Clayton closes season with 400mH victory
In this file photo, Jamaica’s Rushell Clayton competes in the women’s 400m hurdles event during the IAAF Diamond League Anniversary Games athletics meeting at the London Stadium in England on July 21, 2019. (Photo: AFP)

RUSHELL Clayton ended her season on a high on Sunday after she set a new meet record 53.89 seconds to win the women's 400m hurdles at the Boris Hanzekovic Memorial in Zagreb, Croatia.

It was the final World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meet of the season.

Clayton, who was a finalist at both the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in July and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, in August was the only Jamaican winner at the meet which started Friday.

The Jamaican athlete, who ran her fifth-fastest time over the 400m hurdles and fourth best this season, broke the 54.14 set in 2000 by Cuba's Daimi Pernia.

Viktoriya Tkachuk of the Ukraine was second to Clayton in 54.97 and another Jamaican, Commonwealth Games champion Janieve Russell, was third in 55.04.

"I actually did not know what the meeting record was. I just wanted to run my last race and to get a good race, and I did just that," she said.

"The weather did not affect me, really, because I was in a zone and I just wanted to come out here and compete — it is my last one."

Clayton added: "The season was an amazing one; I am very excited for that. It is exciting to be a part of this event nowadays. I have already hit some goals that I set for myself this year so I am going to continue to work hard so I can get them the next season."

World Championships and Olympic Games finalist Candice McLeod was second in the women's 400m, running 51.52. Barbados's Commonwealth Games champion Sada Williams was third in 51.76 and Stephenie Ann McPherson fourth in 51.91.

Fiordaliza Cofil of the Dominican Republic won in 50.73.

NACAC Open medallist Megan Tapper was third in the 100m hurdles in 13.03 seconds (-0.1m/s) as American Tonea Marshall won in 12.74. Devynne Charlton of The Bahamas was third in 12.86.

On Friday's opening day of the three-day meet, Jamaica's Tajay Gayle was fourth in the men's long jump with 7.99m (0.0m/s), his only legal jump.

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

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