Women’s sprint hurdles to spice up National Championships
WILLIAMS...World Championships pedigree cannot be discounted (Photos: Observer file)

THE 100m hurdles has not failed to add spice and controversy to the JAAA National Senior Championships over the past few years, and it is expected that this weekend should be no different when the four-day championships is staged at the National Stadium, starting on Thursday.

Whether it was 2019’s event that was aborted following Danielle Williams’ refusal to leave the competition area after she was ajudged to have false-started, or last year when pint-sized Megan Tapper flew to the national title and then a spot on the Olympic podium, a first for Jamaica, the effect is always the same.

The women’ sprint hurdles is undoubtedly Jamaica’s most-improved track event in the last decade with gold and bronze from Williams at the 2015 and 2019 World Championships, respectively; bronze from tapper at the Tokyo Olympics last year; and gold from Ackera Nugent at the World Under-20 in Nairobi, Kenya, last year.

TAPPER...flew to the national title last year and then a spot on the Olympic podium

However, it could be the silver medallist from the World Under-20 in Finland in 2018, Britany Anderson, who will steal the show.

The 21-year-old Florida-based athlete has quietly gone about her business, though she was stunned by her own third-place finish at last year’s National Championships and making it eventually to the Olympic finals in Tokyo. Despite these accomplishments, however, she has been overlooked by many.

She is the third-ranked Jamaican so far this year with a season’s best 12.50 seconds in Rome earlier this month, despite hitting the last hurdle hard and being thrown off balance.

Demisha Roswell’s brilliant 12.44 seconds to win the Big12 championships in mid-May and Nugent’s 12.45 seconds for second are the first and second best times, respectively, by Jamaicans so far.

ANDERSON...the 21-year-old Florida-based athlete has quietly gone about her business

An ankle injury will rule out Nugent, and since then Roswell’s best time has been 12.78 seconds at the NCAA West Regionals as she ran 12.90s both times at the NCAA Nationals at Hayward Field.

Williams’ World Championships pedigree cannot be discounted as she seems to produce her best at that time, and she could be a major factor when the gun goes off for the final on Sunday night.

A dark horse, and perhaps sentimental pick for a place in the top three could be 20 year-old Crystal Morrison, who returned to competition this year after a few years away from the sport and who ran a personal best 12.69 seconds at a meet in Switzerland less than two weeks ago.

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

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