Sports

Jamaicans set 4 national records in last fortnight

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer

Monday, February 12, 2018

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FoUr national records, two by Aisha Praught-Leer, were set in the last two weeks by Jamaican athletes as they stepped up preparation for respective championships, including the Commonwealth Games set for Gold Coast in Australia in early April.

Praught-Leer, an Olympic Games and World Championships representative, lowered the times in the indoors 1500m and 3000m races, while Fedrick Dacres improved his national record in the men's discus by almost a metre to 69.83m, also increasing his world-leading mark after he won the event at the King of the Ring event held at Excelsior High on Saturday.

Former Kingston College runner Ackeem Bloomfield, running for Auburn University on Friday, clocked a new personal best 45.02 seconds at the Tiger Paw Invitational at Clemson University.

He broke the 45.37 seconds set in 2002 by Pete Coley in Fayetteville.

A fifth new mark was set in January when Natoya Goule lowered the mark in the seldom run indoor 600m to 1 minute, 28.20 seconds, also at Clemson.

On Saturday at Excelsior, Dacres' 69.83m beat the 68.88m he set at Excelsior last year and was way beyond the 68.08m world-leading mark he set in January.

Jamaicans occupy the top three places on the men's discus throw rankings early in the season, with World Championships finalist Traves Smikle in second place with a personal best 67.72m, and Chad Wright with 61.26m.

Praught-Leer, who is preparing for both the IAAF World Indoors to be held in Birmingham, UK, next month, and the Commonwealth Games, broke the 3000m mark at the prestigious Millrose Games in New York on February 3, clicking 8 minutes 41.10 seconds — eighth in the world and well under the 9:08.55 minutes set by Korene Hinds in February 2003 at the Boston Indoor Games at Roxbury in the United States.

Last weekend she rewrote the 1500m mark with 4:04.95 minutes, fifth best in the world so far this season and faster than the 4:12.86 held by Mardea Hyman since 2004.

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