Williams blazes 12.32 in London for Jamaican record and world lead
Danielle Williams en route to a 12.32 Jamaican record in London. (PHOTO: IAAF).
Sizzling hurdles performances by Jamaica's Danielle Williams highlighted the first day of action at the Muller Anniversary Games in London Stadium on Saturday.
Williams, the 2015 world champion, was on fire in the women's 100m hurdles from the outset en route to a sensational 12.32 performance to cap what was by far the finest day of the 26-year-old’s career.
Arriving in the British capital with a 12.48 lifetime best, she dispensed with that in the heats 55 minutes earlier where she clocked 12.41 after coasting through the finish. Her winning time in the final elevated Williams to No. 7 on the all-time list while supplanting Janeek Brown as Jamaican record holder.
“It has been coming all season and it was just about when,” said Williams, who shattered Brown’s six-week-old 12.40 national record. “This track is a fast track and the fact that we get two opportunities because of the heats, you can fix what you did wrong and get ready for the final.”
Nia Ali of the US was a distant second in 12.57 ahead of compatriot Queen Claye who clocked 12.64 in third. Jamaica’s Megan Tapper clocked 12.66 for fourth.
Williams, who was disqualified at the Jamaican trials on June 23, has to win the Diamond League title in order to have a chance at making it to the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Doha, Qatar from September 28 to October 6.
Olympic champion and 2019 world leader at 22.00 Elaine Thompson of Jamaica was a convincing winner in the 200m, clocking 22.13. Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast was second in 22.36, a season's best.
Jamaican champion Shericka Jackson held off compatriot Stephanie Ann McPherson to take the 400m, 50.69 to 50.74, to take her first Diamond League win of the season. Briton Laviai Nielsen clocked a 50.83 personal best to finish third.
Jamaica's 2009 world champion Yohan Blake had to settle for third place in the men's 100m.
African champion Akani Simbine won the race to notch his first Diamond League win of the season, holding off Briton Zharnel Hughes 9.93 to 9.95, season’s bests for both. In a blanket finish, just 0.02 separated the next three across the line, with Blake clocking 9.97 for his third place, ahead of Japan’s Yuki Koiek (9.98) and Canada’s Andre De Grasse (9.99), a personal best for the former and season’s best for the latter.
And finally, Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce made up a 15-metre deficit to anchor a Jamaican quartet to a 42.29 victory in the 4x100 relay, to edge a British squad by a scant 0.01.
Diamond League meeting in London concludes on Sunday.
SCHEDULE FOR JAMAICANS WHO WILL BE IN ACTION ON SUNDAY
WOMEN'S LONG JUMP
WOMEN'S 400M HURDLES
MEN'S 110M HURDLES