Ja­maica’s Elaine shines in in­ter­na­tional meet

New Straits Times - - Sport -

KINGSTON: Home­town hero Elaine Thomp­son put on an im­pres­sive show against a strong field and Canada’s An­dre De Grasse won his first race on Ja­maican soil at an in­ter­na­tional track meet in Kingston on Satur­day.

Elaine clocked 22.09 sec­onds in the women’s 200 me­tres to equal the 2017 world lead­ing time, while Rio Games sil­ver medal­list De Grasse dom­i­nated the fi­nal 50 me­tres to take the men’s 200m in 20.14 dur­ing the 14th Ja­maica In­ter­na­tional Invitational at the Na­tional Sta­dium.

But on a night when vet­eran Yo­han Blake also stormed to a 9.93 sec­onds in the men’s 100m, Thomp­son shone the bright­est.

Af­ter clock­ing a world-lead­ing 10.78 sec­onds in Shang­hai, China a week ear­lier, Elaine got off to a good start and was catch­ing op­po­nents by the time they got to the curve. She was in front by the time they got to the straight­away and just kept go­ing away to win eas­ily.

She equalled the time run by Amer­i­can Tori Bowie in Cal­i­for­nia in mid-April.

Ja­maican com­pa­triot Sh­er­icka Jack­son, a 400m spe­cial­ist, was sec­ond in the 22.61 sec­onds and Amer­i­can Shalonda Solomon third in 22.64 sec­onds.

Elaine ad­mit­ted to be­ing “a lit­tle tired” be­cause of her busy sched­ule but said she ex­e­cuted her race.

“The coach told me to come off the curve as fast as I can and then con­trol the race,” she said.

De Grasse, 22, made his first race on Ja­maican soil a win­ning one.

The field man­aged to stay within reach un­til the Canuck tur­bocharged his way past Amer­i­can LaShawn Mer­ritt, who fin­ished in sec­ond place in 20.28 sec­onds. Great Bri­tain’s Ja­maican-based sprinter Zar­nel Hughes was third in 20.29 sec­onds.

De Grasse said he needs to im­prove his over­all fit­ness and said he would go back home and work harder.

Blake, the 2011 World Cham­pi­onships gold medal­list who has bat­tled in­juries over the last few sea­sons, de­liv­ered a su­perb per­for­mance in the 100m, dip­ping un­der 10.00 sec­onds for the first time since 2012.

Two Amer­i­cans got sil­ver and bronze – Ron­nie Baker had a sea­son’s best 9.98 sec­onds and Mike Rodgers 10.02 sec­onds.

“I am feel­ing great,” said the 27year-old Blake, who was a late en­try.

Amer­i­can Moro­lake Aki­nosun was a sur­prise win­ner of the women’s 100m in 11.06 sec­onds, get­ting to the line ahead of Trinidad’s Michelle-Lee Ahye who was also given the same time of 11.06 sec­onds. Amer­i­can vet­eran Allison Felix who was third in 11.07 sec­onds.

It was Felix’s first 100m in two years.

Ky­ron McMaster was an up­set win­ner in the 400m hur­dles as he clocked a per­sonal best 47.80 sec­onds.

World and Olympic cham­pion Ca­ter­ine Ibar­guen, of Colom­bia, re­tained her triple jump ti­tle with a jump of 14.43m. AFP

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