Sunday 22 September, 2019

McLeod, Thompson return to Diamond League action in Lausanne

Elaine Thompson and Omar McLeod.

Elaine Thompson and Omar McLeod.

Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson and Olympic and World champion Omar McLeod are among seven Jamaicans who are listed to compete at the eighth meeting of the 2018 IAAF Diamond League in Lausanne on Thursday.

Rio 2016 100 and 200m champion Thompson will compete in the women's 100 metres and will face the Ivorian athlete who has begun the season with a raft of victories, world 100m and 200m silver medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou, and double world 200m champion Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands, who will seek to earn a third consecutive European 100m title in Berlin next month.

Ta Lou, who leads this year’s world 100m rankings with a personal best of 10.85sec, had a rare off day in Paris, finishing third in the 200m in 22.50. Lausanne offers her an opportunity to state her credentials as a future champion.

For Thompson and Schippers, meanwhile, this will be a perfect opportunity to get under 11 seconds this season.

McLeod will be trying to bounce back after defeat on Monday against Authorise Neutral Athlete Sergey Shubenkov in the men's 110m hurdles.

Shubenkov – world champion in 2015 and silver medallist last year – is in the form of his life. Having sauntered to a 13.05 clocking in the heats at the Paris Diamond League, Shubenkov, who is studying to be a lawyer, made out a lengthy case for himself after being disqualified for a false start in the final before ultimately accepting the decision with customary good grace.

Two days later at the Gyulai Memorial in Székesfehérvár, Hungary, McLeod paid the price for the Russian’s frustration as he won in a personal best of 12.92, moving up to an all-time place of eighth which he now shares with former US greats Roger Kingdom and Allen Johnson.

Shubenkov looks in the mood to achieve even loftier feats against a field that includes McLeod, US world record holder Aries Merritt and the Jamaican who took advantage of his absence to win in Paris, Ronald Levy.

Jamaica’s Commonwealth champion Janieve Russell, who has a 53.78 timing this season, will face off again with American Dalilah Muhammad, the US Olympic 400m hurdles champion. On Monday night in Hungary, Russell clocked  a meeting record 54.16 to beat  Muhammad, who clocked 54.46.

The field also includes Americans Shamier Little, who is second in this year’s world list with 53.60, Cassandra Tate and Georganne Moline, who has run 53.97 this year.

In the women’s 400m, the Jamaican pair of Anastasia Leroy and Stephenie Ann McPherson will face off with Bahrain’s 20-year-old Salwa Nasser, who has a best of 49.55 this year and the American who jointly leads this year’s world standings with 49.52, Shakima Wimbley.

The other Jamaican down to compete is Shericka Jackson, who will run in the women's 200 metres, a few days after she beat a good field in a new personal best 22.05 in Paris.

JAMAICANS LISTED TO COMPETE IN LAUSANNE

WOMEN'S 400M
Anastasia Leroy
Stephenie Ann McPherson

WOMEN'S 200M
Shericka Jackson

WOMEN'S 400M HURDLES
Janieve Russell

WOMEN'S 100M
Elaine Thompson

MEN'S 110M HURDLES
Ronald Levy
Omar McLeod

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