Sunday 15 December, 2019

Blake clocks 9.99 for fourth in 100m at Birmingham Diamond League

 Yohan Blake, the 2011 World Championships gold medallist, clocked his second sub 10 this season but the Jamaican had to settle for a minor place in the men's 100m at the Muller Grand Prix in Birmingham on Saturday.

The meet was the last stop on the IAAF Diamond League circuit before finals nights in Zurich on August 30 and Brussels on August 31.

Blake cane home in 9.99 seconds but the time was only good enough for fourth.

Christian Coleman hung on to win on his return from injury. The 22-year-old American ran a season's best of 9.94 seconds, holding off Britain's Reece Prescod, who set a personal best with the same time.

American Noah Lyles — the fastest man in the world this year — was third in 9.98. Jamaica's NACAC champions Tyquendo Tracey finished seventh in 10.15.

Janieve Russell, Ronald Levy and Tajay Gayle were the best-placed Jamaicans in Birmingham with second place finishes.

Pipped by 0.05 in Lausanne and 0.01 in London after neck and neck tussles down the home straight with Shamier Little, the Commonwealth 400m hurdles champion Russell could not quite do enough to claim a Diamond League victory in the absence of her closely-matched rival from the US, a non-starter because of sickness.

Riding the wave of adrenalin that took her to European gold in Berlin, the tall, upright Lea Sprunger pulled ahead of Briton Meghan Beesley at the head of the home straight and did just enough to resist the challenge of the fast-finishing Russell off the final flight.

Sprunger took the victory in 54.86 with Russell second in 54.91 and Beesley third in 55.83. 

It was her first Diamond League win and the eight points have taken her through to the Final in Zurich, where she will have the noise of the home crowd fueling her round the Letzigrund track.

Levy was no match for Orlando Ortega in the men's 110m hurdles, the Spaniard taking victory easily in a season best 13.08. Levy was well beaten into second place, the Jamaican crossing the line in 13.22.

Gayle finished a clear second in the men's long jump with an effort of 8.17m as Luvo Manyonga of South Africa leapt 8.53m to take victory in a meeting record.

In the very tough women's 200m race, Shericka Jackson had to settle for fourth in 22.55 while her Jamaican teammate the double Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Frazer-Pryce, who was listed to compete, was absent from the line up.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas eased to victory in a meet record 22.15 ahead of newly crowned European champion Dina Asher-Smith of Britain, who clocked 22.31.

In the non-scoring women's 100m hurdles, Jamaica's Yanique Thompson did not finish.Pamela Dutkiewicz and Cindy Roelder completed a German one-two , clocking 12.84 into a slight headwind (-0.6) and 12.96 respectively ahead of Nadine Visser of the Netherlands, third in 13.07.

In the women's shot put, Jamaica's Commonwealth Games champions Danniel Thomas-Dodd finished fourth with a throw of 17.72m.  Christina Schwanitz (18.20m) of Germany turned the tables on her European conqueror Paulina Guba of Poland (17.92) to take the victory. Melissa Boekelman of the Netherlands was third with 17.82m.

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