Goule snatches 800m win; Jackson takes 2nd; Tapper places 3rdSaturday, September 04, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
NATOYA Goule sent a message that she could be the one to watch in next week's Diamond League final in Zurich, Switzerland, after she won yesterday's women's 800m race at the Van Damme Memorial at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, Belgium, and topped the Diamond League points tables in the event.
The Olympic Games finalist and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist was the only Jamaican winner as Shericka Jackson was second in the women's 200m while sprint hurdler Megan Tapper was third in the 100m hurdles.
Goule ran a tactically brilliant race, clocking 1:58.09 minutes to hold off the British pair of Keely Hodgkinson (1:58.16 minutes) and Jemma Reekie (1:58.77 minutes) to win her second Diamond League event, seven years after she won her first at Icahn Stadium in New York in 2014.
The 30-year-old was tucked in on the shoulder of the pacemaker for the first 500m and took over when the “rabbit” stepped off the track, holding her composure even when the two Brits came hard at her over the last 100 metres.
She finished the series with 27 points, three more than American Grace Kate who finished fifth. “I'm extremely happy with my win today, I'm just so excited and happy to win! I have to thank God and my coach for believing in me,” Goule said.
She heaped praises on one of her opponents, 19-year-old Olympic silver medallist Hodgkinson. “To race here today, especially against these girls, they are all so strong. I have a lot of respect for Keely Hodgkinson. She's so good and humble, a very good athlete and still so young. So, I'm very happy I could still sprint and take the win.”
Jackson led the 200m for a long time before she was passed by Namibian teenager Christine Mboma, who won in 21.84 seconds (0.4m/s) as the Jamaican clocked 21.95 seconds and Great Britain's World Championships gold medallist Dina Asher-Smith was third in a season's best 22.04 seconds.
American Sha'Carri Richardson was fourth in 22.45 seconds.
Jackson admitted afterwards she wanted to win. “I'm happy with my race but I really wanted to win today. I had a good start so I'm happy with that, but there's still room for improvement. I was able to accelerate towards the end but couldn't get the win.”
Tapper was third in the 100m hurdles for the second-straight Diamond League meet, running 12.77 seconds (0.7m/s), while fellow Jamaican Danielle Williams who had won two weeks ago, finished eighth.
Tapper got off to a fast start but was caught midway the race by Holland's Nadine Visser who won with 12.69 seconds, just edging Tobi Amusan of Nigeria who was second also with 12.69 seconds.
Tapper appeared frustrated with her finish. “I'm not happy with my race today. I try to win every time I race but today I was not in the competition. I will have to watch the video and figure out what went wrong today because I felt very strong.”
It's not the end for her, however, as the Jamaican champion said, “I still have to race in Poland and Zurich so I'll stay positive and try to win next time. Actually I'm not so sad; it was very nice to run here. I like Brussels and to run in front of a big crowd.”
Olympic Games semi-finalist Jaheel Hyde was fourth in his first-ever Diamond League race, clocking 48.91 seconds after he got off to a fast start but was overtaken near the end.
Brazil's Olympic bronze medallist Alison dos Santos won in 48.23 seconds, just ahead of Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands (48.31 seconds), with Turkey's Yasmani Copello taking third in 48.45 seconds.
Christopher Taylor was seventh in the men's 400m in 45.88 seconds with American Michael Cherry setting a personal best and meet record 44.03 seconds while taking the victory.
The American broke the 44.06 seconds meeting record set by American Michael Johnson in 1998 and dipped under his previous personal best of 44.21 seconds set in the finals at the Olympics.
Olympic bronze medallist Kirani James was second in 44.51 seconds and Isaac Makwala of Botswana third in 44.83 seconds.