Jackson, Levy, Dacres win in Paris; Goule breaks national 800m record
Shericka Jackson, Ronald Levy and Fedrick Dacres were the Jamaican winners at the IAAF Paris Diamond League meeting in the Charlety Stadium on Saturday, while Natoya Goule ran a national record.
Jackson beat a good field in the women's 200 metres, crossing the line in a new personal best 22.05 from Jenna Prandini of the United States, who clocked 22.30. Marie-Josee Ta Lou finished third. The world 100 and 200m silver medallist, who has won virtually every race this season, was clearly out of sorts, grimacing her way down the finishing straight before finishing in a relatively disappointing 22.50.
The men’s 110m hurdles event, so talent-packed it required two heats to sort out the strongest eight, ended in anti-climax as the runner who looked the pick of the bunch ended up as a furious spectator.
Levy won in 13.18. It was a one-two finish for Jamaica with Hansle Parchment securing the runner-up spit in 13.22.
The final had been preceded by two recalls, the first of which saw South Africa’s Antonio Alkana given a yellow warning card, and the second of which put a hugely unimpressed Sergey Shubenkov out of the race.
Shubenkov, winner of the world title in 2015 and a silver medallist last year as an Authorised Neutral Athlete, was the big favourite after winning his heat in 13.05 and slowed over the final 10 metres.
Dacres claimed the men's discus with an effort of 67.01 metres, a few days after he finished second at the Folksam Grand Prix at Sollentuna by a centimetre.
The Jamaican finished well clear of second place Christoph Harting (64.80) of Germany and third place Robert Urbanek (64.88) of Poland.
Goule achieved a national record and a new personal best in the women's 800 metres. The 27-year-old Jamaican clocked 1:57.69 seconds, but the time was only good enough for fifth place. Caster Semenya thrashed the competition to clock the fourth-fastest time ever run in the event.
The 27-year-old South African, double Olympic champion (2012, 2016) and twice world champion (2009, 2017), completely dominated her two-lap event, leading from gun to tape to clock a scintillating world leading 1:54.25. The time was also a meet record.
Only Kenyan Pamela Jelimo, in Zurich in 2008, Soviet Union's Nadezhda Olizarenko in 1980 and Czech world record holder Jarmila Kratochvilova (1:53.28), in 1983, have gone faster.
Burundi's Olympic silver medallist and reigning world champ Francine Niyonsaba (season best 1:55.86) and American Ajee Wilson (1:57.11) finished second and third respectively.
There was also a second-place finish for Jamaica as 2018 Commonwealth Games champion Kimberly Williams leapt 14.56 metres for the runner-up spot in the women's triple jump. Colombian Caterine Ibarguen won with a season-best jump of 14.83 metres.
Shaneika Ricketts of Jamaica finished fifth with an effort of 14.38.
Jamaican Yohan Blake, the 2011 World Championships gold medal winner, finished a disappointing fifth in the men's 100 metres in 10.03.
Ronnie Baker of the United States won in a personal best of 9.88 to equal the fastest time run so far this season, achieved by his compatriot Noah Lyles in this month’s US Championships as Baker himself finished second in what was his previous best of 9.90.
Home sprinter Jimmy Vicaut took second in a season’s best of 9.91 ahead of China’s Su Bingtian, credited with the same time, which thus equalled his own personal best and Asian record.
South Africa’s Commonwealth champion Akani Simbine was fourth in 9.94.
In the women's 400 metres, the Jamaican pair of Stephenie Ann McPherson (50.85) and Anastasia Le-Roy (52.44) finished fifth and eighth respectively.
Salwa Naser of Bahrain won in smooth and economical fashion in an Asian record and personal best 49.55, way clear of the nearest challenger, Jessica Beard, who recorded 50.39. World champion Phyllis Francis of the United States was third in 50.50.
Jamaica's 2018 Commonwealth Games champions Aisha Praught had to settle for eighth in the women's 3000-metre steeplechase in 9:20.89.Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech held off the challenge of her 19-year-old compatriot Celliphine Chespol over the final lap to win in a personal best of 8:59.36, the fastest run this season.
Chespol clocked a season’s best of 9:01.82, with two other Kenyans taking the next two places – 2015 world champion Hyvin Kiyeng clocking 9:03.86 and Norah Jeruto 9:04.17.