Sport

Shelly blazes 10.78sec victory in London Diamond League

...Clayton, Bloomfield also score impressive wins

Monday, July 22, 2019

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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Rushell Clayton and Akeem Bloomfield secured impressive wins on the second of the two-day London Diamond League to complete a wonderful weekend for Jamaica, winning seven events at the Muller Anniversary Games.

Fraser-Pryce continued her outstanding form with another scintillating run to win the 100m in 10.78 seconds (0.7 mps), which was just outside her meeting record of 10.77 done in 2013. It was her ninth win from 11 finals, losing only to Elaine Thompson in the Jamaican Championships (Trials) by the narrowest of margins.

“Mommy Rocket” as she is now affectionately called, had won her earlier heat in a relaxed 10.95 seconds before exploding in the final for yet another commanding win, leaving home favourite Dina Asher-Smith well behind thanks to a blistering start.

Asher-Smith finished second in 10.92 seconds, with Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast third with a time of 10.98 seconds. Jamaica's Shashalee Forbes (11.35), Jonelle Smith (11.38) and Natasha Morrison all failed to advance from their heats.

Fraser-Pryce, who now owns three sub-10.8 clockings this year, said she was just happy for the win.

“At first I was a bit put off by the false start, but I was glad I was able to go back and reset myself. It was a quality field today and I must say that every time I race in London the field is always fantastic, so well done to all the ladies that raced today. I was really happy to come away with a win,” said Fraser-Pryce.

“I am definitely happy. It's a long season and I've been training and training. To come out here and run 10.78 is a fabulous time,” she added.

“I feel good. The aim is to make sure when I get to Doha that I'm on point. Right now the females are so close in terms of times, so you definitely just have to come out and make sure that you're ready to run,” she added.

“My aim for Doha is definitely to be on the podium. For me, it's a long season from here so I am hoping my experience will come into play,” she continued.

Meanwhile, national champion Rushell Clayton won her first Diamond League race by clocking a personal best of 54.16 seconds, which is the sixth-best performance in the world this year. Clayton's previous best was 54.73 seconds, attained at the Jamaican Championships in June.

Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic was second in 54.33 seconds, while Jamaica's Janieve Russell faded to fifth in 55.14 seconds.

“It feels great to come here in my second Diamond League and win in a field of very talented ladies; it's awesome,” said Clayton.

“I never came here expecting to win, I just came here to execute my race. As long as you execute your race on the day you will get to where you want to be — and I did just that and I ended up winning with a personal best,” said Clayton, who trains with Swept Track Club.

“I was just in my zone, saying 'Rushell, please execute, please execute', and I did just that. To do it here in London makes it even better,” she added.

Having missed out on a 200m spot to Doha, Akeem Bloomfield continued to show it might have been a mistake not to contest the 400m, as he eased to victory in 44.40 seconds, the fastest by any Jamaican this year.

Jonathan Jones of Barbados was second in 44.63 seconds, which is a national record, while Nathan Allen finished third in 44.85 seconds. He also missed the Jamaican Championships, but that was because of injury. The tall Bloomfield, who now owns the fifth best time in the world this year, was happy.

“It went pretty good. I think I executed the race okay. I got a pretty good time, so I'm happy right now. I came here last year and I won, so to come out and win again in London is amazing. I'm looking forward to my next race. As the season progresses I just want to get better and better and I'm really excited right now,” said Bloomfield.

Sportsman of the Year Fedrick Dacres finished second in the discus with a throw of 67.09m achieved on his first attempt. Sweden's Daniel Stahl hurled 68.56m, and smashed Gerd Kanter's discus meeting record of 67.82m from 2010.

Dacres, who was finishing second in six of his last seven events, was not too pleased. “Not thrilled with my overall result, distance wise. I felt like I had a lot more in me. I couldn't run up as hard as I would have perhaps desired, however, I felt I rotated well to get over 67m, and that was obviously good enough for second place,” said Dacres.

Also, Olympic and World Championships gold medallist Omar McLeod hit the first and last hurdles and finished third in the men's 110m hurdles in 13.32 seconds (0.4 mps). The tall Chinese, Wenjun Xie outdipped Frenchman Wilhem Belocian at the line to claim victory, though both stopped the clock at 13.28 seconds.

McLeod has not won in his last four races, with his last victory coming at the Shanghai Diamond League on May 18.

“I kind of messed up off the first false start; I didn't regroup as well. The first run I got out better, this one I got out to the first hurdle and stumbled. I had to recover and kind of run back; I just didn't catch up in time. My second half of the race was really good, I just need to make sure that I perfect the first part no matter what,” said McLeod.

“Hurdles is so hard, there is just so much mentally and physically. Literally anything can go wrong. You can be the fittest and the fastest out there but if you're not technically sound and you're not perfect out there, you're not going to win. It's just how hurdles is, and people need to understand. Just one mistake can ruin the entire race,” he explained.

He continued: “London is a special place for me. I wish I had got the win but what matters most is in October — I need to prepare for that. We have a lot more races to go so we will just have to see how that goes and be very patient. I know I'm a championship performer — just take it one step at a time, one meet at a time, and get ready for the big thing.”

Jamaica's long jumper Tajay Gayle leapt to a personal best of 8.32m and finished second behind Luvo Manyonga of South Africa, who won with 8.37m. Gayle's effort was the fourth best in the world this year.

Natoya Goule led into the straight but was relegated to seventh with a time of 2:00.51 minutes in the women's 800m. Britain's Lynsey Sharp won in a season's best of 1:58.61 minutes. Australia's Catriona Bisset was second in 1:58.78 minutes.

Elsewhere, Kenya's Obiri, World champion in the women's 5000m, posted a time of 14 minutes 20.36 seconds — the best of the year so far.

Dutch runner Sifan Hassan, who broke the 23-year-old women's mile record in Monaco last week, had to settle for bronze.

“I am so happy, because this is my favourite track and I have done my best, and I ran the way I wanted to,” said Obiri.

“In the last lap I was thinking, work hard, and I said to myself when I went past Hassan: 'Let me go and see if you can catch me.' I have been training well and this will help when I defend my title in Doha.”

Germany's Malaika Mihambo won the women's long jump with a leap of 7.02 metres.

China's Xie Zhenye set a new Asian record in winning the men's 200m in 19.88 seconds.

“It was amazing because it was my PB (personal best) and a new Asian record, so I'm very happy. I love you guys, I love this track,” he said.

“I just told myself to go fast. This gives me a lot of confidence for the World Championships.”

World indoor 1500m record holder Samuel Tefera of Ethiopia ran the fastest mile of the year so far in a time of 3:49.45 minutes, beating Norway's Filip Ingebrigtsen by just 0.15sec.

The mile is not an Olympic or World Championships distance.

Ingebrigtsen, 26, who set a new Norwegian record, is the older brother of 18-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who finished second in Saturday's 5000m.

Syria's Majd Eddin Ghazal won the men's high jump with a leap of 2.30m, beating World champion Mutaz Essa Barshim into second place.

Britain's men's sprinters won the 4x100m relay, clocking 37.60 seconds, the fastest time of the year.

There are Diamond League events to come in Birmingham, Paris, Zurich and Brussels in the lead-up to the World Championships in Doha, which start on September 27.

—Howard Walker/AFP


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