Saturday 5 December, 2020

Elaine Thompson completes sprint double at Jamaican trials

Elaine Thompson (left) moves away from Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to win the 200m at the Jamaican trial on Sunday, June 23, 2019.

Elaine Thompson (left) moves away from Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to win the 200m at the Jamaican trial on Sunday, June 23, 2019.

Olympic champion Elaine Thompson completed the sprint double on Sunday's last day of the four-day Jamaican trials after posting a world-leading 22.00 seconds to win the 200 metres.

The 26-year-old Thompson, who won the 100 on Friday night, easily beat her MVP Track Club teammate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to regain the half-lap title she last won in 2015.

Fraser-Pryce, beaten by Thompson in a photo finish in the 100 metres, had to settle for second again, clocking 22.22, while Schillonie Calvert-Powell of Altis came home third in 22.92 after finishing eighth and last in the 100.

“Now that the championship is over I finally can sleep and eat some good food, go back to the drawing board, I have Prefontaine Sunday coming so I have to just regain my focus,” said Thompson.

The 26-year-old Thompson said her intention is to compete in both the 100 and 200 at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Doha, Qatar from September 28 to October 6

“It was a good run,” said a smiling Fraser-Pryce. “Congratulations to Elaine, she’s a 21.6 runner, I knew she was going to go. My aim tonight was to get a season’s best or a personal best after seeing that I ran 10.73 on Friday night. It has been an extraordinary year so far and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue representing Jamaica."

In the men’s 200, Rasheed Dwyer denied 2011 World Championship gold medallist Yohan Blake, running unattached, the sprint double. 

The 30-year-old Dwyer outbattled Blake in the closes stages to post 20.23 seconds. Blake finished in 20.27, while US college athlete Andre Ewers, came home third in 20.48 to also book his ticket to the World Championships.

Akeem Bloomfield’s decision to step down in distance did not work out. He was never in the hunt for a medal and finished fifth in 20.81, running from the dreaded lane one.

Dwyer (10.10) had finished third to Blake (9.96) and Tyquendo Tracey (10.00) in the 100 metres on Friday night.

Olympic and World Championship bronze medallist Shericka Jackson produced a lifetime best of 49.78, her first sub-50 in three years, to win her second 400-metre national title.

The time represents the second best of the year behind Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo (49.05).

Anastasia Le-Roy of Sprintec was a distant second in a season’s best of 50.94, while MVP Track Club's Stephenie-Ann McPherson clocked 51.01 for third place.

“I am feeling pretty good,” said Jackson, who focused on the 200m last year. “Right now I am happy with everything that is going on and trying to stay focused. I remember at the London World Championships, I sat on the steps waiting to see if I made the final. It was a learning experience for me that broke me down mentally and I promised myself that it would never happen again.”

The absence of sub-44-second performer Bloomfield and Nathon Allen took some sheen away from the men’s 400m. But Demish Gaye, a runner-up for the past two years, ran superbly to capture his first national title, winning in a season’s best of 44.83.

The 26-year-old Gaye came into the homestretch with a narrow advantage but switched gears to power away from the rest of the field in the final 80 metres.

Racers Track Club’s newly found star Terry Thomas extended his fine form at these championships, bagging second place with another lifetime best of 45.47.

Javon Francis battled home for third place with a season's best 45.60 to leave national record holder Rusheen McDonald back in fourth in 45.83.

Sean Bailey (the University of Texas at El Paso Athletics), the top Jamaican entering these championships, stopped after the opening 100m and did not finish.

Danielle Williams was disqualified from the 100-metre hurdles for a false start and the decision did not go down well with the 2015 World champion, who refused to leave the track, resulting in a lengthy delay.

The 26-year-old Williams was shown the red card on three separate occasions but remained adamant that she did nothing wrong. She eventually left the field after a conversation with Garth Gayle, general secretary of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association.

When the race was sent off for a second time, there was further confusion, as the starter had to recall the athletes. However, more than three hurdlers covered at least six flights of barriers, while an unaware University of Arkansas student Janeek Brown, who smashed the national women's 100m hurdles record on June 8 in Texas, finished the race.

The organisers then decided to push back the race, 45 minutes after the men’s event, but the event was cancelled after three athletes reported they were injured in that aftermath.

The men’s hurdles was won by Commonwealth Games champion Ronald Levy (13.23) ahead of World Under-20 silver medalist Orlando Bennett (13.27) and Andrew Riley (13.33).

In the field, Shanieka Ricketts retained her triple jump crown (14.73m) ahead of Kimberly Williams (14.39m) while O’Dayne Richards, bronze medalist from the 2015 world championships, won the men’s shot put with a throw of 19.93m.

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