Long jumper Gayle hunts back-to-back Diamond League wins todayFriday, July 09, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
World Champion Tajay Gayle will be seeking back-to-back Wanda Diamond League wins today when he contests the men's long jump in Monaco, the sixth stop on the 14-event series.
Gayle is coming off a win in Stockholm, Sweden, on Sunday and will be one of five Jamaicans who will be in action today.
Among them is World Championships 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who will take on the Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo over the 200m.
Shanieka Ricketts and Kimberly Williams will line up in the women's triple jump and Natoya Goule-Topping will hope to extend her run of lowering her season's best time for a third-straight race.
Gayle, who won in Sweden, will face a tough field led by world leader Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece who achieved his personal best 8.60m in late May and has jumped 8.48m and 8.38m recently.
Cuba's Juan Miguel Echevarria, the World Championships bronze medallist, and two-time World Indoor medallist Marquis Dendy of the USA, who has a season's best 8.38m, will ensure that Gayle must be at his best today.
Both Fraser-Pryce and Miller-Uibo are coming off losses earlier this week at the Istvan Gyulai Memorial in Hungary and will seek redress.
Fraser-Pryce lost to compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah in the 100m and Miller-Uibo was beaten by Jamaican Shericka Jackson over the 200m.
The Jamaican is ranked number two in the world after running her personal best 21.79 seconds at the Jamaican Championships and will be running the 200m for the first time since then, while Miller-Uibo, who was losing for the first time in the 200m since 2017, has yet to go under the 22.00 seconds mark.
Americans Tamara Clarke, who ran a personal best 21.98 this season, and Dezerea Bryant are also expected to feature in the race, along with Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare and Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast.
The women's triple jump event will see five of the top six women in the world meeting and Ricketts has been in fine form this season and has finished on the podium in her two previous Diamond League outings — winning in Gateshead, England and placed third in Doha, Qatar.
Venezuela's world leader and two-time World champion Yulimar Rojas, who has jumped over 15.00m in all five competitions this year so far with a best of 15.43m set in May, will start favourite to win back-to-back Diamond League events after she won in Doha.
Jamaica's Kimberly Williams, Liadagmis Povea of Cuba and Nubia Soares of Brazil will make the triple jump one of the strongest line-ups on the day and possible one of the most exciting.
Goule-Topping, the third ranked women's 800m runner in the world, appears to be peaking at the right time before the Olympic Games and will be seeking a third-straight sub 1 minute 57.00 seconds clocking today.
She is up against Cuba's Rose Mary Almanza who just narrowly beat her on Sunday while the USA's Kate Grace will also be seeking a podium finish.
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