Stewart wins despite illness
Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica's Kerron Stewart fought off illness and a determined field to eke out a win in the 100 metres at the ISATF World Challenge meeting in Berlin yesterday.
She was the only Jamaican winner at the meet where Caribbean athletes took the short sprints and spectators witnessed a spectacular world record performance.
The 30-year-old Stewart deserved every penny of her US$5000 paycheck as she had to pull out all the stops to repel the fast-finishing American duo of Joanna Atkins 11.26 seconds and Jessica Young 11.32.
Stewart's Racers teammate, Schillonie Calvert, was fourth in 11.33.
"I have been feeling sick since Zurich, so I am surprised I managed to win here," Stewart said.
"I was only in my room before the competition and I have not had proper training. I feel some pain in my neck. I hope I will get through this because I really like the stadium and this competition, but I did not have much chance to enjoy it today," she added.
There were no Jamaicans in the men's equivalent, but Trinidad and Tobago's Richard Thompson ensured a Caribbean sweep of the sprint as he held off the USA's Dentarius Locke to win in 10.15 seconds. Locke (10.16) was comfortably ahead of Thompson's countryman, Keston Bledman, who was timed in 10.23. Thompson was grateful for the win.
"The time is not so fast, but the victory counts," he said. "It would be great to run sub 10, but I feel I need some more races before the season is over. I hope it will be faster in Zagreb or in Brussels."
O'Dayne Richards, the other Jamaican competing in Berlin, continued to demonstrate that he can mix it up with the world's best. Richards, who produced a personal best 21.61 metres to win gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July, finished fourth in the shot put with a best throw of 20.72m, just five centimetres off a medal spot claimed by New Zealand's Tomas Walsh (20.77m). Germany's David Storl won with a best throw of 21.41m, while the USA's Ryan Whiting (21.06m) was second.
The most impressive throwing of the meet came from Poland's Anita Wlodarczyk, who broke the world record in the hammer. The 2009 World Champion achieved the mark of 79.58 metres on her second throw.
The German pair of former world record holder, Betty Heidler 75.20m and Kathrin Klaas 73.42, were second and third, respectively. Wlodarczyk was so dominant she could have won the competition with her first throw of 75.29m. The winner had one more throw above 79 metres and two of them way better than 78 metres.
"It is a great feeling to finally improve the world record," she said. "I was aiming at 80 metres and I know I am able to throw it. I felt very confident and my shape is very good this year. This stadium brings me luck. Back in 2009, I also managed the world record and now it seems like my destiny."
Botswana's Isaac Makwala disappointed at the Common-wealth Games. He failed the make the final despite having run one of the fastest times in history, 44.01 seconds, in the 400 metres this season. He found some measure of redemption winning the event in 45.11s ahead of England's Martyn Rooney, 45.14, and Belgium's Kevin Borlee, who ran a season best 45.36.
There were wins for Great Britain's Tiffany Porter (12.64s) and Orlando Ortega (13.08s) in the women's and men's sprint hurdles respectively while after a relatively poor showing in Zurich Mohammed Aman won the men's 800m in 1:43.52.