Forte, Thompson-Herah highlight 2nd Velocity Fest meet

Forte, Thompson-Herah highlight 2nd Velocity Fest meet

Monday, July 20, 2020

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SEASON-BEST runs from Julian Forte and Elaine Thompson-Herah in the men's and women's 100m races, respectively, highlighted Saturday's second in the series of Velocity Fest track meets, staged by the MVP Track and Field Club at Jamaica College's Ashenheim Stadium in Kingston.

Forte clocked 10.03 seconds (0.3m/s) to win the men's race, his fastest in three years, while Thompson-Herah followed up last week's season-opener in the 200m with a fast 11.19 seconds (-0.6m/s) to win her race.

Meanwhile, Ronda Whyte and Janieve Russell equalled the second-fastest time in the 400m hurdles for 2020 when they both clocked 55.40 seconds; 100m world leader Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran the third-fastest time in the women's 200m with 22.74 seconds (-0.9m/s); and junior Rasheed Broadbell clocked 13.47 seconds (-0.4m/s), the second-best in the world this year, in his first time over the Olympic height of 110m hurdles.

Forte, who was part of the Jamaican men's 4x100m relay team that won at the World Relays in The Bahamas in 2014, easily won his heat and is second in the world only to South Africa's Akani Simbine who ran 9.91 seconds in March, Forte being just ahead of American Trayvon Bromell's 10.04 seconds (1.6m/s) set earlier this month.

G C Foster's Romario Williams was second in 10.33 seconds, with World Championships bronze medallist Nesta Carter third in 10.35 seconds.

Thompson-Herah, who is running pain-free for the first time in two years, won the women's race ahead of G C Foster's Shashalee Forbes (11.49 seconds), with Srabani Nanda of MVP third in 11.78 seconds.

The women's 400m hurdles produced a close finish for the second-straight weekend, but this time Whyte of G C Foster edged Russell of MVP as both were credited with the same time of 55.40 seconds – season's best times – and joint second in the world behind Femka Bol of the Netherlands who ran 53.79 seconds at a meet at Sportcentrum Papendal, Arnhem, earlier in the day.

Petersfield High School's Shaquena Foote was third in one minute, 05.51 seconds.

Fresh off her world-leading run a week prior, Fraser-Pryce won the women's 200m in 22.74 seconds (-0.9m/s), her first 200m of the season and third-best in the world.

Only Shaunae Miller-Uibo's 22.61 seconds set two weeks ago, and China's Manqi Ge's 22.69 seconds set in May, have been faster this year.

Miller-Uibo's Bahamian teammate Anthonique Strachan was second on Saturday with 23.05 seconds and G C Foster's Forbes ran 23.39 seconds for third.

Yohan Blake ran his first sprint event of the season and won the men's 200m in 20.62 seconds (-0.8m/s), beating Sprintec's Rasheed Dwyer who ran 20.66 seconds for second, while Williams of G C Foster was third with 20.89 seconds.

Nineteen-year-old Broadbell of the University of Technology put down a big marker with his 13.47 seconds time (-0.4m/s), with only Andrew Pozzi of Great Britain (13.30 seconds) having gone faster in 2020.

Broadbell ran the race virtually alone as the other competitor, Wavel Hinds, failed to finish the course.

World Championships medallist Shericka Jackson ran the ninth-fastest time in the women's 400m in the world so far this year, 52.00 seconds, beating Tovia Jenkins who won the one-lap event last weekend but could only manage 54.24 seconds on Saturday, with Vanessa Crooks of Pelicans Track Club third in 54.75 seconds.

National record holder Rusheen McDonald opened his season by winning the men's 400m in 46.36 seconds, while G C Foster's Akani Slater was second overall in 46.74 seconds as his teammate Demar Murray secured third in 47.19 seconds.

World champion Tajay Gayle won the men's long jump with 8.13m (-0.6m/s) and any of his three jumps would have won, as UWI, Mona's Domon Williams was second with 7.24m (-0.8m/s) and Joseph Ramie took third with 7.16m (-1.0m/s).

Meanwhile, Malik James-King of MVP won the men's 400m hurdles in 52.70 seconds and Megan Tapper won the women's 100m hurdles in 13.38 seconds (-0.9m/s).

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