Thu | Sep 20, 2018

Thompson targets new PB

Published:Saturday | May 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter
Thompson

Despite finishing third in the 100m in her first Diamond League race of the season in Doha, Qatar, yesterday, double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson has underlined lowering her personal best in the event as her target for the season.

Thompson sped to 10.93 seconds, her second-fastest season's opener in the 100m, to finish third behind World Indoor silver medallist Marie-JosÈe Ta Lou of CÙte d'Ivoire, who won in a world-leading time of 10.85 seconds. Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria finished second in 10.90 seconds.

"I'm very happy to hit the podium. For me, I'm looking ahead for the year, and topping my PB is one step on that journey," Thompson said after the race.

The former Manchester High School athlete has a personal best of 10.70 seconds. Only three women have gone under that time in the history of the sport. The three athletes who have done so are world record holder in the event Florence Griffith-Joyner (10.49) and fellow Americans Carmelita Jeter (10.64) and Marion Jones (10.65).

Thompson's training partner, Shelly- Ann Fraser-Pryce, also has a personal best of 10.70 seconds. Fraser-Pryce told The Gleaner recently that it was her desire to run under 10.70 seconds that pulled her back to the sport after giving birth to her son.

"I just think, time-wise, I believe I can dip below the 10.70 barrier," Fraser-Pryce said. "I know I can do it. You just have to put your foot forward and commit yourself and just work hard towards it," Fraser-Pryce said at the time.

 

AIMING TO RETAIN DIAMOND LEAGUE TITLE

 

Thompson also said that she will retain her Diamond League title in the event. "I'm going to win another Diamond League. That is certainly in the future. My hope for the season is to keep focusing on myself and staying healthy," Thompson said.

Jura Levy finished eighth in a season's best time of 11.29 seconds.

Danielle Williams, the 2015 World champion in the 100m hurdles, finished in fifth place in her event in 12.82 seconds. World record holder Kendra Harrison won in a time of 12.53 seconds. Olympic champion Brianna McNeal, who is returning from serving a one-year suspension, finished second in 12.58 seconds.

Rasheed Dwyer, the lone Jamaican male competing on the night after sprint hurdles champion Omar McLeod withdrew from the meet, finished eighth in the in the men's 200m in 20.72 seconds. The race was won by American Noah Lyles in a meet record and world-leading time of 19.83 seconds. Freshly crowned Commonwealth Games champion Jereem Richards of Trinidad and Tobago was second in 19.99 seconds.

"This was a high-quality race, with a great and intense rivalry. I think I did a really good job today to finish in the top three, and that's the aim: to always be on top," Richards said.

Bahamian Steven Gardiner ran a national record to win the men's 400m in a time of 43.87 seconds.

akino.ming@gleanerjm.com