DIAMOND QUEEN

 

Thompson-Herah cops Diamond League 100m crown

JamaicanElaineThompson-Herah, the repeat Olympic sprint double champion, put the stamp on her brilliant 2021 season by winning the Wanda Diamond League 100m final at the Letzigrund Stadium in Zurich, Switzerland, running a Weltklasse meet record 10.65 seconds (0.6m/s) yesterday.

After an ordinary start Thompson-Herah blew past the field with a devastating second half of the race as Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith ran a season best 10.87 seconds for second and Ajla del Ponte of Switzerland was third in 10.93 seconds.

 

Jamaica’s other entrant Natasha Morrison was seventh in 11.10 seconds.

 

Thompson-Herah has put together the greatest season ever by a female 100m runner, carving out a path of destruction after the Jamaican national championships in late June when she ran under 10.70 seconds four times, including yesterday, highlighted by her national record 10.54 seconds, the second fastest time ever and Olympic record 10.61 seconds.

 

She also ran five times under 10.80 seconds and described the season as “a crazy season, a long one and a tiring one”. “I was so consistent because I was just keeping the faith in me and did not allow any negativity,” Thompson-Herah said.

 

She added: “I am really happy and grateful. I am tired now but this is my job. I would describe this season with one word: amazing, yet it had ups and downs.”

 

After coming closest to Florence-Griffiths almost mythical time set at the American Trials in Indianapolis in 1988, Thompson-Herah said,“This year, it was a long season with ups and downs, but next year, the world record is definitely on my mind”.

 

Meanwhile, Jamaica had three second place finishes with Shericka Jackson in the women’s 200m, Ronald Levy in the 110m hurdles and Shanieka Ricketts in the women’s triple jump. Finishing third were Megan Tapper in the 100m hurdles, Natoya Goule in the women’s 800m, Fedrick Dacres in the men’s discus throw, Hansle Parchment in the 110m hurdles and Kimberly Williams in the women’s triple jump.

 

Despite running a personal best 21.81 seconds (0.6m/s), Jackson had to settle for second in the women’s 200m as she was caught at the finish line by Namibia’s Christine Mboma.

 

Jackson was off to a fast start but Mboma the World Under 20 champion last month in Kenya, chased hard and caught her on the line, as she did in Brussels last week, to set a new World Junior record 21.78 seconds, under the 21.81 she ran in Tokyo when she won silver at the Olympic Games.

 

Jackson’s previous best was 21.82 seconds as Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith was third in 22.19 seconds.

 

Levy ran a season’s best 13.06 seconds (0.6m/s) in the 110m hurdles, the same time given to the winner American Devon Allen as the Olympic champion Parchment was a disappointing third in 13.17 seconds.

 

The race was held up by a false start and Parchment, the pre race favourite, failed to get off to a fast start as Levy and Allen battled for the top spots.

 

Ricketts took second in the women’s triple jump with her best mark of 14.64m (1.3m/s) came on her final effort to leap frog over compatriot Williams who had a best mark of 14.47m (1.3m/s) and finished in third place.

 

Ricketts’ previous best was 14.41m (0.4m/s) in the fourth round and dug deep to get into the top two as double world record holder Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela won with a meet record 15.48m (0.3m/s), breaking the 15.03m set in 1995 by Russian Anna Biryukova.

 

Rojas the Olympic champion had just three legal jumps, all over the old mark as she jumped 15.27m (-0.4m/s) in the first round and 15.22 (-0.3m/s) in the fifth round.

 

Tapper got off to her usual fast start but was over taken by Tobi Amusan who ran a national record and African recor 12.42 seconds (0.4m/s) while Holland’s Nadine Visser was second with a personal best 12.51 seconds.

 

Tapper the Olympic bronze medallist ran 12.55 seconds.

 

Dacres was third in the men’s discus throw final, throwing 65.33m as Daniel Stahl of Sweden won with 66.49m and Kristjan Ceh of Slovenia was second with 65.39m.

 

Dacres had just three legal throws and also had a mark of 64.92m.

 

Olympic finalist Natoya Goule ran a courageous 800m final, but had to settle for third in 1:58.34 seconds.

 

Goule, who was coming off her first Diamond League victory in Brussels last week, was well placed in the final 200 metres but Great Britain’s 19 year-old Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson was the strongest and won with 1:57.98 seconds with American Kate Grace getting the edge over the Jamaican on the photo finish as both were credited with the same time.

 

Stephenie Ann McPherson who was running her second race since placing fourth at the Olympics, was fourth in the 400m in 50.25 seconds, just ahead of fellow Jamaican Candice McLeod- 50.96 seconds.

 

American Quanera Hayes won with 49.88 seconds ahead of Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic-49.96 seconds with Jamaican based Sada Williams of Barbados placing third in 50.24 seconds.

 

Janieve Russel was sixth in the women’s 400m hurdles in 55.74 seconds as Holland’s Femke Bo set a meet record 52.80 seconds, well ahead of American Shamier Little (53.35 seconds) with Anna Ryzhykova took third with 53.70 seconds.

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