Athletics

'Mommy Rocket' expected to explode at Lausanne Diamond League

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, July 05, 2019

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All eyes will be on two-time Olympic 100m gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce at the Lausanne Diamond League in Switzerland today following her mysterious run last time out at the Prefontaine Classic.

Fraser-Pryce will be one of nine Jamaicans set to compete along with Shericka Jackson, Stephenie-Ann McPherson, Danniel Thomas-Dodd, Shanieka Ricketts, Kimberly Williams, Tajay Gayle, Janieve Russell and Ronald Levy.

Fraser-Pryce will face the likes of 2017 World Championships silver medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast, European champion Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain and double World 200m champion Dafne Schippers in a top-class field.

The darling of Jamaica's athletics, known as “Mommy Rocket” following the birth of her son, seemed to be back to her brilliant best with a 10.73 clocking at the Jamaican Championship on June 21. But just nine days later she turned in a clinker at the Prefontaine Classic, running 11.39 and finished eighth, which suggested she was either injured or was just going through the motion.

Now five days later, she is back for the 100m in Lausanne, which is an indication that she is indeed healthy and ready to explode once again.

Meanwhile, Shericka Jackson, fresh from her 49.78 personal best, takes on the ever-improving Salwa Eid Naser, the World silver medallist who is undefeated over 400m this year with a seasonal best of 50.13. But with her personal best of 49.08, she will be hard to beat.

The last time Jackson faced the Bahrainian (June 6), Naser won in 50.26, but the Jamaican World Championship bronze medallist has since improved and is ranked second in the world behind leader Shanaue Miller-Uibo of The Bahamas with 49.05. The stage is set for an epic battle.

Jamaica's Commonwealth Games champion McPherson will keep them honest along with American Courtney Okolo (50.81), Christine Botlogetswe (50.48) of Botwana and Nigeria's Aminatou Seyni (50.24).

Jamaican shot put champion Danniel Thomas-Dodd season's best of 19.48m makes her the second ranked thrower in the field behind favourite Chase Ealey of the US with 19.67m, which makes her second best in the world. The field also has the 2015 World champion Christina Schwanitz of Germany and Stockholm Diamond league winner Aliona Dubitskaya of Belarus.

Inform triple jumper Shaneika Ricketts, who was third in Oslo, again faces a tough field that includes World champion Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela and Olympic champion Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia along with fellow Jamaican Kimberley Williams.

Also in the world-class field is the 2012 Olympic champion Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan and Cuba's rising star Liadagmis Povea.

Jamaica's Tajay Gayle, who is ranked fourth in the world, will be hunting his second Diamond League victory in the long jump, but will be hard pressed as the field includes Cuban sensation Juan Miguel Echevarria, the World Indoor champion and current World champion, Luvo Manyonga of South Africa, who is ranked second in the world.

The Jamaican champion will also face the African champion Rusahl Samaai of South Africa and European champion Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece along with American Will Claye.

Following her disappointment of not making Jamaica's World Championships team, Janieve Russell lines up in the women's 400m hurdles, while Ronald levy is down for the men's 110m hurdles.


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