KINGSTON, Jamaica-Yohan Blake and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce led their respective 100m after Thursday’s first day of the four-day Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) National Championships at the National Stadium.
Yohan Blake ran a season’s best 9.93 seconds (0.7m/s) after being overshadowed by his younger competitors most of the season, while Fraser-Pryce continued her brilliant form with a 10.70 seconds (1.1m/s) time.
Blake, who had run 10.05 seconds coming into the championships, had watched as Oblique Seville, the fastest Jamaican this year, won his first round heat with 9.98 seconds (1.3m/s), before responding.
Nineteen -year-old Conroy Jones of St Elizabeth Technical, lowered his personal best from 10.14 seconds to 10.00 seconds (1.2m/s) edging the fast- rising Ackeem Blake 10.01 seconds in their heat.
Kadrian Goldosn also won his heat in a personal best 10.16 seconds (0.8m/s), while Kemar Bailey-Cole, Oshane Bailey, Jelani Walker, and Nigel Ellis, all advanced to the semis set for Friday.
After running 10.67 seconds twice so far, the latest in Paris last weekend, the 35-year-old Fraser-Pryce showed no fatigue as she blazed to a sublime 10.70 seconds (1.1m/s) to lead the field that saw four women run under 11.00 seconds, setting up the promise of fireworks at Friday’s semi-finals and finals.
Fraser-Pryce got off to her usual bullet start and controlled the race from the start, as former World Under- 20 sprint double champion Briana Williams equalled her season’s best 10.98 seconds for second.
Kemba Nelson of the University of Oregon, who was second in the NCAA 100m two weeks ago, also ran 10.98 seconds (1.1m/s) to edge Olympic Games bronze medalist Shericka Jackson- 10.99 seconds- as Olympic sprint double champion Elaine Thompson-Herah had little trouble winning her heat in 11.06 seconds (0.5m/s).
-Paul A Reid