Gayle, Thomas-Dodd score wins at Miramar InvitationalMonday, April 12, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
Jamaica's World champion Tajay Gayle recorded a world-leading 8.27m (1.5m/s) in the men's long jump and Commonwealth Games and Pan American Games shot put champion Danniel Thomas-Dodd were winners at Saturday's inaugural Miramar Invitational at the Ansin Sports Complex, Hollywood, Florida, a part of the World Athletics Continental Tour Silver meeting.
However, American sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson stole the show after she blazed to a mouth-watering personal best and world-leading 10.72 seconds (1.6m/s) to win the women's 100m, the sixth best time ever run.
The 21-year-old Houston native had won the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) 100m title for Louisiana State two years ago in 10.75 seconds, her previous personal best before taking the leap to go professional last year.
She trails only world record holder Florence Griffith-Joyner (10.49 seconds), Carmelita Jeter (10.64 seconds), Marion Jones (10.65 seconds) and the Jamaican pair of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah, who both ran 10.70 seconds.
There was also a scary moment for Jamaica's Akeem Bloomfield who failed to complete the men's 200m, crashing to the track in the straight way and is feared to have suffered a muscle injury.
Reports are that he is to be further examined today to determine the extent of the injury.
Gayle, who was in his fourth competition of the season, had just two legal jumps but made them count, taking the lead in the second round after fouling his first attempt and then had a wind-aided 8.18m (3.0m/s) with Holland Martin of The Bahamas taking second with a wind-aided 8.15m (2.4m/s).
Gayle, who had just one measurement over 8.00m prior to Saturday's performance, moved from ninth place in the table to the top where there is another Jamaican in the top five — Shakwon Coke, who jumped a personal best 8.16m at an American Junior College meet two weeks ago.
Thomas-Dodd led from the start and her 19.17m effort got her the victory as well as moved her up to third on the World Athletics charts.
American Maggie Ewen had a season-best 18.69m for second and Jessica Ramsey threw 18.61m in the final round to jump from seventh place to finish third.
Jamaica's US-based Lloydricia Cameron was sixth with a personal-best 18.11m, just off the Olympic Qualifying mark of 18.50m.
Natoya Goule, Jamaica's middle distance darling, had a good outdoors season opener, clocking two minutes 00.92 seconds for second place in the 800m, behind the USA's Ajee Wilson, who won with 2:00.57 minutes, with another American, Allie Wilson, third with 2.02.58 minutes.
Olympic hopeful Rajay Hamilton was third in the men's 800m in 1:48.32 minutes, behind the USA pair of Abe Alvarado (1:47.29 minutes) and Kameron Jones (1:47.33 minutes).
Despite finishing in fourth and sixth positions, respectively, in the women's 200m, Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, who ran a wind-aided 22.44 seconds (2.3m/s), and World Under-20 champion Briana Williams (22.93 seconds) were pleased with their performances.
In a video post on her social media page, Williams said she was surprised she had run so fast in her first outing over 200m in two years, her best opening 200m ever. “I am pretty shocked at my time today, my coach told me that I was going to run fast and I did that 22.93. I am very happy and I am really glad that I finished healthy,” she said. “It's been two years since I have run a 200m and it felt new to me but it will come back gradually.”
She said she was grateful for the strong competition so early in the season. “I am just happy to have run with such a strong field, the best of the best. I am pretty happy with the race and just wished that I could hold my form until the end but we still have more work to in training,” said Williams, who will run next on April 24 in Oregon.
Thompson-Herah said she was ahead of where she was at this time last year. “It feels good to be back on the track once more. This time last year I wasn't even ready for a 200m because of starting training late. This is my fastest 200m opener and am so grateful for this development meet to actually see where I am at.”
In the women's 100m, Natalliah Whyte was third in 11.16 seconds after running 11.07 seconds (1.3m/s) in the preliminary round, joint fourth best in the world so far. Natasha Morrison had two seasons best with 11.19 seconds for fourth after she had run 11.22 seconds (0.4m/s) earlier, while Kasheika Cameron ran 11.41 (0.6m/s) in the prelims but failed to advance.
Stephenie-Ann McPherson was fourth in the women's 400m with a season's best 51.09 seconds and Chrissann Gordon-Powell placed sixth in 51.39 in her season opening run.
The impressive American hurdles specialist Shamier Little won with another personal best and world-leading 49.91 seconds followed by Quanera Hayne, who took second in a season's best 49.92 seconds and Kendall Ellis third in 50.48 seconds.
Ronald Levy was fourth in the 110m hurdles in a wind-aided 13.39 seconds (2.2m/s) followed by Andrew Riley in fifth with 13.42 seconds, as newly minted world indoors 60m world record holder Grant Holloway won with 13.04 seconds.
Meanwhile, Schillonie Calvert-Powell was third in the women's 100m at the Masked raider Invite at Texas Tech with a wind-aided 11.54 seconds (2.3m/s) while Odean Skeen was second in men's equivalent in 10.41 seconds (1.6m/s) at the North Texas Classic.
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