Day steals spotlight at Birmingham Grand Prix
CHRISTINE DAY stole the show for the Jamaican contingent of athletes at the latest instalment of the Diamond League series, finishing second in a stellar field in the 400m.
Day was up against a trio of British talent in the shape of former Olympic and world champion Christine Ohuruogu, Anyika Onuora, and Seren Bundy-Davies, but the 29-year-old left the three trailing as she ran an even-paced 51.09 seconds, only just being pipped on the line by France athlete Floria Guei.
Pleased with her season's best, Day told The Gleaner she had surprised herself with the performance.
"I was scared of the track because I usually don't perform well at open tracks, but I am really happy that I came out here today and executed," she enthused.
In the triple jump, there were mixed reactions from Kimberly Williams and Shanieka Thomas, who finished fourth and seventh, respectively.
Williams looked in good form from the offset of the competition, and her series of jumps indicated that she was in good shape. In contrast, Thomas struggled to find the form that has seen her jump a personal best of 14.57 metres this year.
Williams said: "For my second meeting, it was alright, but I wanted to do better. My body was feeling good and I thought today was going to be the day when I don't finish fourth. But I finished injury-free, so I am actually excited about that."
Thomas, 24, said: "It wasn't the best series of jumps. It started out pretty flat. The good thing is that I am injury-free and looking forward to the next competition."
She added: "As far as today goes, I was not satisfied. Moving forward, I want to improve on my personal best of 14.57 metres, keep working hard and improving throughout my rounds."
Damar Forbes finished sixth in the long jump and, while pleased with having put down an 8.07m effort, he admitted afterwards that landing on a flight from America eight hours before the start of the competition probably wasn't the best preparation.
"I don't really feel too much about the performance today because I came in from America this morning and tried to take a nap, but it didn't work," Forbes said.
"I feel like it was a good step in the right direction, but as a jumper, you always want more. To jump 8.07m with no rest, no warm-up, just stepping off the plane, I can't really complain too much."
Slightly frustrated with her sixth-place finish in the 100m, Simone Facey said better performances were just around the corner.
"There is work to do and I just have to go back to the drawing board. I run in the 200m in Oslo next and then the trials in Jamaica, but after that, I'm not sure," said Facey.
She added: "I know I have a 10-second run in me. I just have to keep working at it. I started the season with an 11-flat, so I know it's there. I just have to bring it out."
Kaliese Spencer was another athlete whose performance belied her true ability.
Her seventh-place finish in the 400m hurdles in a time of 55.96 seconds was way off her personal best of 52.79, but the seasoned athlete is not worried and expects her form to improve at the right time.
She said: "Training has been going well, but when I go out on the track, I am not seeing the results just yet, but I am still hopeful and I am working hard and I know that once God is with you, anything is possible, so I am hopeful.
"My goal is to get a gold medal in Brazil. The next competition for me is the trials in Jamaica."