Sprint divas Elaine, Shelly sparkle with season’s bests
Jamaican sprint divas Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce both produced season’s best performances to win the women’s 100m and 200m, respectively, at yesterday’s Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meet at Hayward Field, Eugene, Oregon.
Less than a month before what is expected to be two mouth-watering clashes at the Jamaican National Championships, the Jamaicans showed they were making steady progress for the World Championships that will be held on the same track.
Thompson-Herah ran 10.79 seconds (0.7m/s) to win the 100m coming from behind as Fraser-Pryce led all the way to win the 200m in 22.41 seconds (0.8m/s).
The expected bad weather that forced some events to be held on Friday’s first day was not much of a factor as the heavy rains held up just before the start of the Diamond League races.
Thompson-Herah, the back-to-back Olympic sprint double champion dismissed any suggestions about her fitness with a sublime 10.79 seconds (0.7m/s), second fastest in the world to Fraser-Pryce’s 10.67 seconds world-leading mark.
After a somewhat sluggish start, Thompson-Herah blew away the strong field with a powerful second half to beat her previous season’s best 10.89 seconds set two weeks ago.
American Sha’Carrie Richardson was second with a season’s best 10.92 seconds just ahead of Olympic bronze medallist Shericka Jackson who was also timed in 10.92 seconds and took over the lead in the Diamond race.
The third Jamaican Briana Williams was ninth with 11.20 seconds.
“I’m happy to cross the line healthy and with the win,” Thompson-Herah said after the race. “It got me ready for my championship in Jamaica next month. I’m happy to see where I’m at. The result is good.”
Fraser-Pryce got off to a fast start and never trailed in the 200m, producing a commanding performance and won by a comfortable margin, beating the 22.79 seconds she ran in her first 200m race of the season.
American Brittany Brown was second with 22.74 seconds and Jamaica based Bahamian Anthonique Strachan was third in 22.76 seconds.
Despite running a seasons best 1:59.39 seconds, Natoya Goule-Topping finished fourth in the women’s 800m, after leading with just under 200m to go.
Goule-Topping, who was third a week ago in Birmingham, was tucked in behind the pacemaker and took over the lead after 400m and looked well set at the top of the home stretch but was passed first by the talented Brit Keely Hodgkinson who won in a world-leading 1:57.72 seconds.
American Ajee Wilson was second with 1:58.06 seconds and Raevyn Rogers third in 1:58.44 seconds.
Danielle Williams, the 2015 World Champion, was fifth in the 100m hurdles in 12.71 seconds ((-0.7m/s) as world leader Jasmine Camacho-Quinn won with 12.45 seconds ahead of Tobi Amusan, who ran a season’s best 12.58 seconds, and Tonea Marshall with 12.66 seconds.
Jaheel Hyde with 50.38 seconds and Kemar Mowatt with 50.81 seconds finished seventh and eighth, respectively. The 400m hurdles was won by Brazil’s Alison Dos Santos who lowered his world-leading time to 47.23 seconds.