Triple jumper Ricketts only J’can winner in Doha
Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts competes during the women’s triple jump event during the IAAF Diamond League athletics Doha meeting at the Khalifa International stadium in the Qatar capital of Doha on Friday. (Photos: AFP)

World Championships triple jump silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts was the only Jamaican winner Friday as the Wanda Diamond League series got underway in Doha, Qatar.

The triple jump, like most of the ‘straightway’ events, was affected by “swirling winds”, it was reported, forcing the organisers to push the pole vault back a day and will be held indoors.

There were podium positions for sprinter Shericka Jackson who took second in the women’s 200m, Stephenie Ann McPherson in the women’s 400m and sprint hurdler Britany Anderson who was third in a very close finish in the 100m hurdles.

Ricketts took over the lead in the third round with a big wind-aided 14.82m (6.5m/s) and held on for the win despite late charges from Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk of Ukraine who finished second with a wind-aided 14.73 (6.3m/s) and world leader Thea Lafond of Dominica who was third with a wind-aided 14.46m (3.8m/s).

World Indoor bronze medallist Kimberly Williams was seventh with a wind-aided 14.28m (4.9m/s).

Jackson, who was running the 200m competitively for the first time this season, ran 22.37 seconds (1.3m/s) and was overtaken by American Gabrielle Thomas who equalled the meet record 21.98 seconds set by Allison Felix in 2015, also setting a season’s best.

Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts in her run-up in the women’s triple jump in Doha on Friday.

World champion Dina Asher-Smith faded to third place with 22.37 seconds.

McPherson finished strongly in the 400m, running past a fading Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo in the last 20 metres, to record a season’s best 51.69 seconds and said afterwards she was not happy with her race.

“It is windy today (Friday), I came second, I’m disappointed with myself, but it is a good start. I hope to improve as the season progresses and I hope to perform well in the world championships in Eugene,” the Olympic finalist was quoted to have said.

Olympic silver medallist Marileidy Paulinho of the Dominican Republic won in a season’s best 51.20 seconds as Miller-Uibo faded to third in 51.84 seconds.

Jamaican Olympic Games relay medallist Candice McLeod was fifth in 52.37 seconds.

Anderson ran a brilliant race in lane two in a race that saw one-hundredth of a second separating the top three, running a wind-aided 12.44 seconds (3.8m/s), the same time credited to second-placed Tobi Amusan of Nigeria with American Kendra Harrison winning with 12.43 seconds.

Anderson was first given the bouquet of flowers that goes to the winner but after a delay the result system showed the American as the winner and the Nigerian just edging Anderson for second place.

Olympic Games bronze medallist Megan tapper was eighth in 12.92 seconds after a good start.

Jaheel Hyde ran a season’s best 50.23 seconds to place fifth in the men’s 400m hurdles as Brazil’s Alison dos Santos created an upset, beating American Rai Benjamin for the first time, running a meet record and world leading 47.24 seconds.

The time beat the meet record 47.38 seconds set by the American last year.

Benjamin clocked a season’s best 47.49 seconds and Ireland’s Thomas Barr was third with 49.67 seconds.

Danniel Thomas-Dodd was fifth in the women’s shot put with 18.72m as Americans filled the top three positions – Chase Ealey won with a season’s best 19.51m, Maggie Ewen was second with a season best 19.32m and Jessica Ramsey was third with 18.99m.

Paul Reid

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