Blake, Thompson, Dacres deliver at JIIM 2017
Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer
Jamaican standout Yohan Blake produced one of several highlight performances at Saturday's Jamaica International Invitational Meet with a season best and world leading time of 9.93 seconds in winning the Men's 100 metres at an event that showcased a number of world leading performances.
A late addition to the event, Blake showed that he is back to his best with an impressive performance. Stepping out of the blocks in a hurry, Blake took control of the race before shutting it down in the final 10 metres for the win as Ronnie Baker of the United States also went under 10 seconds, clocking 9.98 for the runner's up spot with third going to Mike Rodgers, also of the United States in 10.02 seconds.
Blake was very elated with his performance.
"I am very pleased with my performance as I felt good tonight and I could have gone much faster but I am not ready to do that yet. I have been doing different things in training and it is working and I am so pleased I was able to put up a big time tonight," said Blake.
Blake was one of several winners for Jamaica on the night as Olympic double sprint champion, Elaine Thompson along with Novlene Williams-Mills, Demish Gaye and Frederick Dacres all scored big wins.
In one of the most competitive events on the night, the Women's 400 metres, where veteran Williams-Mills showed once again her likeness for the Jamaican track after nipping the USA's Phyllis Francis on the line to win in a season best 50.54 seconds as Francis clocked 50.66 seconds. Her countrywoman Natasha Hastings took third in 51.20 seconds.
Thompson continued her winning form this season with an easy win in the Women's 200 metres in an equalling world and season best of 22.09 seconds, getting the better of Shericka Jackson, who was second in 22.61 and the United States' Shalanda Solomon, third in 22.66 seconds.
Dacres was in great form after defeating a quality field to take the Men's Discus in a meet record of 66.38 metres.
Meanwhile, Gaye continued to make strides this season in the 400 metres with a close win in the event in 45.08 seconds. Belgium's Kevin Borlee was second in 45.52 seconds with Tony McQuay of the United States third in 45.78 seconds.
Running his first race in Jamaica, Canadian Andre De Grasse did not disappoint his fans after taking the final event on the programme, the men's 200m.
In a very competitive line-up, De Grasse came off the curve first out of lane five to open up his season in fine style to take the event in 20.14 seconds. The United States' LaShawn Merritt was second in 20.28 seconds, just ahead of Great Britain's Zharnel Hughes, third in 20.29 seconds.
There was a major surprise in the Men's 400m metres hurdles as Kyron McMaster of British Virgin Island posted a world leading time of 47.80 seconds to win ahead of Jamaica's Jaheel Hyde, who was second in a personal best of 48.56 seconds with Bershawn Jackson of the United States taking third in 48.63 seconds.