11.18 seconds, finishing ahead of two Jamaicans -- Kerron Stewart, who also had a season's best 11.25 seconds, and Carrie Russell, who timed 11.29 seconds.

Ashmeade ran a well-timed race to win the men's 200m in 20.13 seconds (-0.2m/s wind) as Weir, who got off to a slow start just failed to catch him, clocking 20.31 seconds. A third Jamaican, Rasheed Dwyer, who had won in Kingston, was fifth in 20.48 seconds, his best so far this season.

Former two-time Diamond League champion Kaleise Spencer was second in the women's 400m hurdles, running 55.07 seconds with a strong second half, but could not catch the fast-starting Nigerian-born Kemi Adekoya of Bahrain, who ran a world leading and national record 54.59 seconds from lane one.

IAAF World Indoor bronze medallist Kimberly Williams was third in the women's triple jump with a best mark of 14.15m coming in the third round.

Williams passed on her fifth and sixth attempts after fouling her fourth attempt as Colombia's world champion Caterine Ibarguen won in a world leading and meet record 14.43m, with Olha Saladuka second with 14.32m.

Long jumper Damar Forbes was seventh with a best of 7.67m, making just two legal marks from his six attempts, while quarter-miler Edino Steele was eighth in his race in 46.36 seconds.





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