Monday 13 July, 2020

Danielle Williams wins Diamond League 100mh title and US$50,000

Jamaica's Danielle Williams, left, competes to win the Women's 100m Hurdles during the Diamond League Memorial Van Damme athletics event at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Jamaica's Danielle Williams, left, competes to win the Women's 100m Hurdles during the Diamond League Memorial Van Damme athletics event at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Jamaican Danielle Williams showed her recent 100m hurdles win over world record-holder Kendra Harrison in Birmingham was no fluke to win her first IAAF Diamond League title on Friday at the second of two Diamond League finals in Brussels.

The 2015 world champion had a terrific start and already had a clear lead by the half-way point. She continued to pull away from Harrison over the final few barriers and crossed the line in 12.46, matching her winning time from Birmingham.

Harrison was second in 12.73, finishing 0.01 ahead of two-time world indoor champion Nia Ali.

“To win against this standard of field is just fantastic,” said Williams. “I’m also satisfied with the time because it was really, really cold. In Doha my ambition will be the same: first, make it to the final and then get a medal.”

For the victory, Williams earned a Diamond Trophy and its accompanying US$50,000 winner’s top prize.

Earlier, two-time Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce had to settle for second place in the women's 100m.

After three successive 100m losses to Fraser-Pryce in the IAAF Diamond League, Dina Asher-Smith finally got the better of her arch-rival when it mattered most.

The Briton blasted out of the blocks and immediately put pressure on Fraser-Pryce, who is used to leading from the outset. Clearly rattled, the Jamaican didn’t look as smooth as she usually does and struggled to get on level terms with Asher-Smith. But there was no letting up from the leader, who dashed across the finish line in 10.88 (-0.3m/s), the only athlete in the field to clock a season’s best.

Fraser-Pryce clocked 10.95 for her second-place finish while Marie-Josee Ta Lou finished third in 11.09.

And Jamaican Akeem Bloomfield ran a very good race to finish third in the men's 400m as six weeks after their clash at the US Championships, Michael Norman turned the tables on Fred Kerley to win his first Diamond League title.

For a brief moment it looked as though Kerley would retain his Diamond League title as he came off the final bend in the lead with Bloomfield surprisingly holding second place ahead of Norman.

But Norman dug deep and gritted his teeth and gradually made up ground on Kerley as they battled down the home straight, eventually edging in front about 25 metres before the finish. Norman crossed the line in 44.26 – a time only bettered in Brussels by Michael Johnson – with Kerley taking second place in 44.46. Bloomfield was third in 44.67.

Nathon Allen, the other Jamaican in the field, finished eighth in 46.17.

In the men's 110m hurdles, Jamaica's Ronald Levy ran well for second place.

Following the late withdrawal of US champion Daniel Roberts from the field, Orlando Ortega was relatively untroubled as he sped to victory.

The Spaniard got away well and at the half-way point had a slight lead over Sergey Shubenkov, who looked much improved compared to his recent appearances. Shubenkov faded slightly in the second half while Levy finished well, but Ortega crossed the line a comfortable winner in 13.22, taking a second Diamond trophy following his 2016 win.

Levy clocked 13.31 for his second place, just ahead of third-place Shubenkov (13.33).

 

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