Yohan Blake drops hint of return to form with 10.05 seconds
BLAKE...won in a time that saw him leap from tied sixth in theJamaican men's 100m rankings to second behind Nigel Ellis's 10.04seconds (Photos: Observer file)
Wins for Gayle, Jackson, Russell at JAAA meet at GC Foster College

Jamaica's 2013 World Championships men's 100m gold medallist Yohan Blake has shown signs of returning to his world-class best sprinting form after running a season's best 10.05 seconds (1.9m/s) at a Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) qualifying meet at GC Foster College in St Catherine yesterday.

The men's 100m stole the spotlight at the event that was held in the morning that also saw a season's best for Oshane Bailey and personal bests for Romario Williams and long jumper Tajay Gayle.

The performances were timely with the Jamaican National championships which will double as the Olympic qualifier set for next month.

A Jamaican men's 4x100m team, 'Jamaica Gold', of Asafa Powell, Julian Forte, Yohan Blake and Oshane Bailey ran 38.33 seconds, second best in the world so far.

A 'Jamaica Green' team comprising Akeem Blake, Nigel Ellis, Romario Williams and Kadrian Goldson was second in 39.55 seconds; St Vincent were third in a national record 40.13 seconds, beating the 40.47 seconds they ran at the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Blake, who had a season's best 10.27 seconds set two weeks ago and has said he is unwilling to take the COVID-19 vaccine even if it means giving up a chance to return to Olympics, won in a fine time that saw him leap from tied sixth in the Jamaican men's 100m rankings to second behind Nigel Ellis' 10.04 seconds set last week.

Bailey was second in 10.13 seconds, improving on his previous season's best of 10.39 seconds; Williams was third in 10.16 seconds, faster than his previous best of 10.21 seconds set last year.

Gayle, the World Championships gold medallist, continued to show off his world-class speed with a 10.30 seconds (-0.2m/.2) run to win his heat.

Olympic and World Championships medallist Shericka Jackson won the women's 200m in a season's best 22.62 seconds (1.5m/s) to enter the world's top 10 with Stephenie Ann McPherson second with 22.98 seconds, Shashalee Forbes third with 23.03 seconds, her best so far this season.

Tiffany James-Rose lowered her season's best in the 400m to 52.45 seconds in winning the one-lap race ahead of Junell Bromfield's season's best 53.12 seconds, with Ashley Williams third in 53.23 seconds, her fastest time in four years since she ran 53.07 seconds in 2017.

Janieve Russell jumped into fourth place on the World Athletics rankings with her season's best 55.45 seconds to win the women's 400m hurdles, her second race over the barriers this year after she ran 56.02 seconds at a meet in Central Florida last weekend.

Ronda Whyte was second in 56.29 seconds in her opening 400m hurdles race of the season.

Roneish McGregor ran a personal best 11.35 seconds (0.4m/s) to win the women's 100m, ahead of Srabani Nanda of MVP (11.61 seconds) with Kashieka Cameron third in 11.66 seconds.

World Under-20 silver medallist Orlando Bennett won the 110m hurdles in 13.58 seconds (0.1m/s), while Shimyra Williams took the women's 100m hurdles in a wind-aided 12.84 seconds (2.1m/s), beating Yanique Williams' 13.03 seconds.

Anthony Carpenter clocked a wind-aided 20.88 seconds (2.2m/s) to win the men's 200m, beating hurdles specialist Rasheed Broadbell (20.95 seconds) and Michael Sharpe (20.98 seconds).

O'Dayne Richards followed up his opening 19.79m throw in the men's shot put a week ago with a 19.67m effort yesterday.

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

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