Sat | May 27, 2017

Spencer wins, VCB second

Published:Friday | June 12, 2015 | 6:00 AMRodney Hinds
Murielle Ahoure (centre) of Cote d'Ivoire wins the 100m ahead of Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown (left) at the Diamond League athletics meet at the Bislett Stadium in Oslo, Norway, yesterday.

OSLO, Norway:

Only two Jamaicans took part in the 50th edition of the ExxonMobil Bislett Games, which made up a segment of the IAAF Diamond League series in Oslo yesterday, but the athletes still shone brightly.

In-form Kaliese Spencer won the 400 metres hurdles, while Veronica Campbell-Brown was second in the 100 metres at the intimate Bislett Stadium.

Barring injury both will be part of Jamaica's track and field team which will descend on Beijing's Bird Nest's Stadium for the World Championships in August.

The Norwegians appreciate their track and field and certainly gave Spencer the post-race applause she deserved after she won her event in a world-leading 54.15 seconds, with a gusty display.

In breezy conditions, she swept to her 21st Diamond League triumph.

Having established a decent lead coming into the home straight, her advantage was slowly eaten into by America's Georganne Moline (54.29). Czech world champion Zuzana Hejnova was third (55.14).

 

endurance won the day

 

But Spencer's endurance won the day. She was ecstatic after the win.

She told The Gleaner: "It was windy, but I kept going. This race was definitely better technically than the previous one (in Birmingham)."

Spencer is proving hugely consistent at present. The hope is that her season has not peaked too soon and that she has something left in her tank come August.

She added: "My coach knows what to improve in the next weeks of training. "

While Spencer is currently flying, Campbell-Brown is easing nicely into her season.

Campbell-Brown notched a season's best of 11.08 seconds as she was beaten by CÙte d'Ivoire's Murielle Ahoure in the 100m.

The likes of Allyson Felix await in the World Championships and the athlete known simply as VCB is up for the fight.

"Any good rivalry is good for the sport and everyone that is involved because it motivates you to keep working hard because you know that there is someone else training to beat you."

Only the second woman in history to win two consecutive Olympic 200m events in Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008), Campbell Brown added: "At this time, it is all about constantly working on my technique.

"I'm hard to be comfortable when it comes to track and field. It is my passion, and I always want to do more.

"So, right now, I'll just continue to work hard. Hopefully, as the season goes on, I can see the results that I think that I am capable of."

The Bislett Games have produced 69 world records during its illustrious history.

Spencer and Campbell-Brown were never going to rewrite the record books in Oslo, rather, they put in the graft that they hope will bear fruit in Beijing.

NOTE: Veronica Campbell-Brown has won seven medals overall at the Olympic Games - not seven gold medals.