Thompson, Tracey capture sprint titles at Trials

Observer staff reporter

Saturday, June 23, 2018

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High drama and controversy in the men's and women's 100m semi-finals stole the spotlight on the second day of the JAAA Supreme Ventures Limited National Senior and Junior Championships, inside National Stadium yesterday.

The first semi-final in the men's event had four false starts, which resulted in an approximate 20-minute delay as athletes who were disqualified ran under protest.

On the first occasion 2011 World Champion Yohan Blake in lane three appeared to have false-started, but after a brief review the officials gave the field a green card.

A second attempt was made to get the race under way but Romario Williams of G C Foster College appeared to jump the gun, but the starters again displayed the green card.

Blake again jumped the gun when the runners made a third attempt at a start, and this time he was shown the red card and disqualified from the event. However, after a lengthy discussion with the officials it was announced that the Racers Track Club representative would be running under protest.

So down they went for a fourth attempt at start and after settling in the blocks, former National Champion Oshane Bailey false-started and the event was brought into disrepute after he was shown the red card.

Bailey, who also wanted to run under protest, stood his ground despite being shown the red card on more than one occasion. He was later taken off the track by one of the Sprintec coaches.

That decision did not sit well with another Racers Track Club representative Kemar Bailey-Cole, and, as another show of protest, he walked away from the blocks leaving the next six competitors in the event.

Blake went on to win in 10.20s ahead of Julian Forte (10.33s) of MVP and Senoj Jay Givans (10.40s) of Racers Track Club.

But with Blake later disqualified the door was open for Tyquendo Tracey of MVP to cop his first national title in a personal best 10.07secs in a negative 0.1 mps wind speed.

Kenroy Anderson (10.24s) of Racers Track Club finished well on the outside for second with MVP's Nesta Carter in third in 10.31secs.

Earlier, double World and Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of MVP also survived a false-start scare in semi-final two of the women's event. She went on to lead all finalists with an 11.15-second clocking.

However, it was Elaine Thompson, who claimed the national crown with a late burst to win in 11.01secs in a positive 0.4mps wind speed, leading a clean sweep for MVP track club.

Fraser-Pryce, who continues to round into form, clocked a new season's best 11.09secs for second, with the versatile Shericka Jackson, also of MVP, in third in a personal best 11.13secs.

Meanwhile, Commonwealth Games champion Janieve Russell of MVP claimed the national title in the women's 400m hurdles in a comfortable 54.18secs.

Leah Nugent of Puma was second in 54.70, with dethroned national champion Ronda Whyte (54.90) of Sprintec closing fast for third.

The men's event was won by Annsert Whyte, who produced a post-to-post performance from lane eight to hold off the field and claim the national crown in 48.80.

Shawn Rowe of Puma was second in 49.04 and Kemar Mowatt (49.16) of University of Arkansas in third.

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Natoya Goule successfully retained her national crown with a command performance in the 800m final, winning in a tidy 1:58.85. Samoya Campbell finished second in a season's best 2:00.59, with Fallon Ferguson (2:03.56) in third.

Former St Elizabeth Technical High School stalwart Jauavney James made a successful introduction to the senior level with victory in the men's 800m.

Eric McKenzie was second in 1:50.77 with former Jamaica College star Ken Reyes (1:51.55) of Turks and Caicos Islands finishing third.

The men's 1,500m, which was a match race between many-time national champion Kemoy Campbell of Reebok and Thaleetio Green of University of Technology, saw Campbell winning comfortably in 3:51.04 and pulling Green to a personal best 3:52.25.

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