Thompson, Blake rule sprints
Bolt pulls out of National Championships with grade one hamstring tearSaturday, July 02, 2016
BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter email@example.com
The National Stadium erupted in delight, then disbelief after Elaine Thompson equalled the national 100m record; Usain Bolt pulled out injured; Nickel Ashmeade was temporarily disqualified before being reinstated in a drama-filled men’s 100m final won by Yohan Blake on the second day of the 2016 Supreme Ventures Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) National Senior Championships last night.
Thompson crowned herself national 100m champion and in the process equalled the national record, clocking a scintillating 10.70 seconds (+0.3 mps). It was also a world-leading mark by Thompson, who powered away from double Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in second place with a season’s best of 10.93 seconds. ‘New kid on the block’ Christania Williams also upset the apple cart by placing third in a personal best of 10.97 seconds, her first sub-11-second clocking.
Veteran Veronica Campbell Brown was fourth in 11.10 seconds just ahead of Simone Facey in 11.11, and Sashalee Forbes in 11.17. Kerron Stewart was seventh with 11.28, while Kali Davis-White finished in eighth place in 11.37 seconds.
Thompson, who had signalled her intention in the semi-final with 10.85 seconds, easing down, defied her usually poor start and was up on the shoulders of Fraser-Pryce quite early before pulling away for a most impressive victory. Uncertainty had surrounded Fraser-Pryce entering the Championships with reports of an injured toe, and she clearly was off her best form.
With worrying news filtering through that Bolt had a hamstring injury and had withdrawn as a precaution, seven men lined up for the 100m final with lane five empty as confirmation. Bolt later posted on
Facebook that he suffered a grade one hamstring tear and withdrew as precaution.
The second sound of the starter’s gun signalled problems at the start, and to the fans’ dismay, Ashmeade was shown the red card to indicate his disqualification. However, most of his collegeaues in the race quickly protested and, coupled with loud shouts of "no" from spectators, the officials were forced to revisit the decision and Ashmeade was reinstated. He then punched his ticket to Rio clocking 9.96 seconds for second.
Blake, who was winning his second national title following his triumph in 2012, got a good start and powered his way to 9.95 seconds. His Racers’ teammate Jevaughn Minzie, who ran his personal best for the third time at the championship, was third in 10.02 seconds.
Former world record holder Asafa Powell, the man with the most sub 10-second clockings, failed to deliver another such time when it mattered most and was fourth in 10.03 seconds, just ahead of Kemar Bailey-Cole also in 10.03. Senoj-Jay Givans was sixth in 10.06 ahead of Jason Livermore, who television replays indicated left his blocks well ahead of the field the first time of asking, seventh in 10.19 seconds.
Meanwhile, Ristananna Tracey turned in a gutsy performance to win the women’s 400m hurdles in 54.75 seconds, where she repelled the challenge of Leah Nugent late on for a facile victory. Nugent was second in 55.44 seconds ahead of Kaliese Spencer third with 55.83 seconds.
Annsert Whyte defended his men’s crown in 48.66 seconds in a dominant display, in which he took control early and was never headed. World Junior champion, 19-year-old Jaheel Hyde booked his spot to Rio, finishing second in a national junior record of 48.81. Roxbert Cato was third in 48.96 seconds.
Earlier, in the women’s 400m, World Championship bronze medallist Shericka Jackson jogged 52.74 seconds from heat two, while Stephenie-Ann McPherson cruised to 52.10 in heat one. Novlene Williams-Mills took heat three in 52.51 and edged Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby into second with 52.74 as both qualified easily. But the fastest time was recorded by a smooth-looking Christine Day with 50.78 seconds in heat four. Chrisann Gordon was second in 51.65 seconds.
National record holder, Rusheen McDonald clocked 45.99 seconds in heat one of the men’s 400m ahead of a relaxed-looking Nathon Allen in 46.18 seconds. Crowd favourite, 16-year-old Christopher Taylor from Calabar High School, captured heat three in 46.25 with a lot in reserve ahead of Jonia McDonald in 46.29.
Demish Gaye won heat four in 46.09 ahead of Javere Bell in 46.38 and Ivan Henry with 46.91 seconds, while Peter Matthews won heat five with 45.77 ahead of Fitzroy Dunkley in 46.16. Defending champion Javon Francis of Akan jogged 47.22 from heat six, while Ricardo Chambers won heat seven in 46.60 seconds.
Tarasue Barnett captured the women’s discus with a throw of 59.03m ahead of Shadae Lawrence with 58.95 and Kellion Knibb with 57.56m.
Xavier Boland won the men’s pole vault with 4.60m which was way below the Olympic qualifying mark of 5.70m. Kemoy Campbell raced the clock in the 5,000m and won in 13:43.21 minutes.
Strymar Livingston was quickest into the men’s 800m final winning heat one in 1:49.30 minutes. Sadiki White was second with 1:50.69. Jowayne Hibbert won heat two in 1:52.79 ahead of Damion Walker with 1:52.88 and Chadoye Dawson in 1:53.29 minutes.
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