Stars shine! - Jeter, Sinclair, Walker cop world-leading times at JII
Johan Blake (centre) wins the men’s 100 metres in a wind-aided 9.80 seconds at the JN/Jamaica International Invitational Meet at the National Stadium last night. At second left is Michael Frater, whoplaced in 9.98. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)

WORLD-leading times by Olympic champion Melaine Walker, Carmelita Jeter and Kenia Sinclair helped yesterday's JN/Jamaica International Invitational live up to its billing in its first year as an IAAF World Challenge Meet at the National Stadium last night.

The Jeter of the USA retained the title she won last year after posting a meet record and world-leading 10.86 seconds to win the women's 100m, bettering the 10.94 she set last year.

It was Jeter's second world-leading time within a month after clocking 10.99 in California on April 16.

“At the beginning of training I didn't know what my coach was doing and I looked at him like, 'why am I doing this?' but he said 'just trust me' and I did,” she said after yesterday' race.

Trinidad's Kelly Ann Baptiste, who advanced like a rocket in the final 10 metres, finished a close second in 10.94, while Jamaica's Sherone Simpson was third in 11.07.

Kerron Stewart posted a similar time for fourth and after coming back from injury and surgery was happy with her performance.

“This is my first one and I never run this fast in my first open... so I'm pleased,” she said.

National champion Kenia Sinclair kept her unbeaten streak at the meet, pounding away in the final 200 to race to a world-best and meet record 1:58.41 to win the womens' 800m for the fourth time.

Phoebe Wright was 20 metres behind in 1:59.98, while her countrywoman Molly Beckwith was third in 2:00.08.

World and Olympic champion Melaine Walker led from the 200m mark but was pushed on the curve by the American Nicole Leach before pressing ahead in the straight to take the womens' 400m hurdles in a worldleading 55.60 seconds.

Despite the world best, Walker said she would have wanted to run low 55, but was still ready for what the rest of the season had to offer.

“I came out today to feel my rhythm back. I'm not that far off. All I need to do is get back in training because I haven't hurdled since because I had a slight injury. Once I can get that right, I'll be back,” she said.

Leach posted 56.08 to finish ahead of Daniele Gilchrist of the USA in 57.67.

Meanwhile, Yohan Blake posted a wind-aided 9.80 seconds (+2.2ms) to win the men's 100m ahead of his training partner Daniel Bailey of Antigua, 9.94, and Mike Rodgers of the USA, 9.96.

World and Olympic relay gold medallist Michael Frater was fourth in 9.98, while national champion Oshane Bailey finished sixth in 10.12 seconds.

Olympic silver medallist Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago posted 10.16 for seventh.

World champion Kerron Clement was upstaged in the men's 400m hurdles despite leading for the most of the race as US counterpart Justin Gaymon beat him five metres from the line to win in 48.58 seconds to Clement's 48.74. Jamaica's Danny McFarlane posted 49.04 for third.

Gaymon was happy with stopping the world and American champ and said it was a big confidence-booster for the remainder of the season.

“I feel like the underdog and I feel like... I'm getting better with time, so hopefully, I'll keep progressing.”

McFarlane said he said he still had to work on his technique but was feeling good after his first big race of the season.

“I think that I'm really back... give me two more and you're going to see me real, really back.”

Clement was not too perturbed at being beaten: “I felt good. I just need to work my last half. Otherwise I felt strong,” he told the Sunday Observer.

The USA's Khadevis Robinson won the men's 800m in 1:46.25, followed by Duane Solomon of Jamaica, 1:46.37, and Karjuan Williams of the USA, 1:47.26.

South African Pete Van der WestHuizen improved on his silver from last year's meet, clocking 3:45.19 to win the men's 1500m ahead of Derek Scott of the USA, 3:45.24, and Rob Myers, 3:45.32.

Jacques Harvey clocked 10.04 to win the JAAA men's development 100m ahead of Remaldo Rose in a personal best 10.20 and Kimmari Roach, 10.30.

Warren Weir of Racer's Track Club clocked 47.28 seconds to win the men's development 400m ahead of national representative Tarik Edwards in 47.44 and Trumaine Fitten, 47.69.

Wolmer's Boys' looked on the verge of repeating their record-breaking run from last weekend's Penn Relays in the high school boys 4x100m relay and were well in the lead with 50m remaining in the final leg before Chaddick Hinds of St Elizabeth Technical put on a blistering display to pip them on the line in a meet record 39.99 seconds, lowering the 40.27 set by Camperdown last year.

Wolmer's were second in 40.04 and Jamaica College third in 40.32.

Herbert Morrison claimed the first event of the evening, the high school girls' 4x100m relay in 45.20 ahead of Holmwood, 45.42, and Vere Technical, 45.47.



World and Olympic champion Melaine Walker clears a barrier on her way to victory in the women’s 400-metres hurdles at the National Stadium last night. Walker clocked a world-leading 55.60 seconds.(Photo: Bryan Cummings)
Kenia Sinclair kept her unbeaten streak at the meet, pounding away in the final 200 to race to a world-best and meet record 1:58.41 to win the womens’ 800m
Yohan Blake posted a wind-aided 9.80 seconds (+2.2ms) to win the men’s 100m
BY DANIA BOGLE Observer staff reporter

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