Jamaica’s Yohan Blake clocked a personal best 9.80secs (2.2w) to destroyed a strong line-up in the men’s 100m dash at the Jamaica International Invitational meet last night in Kingston. Blake, 21, ran what onlookers describe as the perfect race to defeat his teammate Daniel Bailey of Antigua (9.94); Mike Rogers, USA (9.96); Michael Frater, Jamaica (9.98); Darvis Patton, USA (10.10); Oshane Bailey, Jamaica (10.12); Richard Thompson, Trinidad & Tobago or T&T (10.16); and Winston Barnes, Jamaica (10.18).
Although Blake’s time remained a major buzz during the meet, the biggest upset came in the men’s 200m, when Jamaica’s Nikel Ashmeade, running on the outside, stormed from behind into the straight to post a stunning meet record, PB and world leading 19.95secs. (1.6w). Ashmeade, a St. Jago High School teammate of Blake and former Carifta and Pan-Am champion, ran by 2009 World Championships 200m finalist and training partner Steve Mullings (20.15) of Jamaica, and 2009 Worlds 200m bronze medalist Wallace Spearmon (20.18) of the US.
The Lance Brauman-trained bulked-up athlete said his program this year includes more muscle strength work and 400m.
With that run, the 20-yr-old Ashmeade has placed himself at number 5 on Jamaica’s all-time 200m list behind Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Donald Quarrie, and Asafa Powell.
What Powell Felt
Powell who got out quickly, eventually faded to a 21.40 last place, noting afterwards that he backed off during the race because “coming off the curve I felt my hamstring. I wanted to run it but that wouldn’t be smart.” Even though his facial expression suggested some concert, the former 100m world record holder said he wasn’t worried about what he felt last night.
In the women’s 100m, Carmelita Jeter flew to a meet record and world leading 10.86 (1.9w), leaving T&T’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste (10.94), Jamaica’s Sherone Simpson (11.07) and Kerron Stewart (11.07) in her trail.
World and Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran a brilliant curve and held her form to clock 22.10 (2.4w) and defeat Veronica Campbell-Brown (22.37), the Olympic champion, who tried to step with her out of the blocks, and Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie of the Bahamas (22.78).
After the race, Fraser-Pryce said she has been running more 200m this season as part of her preparation program and has grown to love it because it has made her stronger and much better for the 100m. She said the instruction from her coach was to “run the corner really hard.
She further said, despite some ups and downs that she has had, including a lingering a back problem, her faith is much stronger that the problem, and that she was looking forward to having fun and a wonderful season.
When asked whether she was working out on her own, Campbell-Brown the highly decorated sprint queen declined, yet another time, to discuss her train situation. She stressed, however, that she was working hard, that her objective was to make the team and that she planned to double at the World Championships this year. “I love them both and I know I can do both of them equally well.”
The women’s 400m was billed as one of the major events of the meet, featuring Worlds Champion Sanya Richards-Ross and five quarter-milers from the US. However, the evening belonged to Jamaica’s Novelene Williams-Mills, who took control of race early and never faded. She cantered down the homestretch to win in 50.71 ahead of Jamaica’s Rosemarie Whyte (51.15) and Kaliese Spencer (50.30), USA’s Natasha Hastings (51.53), Richards-Ross (51.62), Deedee Trotter (51.91), Jamaica’s Christine Day (52.61) and Shereefa Lloyd (53.16).
In the men’s equivalent, Chris Brown of the Bahamas got out early in the race and was later overhauled by Jamaica’s record holder Jermaine Gonzales. However, the veteran made a late burst down the home-straight to win in 45.37 over Renny Quow (45.37), Gonzales (45.52), Calvin Smith of the US (45.56), and Nery Brenes of Cost Rica (45.79). The Jamaican and Racers Track Club trio of Edino Steele, Allodin Fothergill and Ricardo Chambers finished in the last three places, all posting times in the 46secs range.
Jamaica’s Kenia Sinclair continued to show good form in winning the women’s 800m in 1 minute, 58.41 seconds. Second place went to the American Phoebe Wright with 1:59.98. A week ago at the Penn Relays, Sinclair ran a 1:57.06 leg to anchor Jamaica to victory in the USA vs. the World sprint medley.
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