Jackson cops 100m in quick 10.70secs; closes in on Diamond League sprint double
JACKSON...I just wanted to come out here and execute, and I think I did pretty good this evening (Photos: Observer file)

JAMAICA'S Shericka Jackson secured the first half of a potential Diamond League sprint double after she won the 100m in 10.70 seconds (0.8m/s) at Saturday's first day of the Wanda Diamond League finals at the PreFontaine Classic at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

It was her second-fastest 100m and could go a far way in atoning her silver-medal finish at last month's World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

She was the only Jamaican winner on the day as triple jumper Shanieka Ricketts was second with a personal best 15.03m (0.0m/s) and had two jumps of at least 15.00m, while Kimberly Williams was third.

Jackson, who will run the 200m on today's second day, caught the fast-starting Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast and ran past her for a brilliant win as the African was second with a season's best-equalling 10.75 seconds, while Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah lowered her season's best once more to 10.79 seconds for third.

Shericka Jackson expresses delight after winning the women's 100m final in a personal best of 10.65 seconds during the National Championships National Stadium on Friday, July 7, 2023.

World Champion Sha'Carri Richardson was fourth in 10.80 seconds.

The third Jamaican in the race, Natasha Morrison, ran a personal best 10.85 seconds for sixth, surpassing her previous best of 10.87 seconds set in 2021.

"I just wanted to come out here and execute and I think I did pretty good this evening," Jackson was quoted as saying. "I'm grateful. I'm here, I'm enjoying myself and tomorrow is another competition day," she added.

In the women's triple jump, Williams was third with a season's best 14.61m (-0.1m/s), twice beating her 14.38m coming into the event as Venezuela's World Champion Yulimar Rojas recovered from yet another poor start to win with a world-leading 15.35m (1.2m/s).

RICKETTS...triple jumper was second with a personal-best 15.03m

Rojas fouled her first two attempts before jumping 14.53m, fouled another attempt, then sailed to a massive jump — breaking the meet record 15.04m set in 2015 by Russia Yekaterina Koneva.

Kishane Thompson was a creditable fourth in the men's 100m final, running yet another sub 9.90 seconds time with 9.87 seconds (0.1m/s) as Christian Coleman upset World champion Noah Lyles to win with a world lead-equalling 9.83 seconds.

Lyles ran 9.85 seconds, same as third-placed Ferdinand Omanyala of Kenya.

Yohan Blake was sixth in 10.08 seconds, while Ackeem Blake was disqualified after he false-started.

Rusheen McDonald finished fifth in the men's 400m, running 45.10 seconds as Grenada's Kirani James ran a season's best 44.30 seconds to win, just ahead of American Quincy Hall, the World Championships bronze medallist who ran 44.44 seconds, and Vernon Norwood was third in 44.61 seconds.

Danniel Thomas-Dodd was sixth in the women's shot put with a best of 19.17m, as repeat World champion Chase Ealey set an American record and world-leading 20.76m.

Today Jackson will turn her attention to the defence of her 200m title, plus there will be another nine Jamaicans taking part in this Pre Fointaine Classic, including World champion Danielle Williams and World Championships medallists Hansle Parchment, Rushell Clayton, and Tajay Gayle.

National record holder Navasky Anderson will be the pacemaker for the men's 800m during which he will be required to take the field through a 49.5-second 400m.

Jackson, the world leader with her lifetime best 21.41 seconds, is expected to retain her crown, with World Championships finalists Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast, Daryll Neita of Great Britain, and Anthonique Strachan of The Bahamas expected to be her main challengers, as well as Americans Kayla Whyte and Jenna Prandini.

Williams has won her two races since winning at the World Championships and should get a lot of competition from Jasmine Camacho Quinn of Puerto Rico and Kendra Harrison of the USA, who won the silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Budapest.

World record holder Tobi Amusan of Nigeria, who was sixth at the World Champs, might think she has something to prove while Americans Nia Ali and Tia Jones have the quality to cause upsets.

Parchment ran his second-fastest time, 12.96 seconds, a week after he won the silver medal in Budapest and will hope to get one up on World Champion and defending Diamond League champion Grant Holloway of the USA in what is expected to be a close race.

The top three from the World Championships will line up in the women's 400m hurdles, and Jamaica's bronze medallist Rushell Clayton and compatriot Janieve Russell will hope to end their long seasons on the podium.

Standing in their way, however, will be World Champion Femke Bol of the Netherlands and silver medallist Shamier Little of the United States, while Anna Cockrell of the USA, Gianna Woodruff of Panama, and Anna Ryzhykova of Ukraine could also feature.

Gayle, who had his best season since he won World Championships gold in 2019, could win the men's long jump if he shows up in good form as the two men who beat him in Budapest — Greece's Miltiadis Tentoglou and Jamaican Wayne Pinnock — will be absent. Instead, Switzerland's Simon Ehammer and American William Williams are expected to be his main opposition.

World Championships finalist and 4x400m relay medallist Candice McLeod faces a tough women's 400m field that will see the top three from the World Championships lining up.

World Champion Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic, silver medallist Natalia Kaczmarek of Poland, and Sada Williams of Barbados, as well as Holland's Lieke Klaver, should be the ones to vie for the top three spots.

Natoya Goule-Toppin is in yet another Diamond League final and she will go up against World Champion Mary Moraa of Kenya, silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain, and American Athing Mu — the USA the bronze-medal winner — as well as Uganda's Halimah Nakaayi.

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

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