Highlights on The Road to Doha

The National Supreme Ventures Senior Trials were held at the National Stadium from June 20 to 23 2019. It was an awesome feeling to see our athletes vying for spots on the Pan American Games and the IAAF World Championship teams.

The race of the championship took place on day two as both Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran a world leading time of 10.73 seconds in the women's 100 meters, with Thompson given the win.Additionally, Briana Williams was third in a National Junior record of 10.94 seconds making her the first Jamaican junior to go sub 11 and the 15thJamaican woman to have broken the 11 seconds barrier. The men's 100 meters was somewhat disappointing as it was not won in the regular 9.8 or 9.7 'Bolt fashion'. The event was won by Yohan Blake in a time of 9.96 seconds.

Most Jamaicans were anticipating the men's 400 meters because of Rio Olympic relay silver medalist Nathon Allen.But it was quite shocking Allen did not show up for his heat due to injury.However, the event was won by 2017 World Championship finalist Demish Gaye. On the women's side reigning Olympic bronze medalist Shericka Jackson who ran an unexpected personal best time of 49.78 seconds to take home the win.

After that unexpected time by Jackson, track and field lovers were awaiting the women's 200 meters which had respective World and Olympic champions, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson.In the end Thompson won the event clocking a world-leading time of 22.00 seconds, with Fraser-Pryce second in 22.22 seconds and Schillonie Calvert-Powell finishing third in 22.92 seconds. The men's equivalent was tight as Rasheed Dwyer dipped Yohan Blake to win in 20.23 seconds, with Blake second in 20.27 seconds and Andre Ewers third in 20.48 seconds.

The women's 100 meters hurdles was shaping up to be the most nail-biting event of the championship not only because ofBeijing 2015 world champion Danielle Williams and national record holder Janeek Brown but most of the women had already run times below the qualifying standard of 12.98 seconds. Instead the even became the most talked about one because of Danielle Williams' false start, refusal to leave the track and the ensuing confusion and chaos for fans and athletes in that race. Themen's 110 meters hurdles was won by reigning Commonwealth Games champion Ronald Levy in 13.23 seconds, with former Calabar underdog Orlando Bennett second in 13.27 seconds and veteran Andrew Riley had third in 13.33 seconds.

The women's 400 meters hurdles surprised most persons as Rushell Clayton took home the event in a personal best of 54.73 seconds, with former Champs stand out Shian Solomon second in 55.39 seconds and CAC Games champion Rhonda Whyte third in55.42 seconds.The men's equivalent was won by London 2017 World Championship finalist Kemar Mowatt in a time of 48.70 seconds.

The women's 800 meters saw Natoya Goule capturing her eighth national title in a time of 1:59.50 seconds.

The field events garnered more attention this year as more athletes were able qualify for the team.Some of who were triple jumpers Shanieka Ricketts and Kimberly Williams, shot putter Danniel Thomas-Dodd, long jumpers Tissana Hickling and Tajay Gayle. Also, national discuss record holder Fredrick Dacers.

With all this being said, Jamaica is shaping up to have one of its best years at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar which runs from September 28 to October 6, 2019.

--Kemal Forde



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