Eleven days after the Olympic Games in London, the Caribbean continued to burn up the track on Thursday, Aug. 23, with scorching performances at the Lausanne, Switzerland stop of the Samsung Diamond League. Jamaica’s 2011 100m World champion and 2012 Olympic sprint double silver medalist Yohan Blake rocketed out of the blocks to run a beastly 100m, surging ahead of the field before 20 meters and powering down the straight to a 9.69secs personal best (PB) and meet record into a 0.01m/s headwind.
In lowering his previous best (9.75 at the Jamaica Trials and in the Olympic final) by 0.06sec, the 22-yr-old also erased the meet record of 9.82 set by compatriot and training partner Usain Bolt two years ago.
Blake’s time ties him with Tyson Gay of the US as the second fastest on the world all-time list. Thursday, Gay, a former World champion, was no match for Blake as he ran second in 9.83. Jamaica’s Nesta Carter equaled his season's best (SB) of 9.95 for the third spot.
Approximately 30 minutes after Blake’s victory, Bolt produced another magnificent 200m run in 19.58 (+1.4m/s) against a field that included Netherland’s Churandy Martina, the European champion, and Jamaica’s Nickel Ashmeade, who did not qualify for the Olympics. Martina, formerly of the Netherland Antilles, lowered his Netherlands record from 19.94 to 19.85 for second, and Ashmeade equaled his SB of 19.94 for third. Bolt’s time removed one-hundredth-of-a-second off the mark he set three years ago.
Jason Young, another Jamaican rising star over 200m, ran fourth in 20.00 ahead of training partner and surprise Olympic bronze medalist Warren Weir, who was fifth in 20.03.
The new kids on the block from the Caribbean continued to deliver good post-Olympic showing as Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment, the Olympic high hurdles bronze medalist, placed third in 13.15 behind the US pair of Jason Richardson, the Olympic silver medalist, who clocked 13.08 and David Oliver, 13.14. The Olympic champion Aries Merritt was disqualified for jumping the gun.
In the 400m sprint, Caribbean stars ruled the event for yet another time. Nineteen-year-old Kirani James of Grenada scored his second post-Olympic win as he clocked 44.37 to beat Dominican Republic’s teen Luguelin Santos, who took silver behind James at the Olympics. Santos was second in 45.03 while 2011 World bronze medalist Kevin Borlee of Belgium placed third in 45.27.
It was 1-2 for Jamaica in the women’s 400m hurdles as Kaliese Spencer and Melaine Walker found form to register SBs 53.49 and 53.74, respectively. Spencer, who ran fourth at the Olympics and the 2009 and 2011 World Championships, overtook Walker, the 2008 Games gold medalist, in the final 20 meters.
Britain’s Perri Shakes-Drayton finished third in 53.83 ahead of Czech Republic’s Zuzana Hejnova (53.96), the London bronze medalist. Natalya Antyukh, the Olympic champion finished a disappointing seventh in 55.82.
Jeter Defeats Fraser-Pryce
In the women’s 100m dash, Olympic silver medalist Carmelita Jeter of the US snatched victory at the line from Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the Olympic champion. Fraser-Pryce seemed to be on her way to winning the race until the last moments when Jeter drew level with her and out-leaned her. Both runners were credited with the time of 10.86. In third place was Trinidad and Tobago’s World bronze medalist and Olympic finalist Kelly-Ann Baptiste, while Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown (Olympic bronze) captured the fourth spot in 10.93.
The women from Jamaica and the US later teamed up for the sprint relay and defeated the Ukraine, Switzerland, Poland, Great Britain and Belarus in a meet record of 42.56. The team comprised of Samantha Henry-Robinson, Kerron Stewart,
Aileen Bailey of Jamaica and Mikele Barber of the US, in that order.