Thursday 12 December, 2019

Demish Gaye, Allyson Felix win at Bolt's farewell meet

Jamaican quarter-miler Demish Gaye wins the men's 400 metres at the JN Racers Grand Prix on Saturday.

Jamaican quarter-miler Demish Gaye wins the men's 400 metres at the JN Racers Grand Prix on Saturday.

Jamaican quarter-miler Demish Gaye continued his improvement with a new personal best time of 44.73 seconds for an easy victory in the men's 400 metres at the second staging of the JN Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium on Saturday.

The 24-year-old Gaye finished well ahead of the Trinidadian pair of Lalonde Gordon (45.18) and Machel Cedenio (45.57), who finished second and third respectively.

American Vernon Norwood finished fourth in 45.63, while Delano Williams of Great Britain was fifth in 45.85, with Jamaicans Rusheen McDonald (45.93) and Jermaine Gayle (46.43) well beaten in sixth and seventh place respectively.

The women's equivalent as expected went to six-time Olympic champion Allyson Felix of the USA, who outclassed her seven rivals.

The 31-year-old Felix cruised home in 50.52 seconds, in her first outing at the distance since her big showdown with Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

American Allyson Felix following her victory in the women's 400 metres.

It was a one-two finish for the USA as Courtney Okolo took the runner up spot in 50.72, just ahead of Nigerian Margaret Bamoose in third place in 51.79.

The top three athletes finished well clear of Jamaican Anniesha McLaughlin-Whilby (52.03), Christine Day (52.25), Verone Chambers (52.81) and Tiffany James (53.02).

Later, global sprint sensation Bolt will compete for the final time on Jamaican soil  when he belatedly makes his seasonal debut,

Dubbed ‘Salute to a Legend,’ the meet is being used to celebrate the achievements of the world's fastest man, who intends to retire after the London World Championships in August.

The legendary Jamaican sprinter will go down as a sporting great regardless of whether he signs off in style on the track at the venue that hosted the 2012 Olympics.

The Jamaican enjoyed a stellar Rio Olympics in 2016 when he sensationally secured the 'treble treble' - three sprinting gold medals in three consecutive Olympics - and finished his Olympic career with nine gold medals, a 100 per cent win record in finals.

But in January 2017, Bolt saw his haul of Olympic golds diminish to eight, as the International Olympic Committee stripped Jamaica of the men's 4x100-metre relay crown they claimed in Beijing in 2008, Nesta Carter having tested positive for a banned substance when a sample was re-examined. 

The 30-year-old Bolt has four events left before retirement — Saturday's JN Racers Grand Prix in Kingston, Ostrava on June 28, Monaco on July 21 and the August 4-13 World Championships in London, United Kingston.

A stellar line-up has been compiled for Bolt's send off with Olympic champions Wayde van Niekerk, David Rudisha, Mo Farah, Christian Taylor and Felix all making the trip to pay tribute to the sport’s biggest star.

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