Athletics

'Pocket Rocket' blasts off

Shelly clocks season's best 10.98secs to win at London Diamond League event

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com
Olympic Games and

Sunday, July 22, 2018

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Olympic Games and World Championships gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran a season's best 10.98 seconds (0.1m/s) to win the women's 100m dash on yesterday's first day of the Muller Anniversary Games in London, the 11th stop on the IAAF Diamond League circuit as she continues her comeback.

She was the only Jamaican winner on a day that saw National Senior Champion Tyquendo Tracey become the 20th Jamaican man and second this year to go under the 10.00-second barrier, while former World Champion Yohan Blake was also under the 10.00-second mark for the first time this year.

First-year professional Jonell Smith also ran a personal best in the 100m, while Commonwealth Games champion Janieve Russell was second in the 400m hurdles; Nathon Allen was seventh in the 400m.

Seven Jamaicans will be in action on today's second day, led by Natoya Goule who is coming off her second National Record of 1: 56.15 minutes done on Friday in Monaco.

Akeem Bloomfield will contest the Men's 200m and Shericka Jackson will line up in the women's race; Anastasia Leroy and Stephenie Ann McPherson will contest the women's 400m, while Daniel Williams and Ronald Levy will run the women's and men's sprint hurdles, respectively.

Yesterday, Fraser-Pryce came from behind to catch the leaders and went on to win comfortably, lowering her season's best of 11.09 seconds, and beating American Dezerea Bryant (11.04 seconds), with Smith third in a personal best 11.07 seconds.

In the semi-final heats, Fraser-Pryce had run 11.13 (-0.4m/s) to win her race while Smith ran 11.22 (0.3m/s) for second place.

Blake, who was fourth in the final and Tracey who was sixth, ran sub-10.00-second times in both the semi-finals and final, in what were fast races on the men's side.

Blake ran a season's best 10.95 seconds (0.1m/s) in the final after his 9.99 seconds (0.8m/s) in the semi-finals, while Tracy, who won the men's 100m at the JAAA Trials then won the 100m at the Athletics World Cup in London a week ago in a then personal best 10.03 seconds (0.3m/s), smashed that time with a superb 9.96 seconds (0.2m/s) for fourth place in his semi-final heat then returned to run 9.98 seconds in the final.

Inform American Ronnie Baker won the event in 9.90 seconds, followed by Great Britain's Jamaican based Zharnel Hughes (9.93 seconds), just getting to the line ahead of South Africa's Akani Simbine's 9.93 seconds.

Blake's 9.95 seconds make him the fastest Jamaican man so far this year, just one-hundredth of a second faster than Tracey who joined Andre Ewer as the newest members of the sub-10.00-second club.

Ewer, who attends college in the USA, ran 9.98 seconds earlier in the year.

Russell finished behind American Shamir Little in the 400m hurdles, running a time of 53.96 seconds to the American's 53.95 seconds while Ristananna Tracey was sixth in 56.07 seconds.

Allen was well off the pace in the men's 400m, clocking 44.72 seconds as Qatar's Abdalleleh Haroun set a National Record 44.07 seconds to win, beating USA's Paul Dedewo (44.43 seconds) and with Grenada's former World and Olympic champion Kirani James taking third in 44.50 seconds.

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