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Bolt, Thompson top IAAF Olympic rankings

Published:Friday | July 15, 2016 | 7:00 AMAndre Lowe
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Jamaica's 59-member track and field team to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil boasts several highly ranked athletes on the latest IAAF's world rankings with sprinting stars Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson holding the number one spots in the men's 200m and women's 100m respectively.

The lists rank individual events to be conducted at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, covering the applicable qualifying periods for each event.

Bolt's 19.55 seconds, which was recorded on his way to winning gold at the World Championships in Beijing last year, makes him the top athlete in the event going to the Olympics. Bolt, who is followed in the list by Americans Justin Gatlin (19.57), and LaShawn Merritt (19.74), still has to prove his fitness at the July 22 London Diamond League meet after he received a medical exemption from the event having missed the Olympic trials through injury.

Commonwealth champion Rasheed Dwyer will not be making the trip, but he is the next best ranked Jamaican in the event with his 19.80 placing him in fourth place.

Gatlin flips the page in the 100m with his 9.74 bettering number two ranked Bolt (9.79) with Asafa Powell, who finished fourth at the National Championships holding third position here with his 9.81. Nickel Ashmeade (10th with 9.91) and Kemar Bailey-Cole (11th with 9.92) are the other top-ranked Jamaicans on the list.

Thompson's national title-winning time of 10.70 makes her the top-ranked woman in the 100m over countrywoman and training partner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce - the defending Olympic champion, who comes in second with 10.74. Veronica Campbell-Brown ranks ninth with 10.83.

In the women's 200m, Thompson (21.66) and Campbell-Brown (21.97) rank second and third behind world champion Dafne Schippers from the Netherlands (21.63).

Gold medal hopeful in the 110m hurdles Omar McLeod (12.97) ranks second in the event behind Cuban-turned-Spanish Orlando Ortega (12.94) with American David Oliver, (12.98), who did not qualify to represent his country, sitting at number three.

London 2012 bronze medal winner Hansle Parchment (13.03) is ranked fifth with his Rio-bound training partner Deuce Carter (13.20) ranking 15th. Andrew Riley (13.28) ranks 22nd.

WOMEN'S 400M

Shericka Jackson, who finished third at the World Championships, leads all Jamaicans in the women 400m in eighth place with 49.99. She's followed by Stephenie-Ann McPherson (50.04) one spot behind her and Christine Day (50.14) another spot below.

World Championships bronze medallist O'Dayne Richards (22.69m) ranks fifth in the men's shot put behind American Joe Kovacs, David Storl (Germany), Ryan Crouser (USA) and Tom Walsh (New Zealand).

Interestingly, Jason Morgan, the discus thrower who was controversially left off Jamaica's team to Rio, is the second ranked athlete in his event with his national record mark of 68.19m only being bettered by Poland's Piotr Malachowski, 68.29.

World Champs finalist Fedrick Dacres comes in at fifth with his 68.02m.

National record holder Rusheen McDonald (43.93) is the sixth-best on the men's 400m list, which is headed by South African Wayde van Niekerk (43.48). Javon Francis (44.50) is ranked 16th.

Annsert Whyte (16th) with a time of 48.66 is the highest ranked Jamaican in the men's 400m hurdles at 16th.

World Champion Danielle Williams is out of the Olympics after falling at the National Championships but she is the best ranked Jamaican in the 100m hurdles at number nine with 12.57 with Kendra Harrison, who will also be missing the showpiece, leading eight Americans with 12.24.

Janieve Russell holds the number four spot in the women's 400m hurdles with 53.96 with Shanieka Thomas, in 10th with 14.57m coming ahead of Kimberly Williams (12th with 14.56m) in the women's triple jump.