Jamaica Invitational wrap: Jamaica's Asafa Powell sizzles, America's Ryan Bailey booed
There was a knowing grin on his face at the start of the race, as the near full-capacity National Stadium crowd rained boos on American Ryan Bailey.
The men’s 100m at Jamaica International Invitational helped a lot of Jamaicans to sleep comfortably on Saturday night, as Asafa Powell scorched the field and sent early warnings.
Over 20 reigning world and Olympic champions strutted their stuff, showing good early season form at the 12th staging at the meet, but it was Powell’s beat-down of the controversial Bailey, that left most inside the venue with contentment.
Powell raced out of the blocks, stepped high and crashed the tape in a world leading 9.84 seconds – his 87th sub-10 seconds run in his career, with Bailey, who gained ‘Public Enemy number one ‘ status among Jamaican fans, after a controversial celebration at last week’s IAAF World Relays taking second place in 9.98 seconds. Nesta Carter was third in 9.98 seconds.
In the women’s 100m, fast rising University of Technology/MVP Track Club sprinter Elaine Thompson showed that she is the real deal, taking the event in a time of 10.97 – her second straight sub-11 seconds clocking, to beat Commonwealth champion Blessing Okagbare, 11.05 and Olympic and World champion Allyson Felix, 11.09 seconds.
Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas has been looking good in the early season and she produced a powerful last third, to win the women’s 200m in 22.14 ahead of America's Torie Bowie, 22.29 and Jamaican sprinting superstar Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 22.37.
The men’s 200m was just as competitive with Nickel Ashmeade, (20.25) just getting the better of Rasheed Dwyer, 20.28, and Aaron Brown, 20.30.
Jamaican-born American sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross didn’t seem to care that's it is early May, showing ominous form to win the women’s 400m in a world leading 49.95 ahead of Francena McCorory 50.73 and Stephenie – Ann McPherson, 50.98.
Javon Francis produced a personal best 44.90 to finish third in the men’s 400m behind winner, Saudia Arabia's Youself Al-Masral, 44.59 and USA's LaShawn Merritt, 44.80.
Jasmin Stowers set a world leading 12.39 to leave the field for dead in the 100m hurdles as Jamaican sisters Danielle Williams, 12.77 and Shermaine Williams, 12.89 took second and third.
Aleec Harris confirmed his early season form in the 110m hurdles, winning the event in 13.16 ahead of Jeff Porter, 13.36 and Mikel Thomas, 13.44.
Bershawn Jackson claimed his third straight win in the men’s 400m hurdles event, showing his class to win comfortably in 48.47 ahead of Leford Green, who will be motivated by his 49.22 after a rough couple of years. Jeffery Gibson was third with a time of 49.42 seconds.
Janieve Russell, bronze medallist at last year’s Commonwealth Games ran a brave 55.29 in the women’s 400m hurdles, but she was out-lasted by American Kori Carter, 55.12 with Tiffany Williams taking third place in 55.35 seconds in a close fight to the end.
Jamaican Simoya Campbell only lasted 200m in the women’s 800m, crashing out of the event, which was won by American Ajee Wison, 2:00.65 ahead of Molly Ludlow, 2:01.09 and Charlene Lipsey 2:01.41.
World champion Caterine Ibarguen was impressive in the women’s triple jump event, going over 14m in all of her attempts to set a new meet record three times, eventually leaving the tape at a world leading 14.87m.
Kimberly Williams, the Commonwealth champion from Jamaica decided to pull out of the event after feeling some discomfort in her hamstring.
Jade Lally (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) took the women’s discus throw with a 59.90m effort. Second place went to Elizabeth Podomeni (USA), 59.50m with Ashley Whitney (USA) finishing third with 59.04m.
In the first track event on the international schedule, the women’s 3000m Steeplechase, the United States’ Bridget Frenek crossed the line first in 9:46.34 with her compatriot Sarah Pease, 9:55.19 beating Puerto Rico’s Beverly Ramos, 9:55.23 in a sprint to the line.
University of the West Indies student Delano Williams, now competing for Great Britain, shaved a chunk off his old personal best (46.86) to register a time of 45.42, showing endurance to hold off Belgium’s Dylan Borlee, 45.70 and Frenchman Ibra Anne Mame, 45.92.
One time Vere Technical titan, Shericka Jackson – now a part of the University of the Technology/MVP Track Club stable has been showing very good form all season and she came pretty close to her personal best (51.32) in the women’s 400m development, taking control of the race after 200m, responding when challenged and crossing the line in a time of 51.43.
The Namibian pair of Tjipikapora Herunga, 52.27 and Kabange Mupopo, 52.67 finished next best.
Samuel Brevett took the men’s masters 100m with a time of 12.04 with Kemmehi Lozer, 12.57 following him to the line ahead of Ezra Keene, 12.68 in third.
Only three athletes lined up for the women’s development 100m with the University of Technology pair of Shimayra Williams, 11.70, and Chanice Bonner, 11.74 crossing the line in first and second place ahead of GC Foster’s Kedisha Dallas, 11.97.
In the male equivalent, Winston Barnes powered out of the blocks and hardly looked to be in any bother, stopping the clock at a decent, if not totally impressive 10.33 seconds. Kavean Smith took second place in 10.41 with Mario Forsythe crossing the line in third place with a time of 10.45.
Samantha Curtis was strongest in the final 50m, dipping at the line to win the women’s 200m development in 24.09 ahead of Venicha Baker, 24.14 and Namibia’s Globine Mayova, 24.29.
The men’s 200m development saw Terrell Cotton (20.57) taking out the field from lane one after the first 100m, before holding off former Bog Walk High School standout Jevaughn Minzie, 20.84.