Sport

Redemption Dance

Williams runs world-leading 12.32 in 100m hurdles

Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Danielle Williams scorched to a World-leading national record of 12.32 (0.8 mps) in the 100m hurdles and moved closer to the Diamond League final — which could be her wild card to the World Championship in Doha.

The 2015 World Championships gold medallist was disqualified from the Jamaica National Championship, which hampered her chances of making the Jamaican team.

But with a spot avaliable via the Diamond League winner, Williams is on course and could make her way onto the team if she wins the Diamond League trophy.

Williams ran the perfect race yesterday on her way to lowering Janeek Brown's national record of 12.40, set in June, to an impressive 12.32 — which makes her the seventh-fastest woman in history and her time, the 15th best ever.

The World record of 12.20 has been held by American Kendra Harrison since July 2016.

Bulgarians Yordanke Donkova (12.21) and Ginka Zagorcheva (12.25), Russian Ludmila Engquist (12.26), American Brianna McNeal (12.26), and Australian Sally Pearson (12.28) are the six women who have gone faster than Williams in the history of the event.

Williams, drawn in lane seven, left the blocks like a bullet and sped away for a convincing victory ahead of Americans Nia Ali, who clocked a season's best 12.57, and Claye Queen in 12.64. Megan Tapper of Jamaica finished fourth in 12.66.

Williams, who thumped the air in delight after glancing at the clock, said she was thrilled.

“My aim was always to run fast. It has been coming all season and it was just about when,” said Williams.

The 26-year-old Williams lowered her personal best of 12.48 when she ran 12.41 earlier in the heats, while Tapper clocked a personal best of 12.63 and won heat two. Yanique Thompson clocked 12.96 and failed to make the final.

“The track is a fast (one) and the fact that we get two opportunities because of the heats, you can fix what you did wrong and [be] ready for the finals,” Williams explained.

“I am looking forward to the next stage of the Diamond League in Birmingham, and hopefully onto the finals,” she added.

Meanwhile, in a non-Diamomd League event, double Olympic champion and World leader Elaine Thompson sped to 22.13 and captured the 200m in convincing fashion ahead of Marie-Josee Tanya Lou of Ivory Coast in 22.36.

“I'm feeling great to be back in London competing over 200m,” said Thompson, quickest over the 100m and 200m this year.

“It's all work in progress. It's a long season so I just came out here to perform and enjoy it.”

Jamaica's Shashalee Forbes finished fourth in 22.93 and Schillonie Calvert-Powell was seventh with 23.16.

Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran a storming anchor leg and overturned what appeared to be an eight-metre deficit to catch Great Britain on the line.

The Jamaican quartet of Natasha Morrison, Elaine Thompson, Jonelle Smith and Fraser-Pryce won the 4x100m relay in 42.29, which was just outside the World-leading mark of 42.21 held by the USA. Great Britain, which looked all over the winner on the anchor leg, was second in 42.30 with China third in 42.71.

In the men's 100m, South Africa's Akani Simbine (9.93sec) beat Britain's Zharnel Hughes into second place in a race during which five runners dipped under 10 seconds.

Former World champion Yohan Blake was third in a time of 9.97sec.

Jamaica's Shericka Jackson won the women's 400m in a time of 50.69sec.

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

— Observer/AFP


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