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Athletics

Bloomfield blazes 20secs for 200m on pro debut

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior Staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

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In-form Shericka Jackson, Janieve Russell and Natoya Goule provided expected Jamaican wins, while Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was fifth and Yohan Blake second at the Luzern Spitzen Athletics Meet in Switzerland yesterday.

But it was Akeem Bloomfield's personal best of 20.00 (+0.9 mps) on his professional debut that had eyes popping, despite him finishing second in the 200m.

The 20-year-old Bloomfield, who signed for Puma recently, took a huge chunk out of his previous personal best of 20.66 established in 2016 in this his first outdoor 200m of the year.

Panama's World Championships silver medallist Alonso Edward, who was behind Usain Bolt in that world record run in 2009, won in 19.90 seconds. Zambia's Siame Sydney was third in 20.35, with veteran Churandy Martina of the Netherlands seventh in 20.54.

Bloomfield got out of the blocks slowly but finished fast and was closing the gap on Edward when the finish line intervened, and just missed dipping under the coveted 20-second barrier.

“I feel very good. I fell asleep in the blocks as I was very nervous. But I held my composure and finished strong and I came very close to breaking the 20 seconds,” Bloomfield told the Jamaica Observer.

“Wonderful experience for me. I am looking forward to more races and what the rest of the season has in store for me,” he added.

Bloomfield, who ran 43.94 seconds for second at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Championship over 400m, is now the quickest Jamaican over both the 200m and 400m this year.

His training partner Nathon Allen won the men's B race in a personal best of 20.46 seconds ahead of Americans Bryce Robinson and Devon Allen in 20.51 and 20.52 seconds, respectively. Jamaica-based Delano Williams of Great Britain was fourth in 20.55 seconds.

Meanwhile, Janieve Russell's excellent season continued as she chased down and caught American Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammed in the 400m hurdles and won in 53.63 seconds. Muhammed clocked 53.79 with fellow American Ashley Spencer third in 54.66. Jamaica's Leah Nugent was fifth with 54.95 and Ronda White eighth in 56.57.

Shericka Jackson sped to 22.40 seconds and captured the women's 200m ahead of fast-starting Mujinga Kambundji of Switzerland in 22.47. Jamaica's Shashalee Forbes took the B Race in 22.90 ahead of Stephenie Ann McPherson in 23.02.

The diminutive Natoya Goule won the women's 800m in 2:00.32 minutes ahead of Americans Kate Grace and Kaela Edwards in second and third with identical 2:01.18 minutes.

There were no male Jamaican winners as Yohan Blake was second in the 100m in 10.12 (-0.3 mps) behind American Mike Rodgers in 10.08. China's Su Bingtian was third in 10.14. Jamaica's national champion Tyquendo Tracey was fifth in 10.25.

Panama's Edward won the 100m B race in 10.02 (+0.7 mps) ahead of Jamaica's Kemar Bailey-Cole in 10.13 and Jamaican-born Emre Barnes of Turkey in 10.15. Nesta Carter was sixth in 10.28.

Jamaica's two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was fifth in the 100m in 11.22 and Jonelle Smith seventh in 11.23. The improving Swiss Mujinga Kambundji won in 11.12 ahead of South Africa's Carina Horn with 11.13 and American champion Jenna Prandini, third, in 11.14.

Andrew Riley finished second in the men's 110 hurdles in 13.51 behind Shane Brathwaite of Barbados, who won in 13.41.

In-form 400m hurdler Andre Clarke of Jamaica pulled up injured and fell to the ground in pain as Thomas Barr of Ireland sneaked through on the inside to win in 49.10. T J Holmes of the USA was second in 49.20 with Jamaica's Shawn Rowe third with 49.27.

In the women's 100m hurdles, Jamaica's Yanique Thompson was seventh with 13.00 seconds, won in a fast 12.44 by American Brianna McNeal. Jamaica's Shimayra Williams was fourth in the 100 hurdles B race in 13.35. Finland's Nooralotta Neziri won in 12.89 seconds.

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