Tue | Feb 25, 2020

Wild card for Williams - Hurdler books World Champs ticket with Diamond League win

Published:Saturday | September 7, 2019 | 12:18 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica’s Danielle Williams (right) on her way to victory in the Women’s 100m Hurdles during the Diamond League Memorial Van Damme athletics event at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels, Belgium yesterday.
Jamaica’s Danielle Williams (right) on her way to victory in the Women’s 100m Hurdles during the Diamond League Memorial Van Damme athletics event at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels, Belgium yesterday.

Women’s 100m hurdles world leader Danielle Williams was in magnificent form at the IAAF Diamond League Finals in Brussels, Belgium, yesterday. The 2015 world champion won the Women’s event to join triple jumper Shanieka Ricketts, who won her event in Zurich last week. Williams’ Diamond Trophy victory also meant she pockets a US$50,000 (just under $7 million) jackpot.

Williams, who has been in blazing form since the National Senior Championships in June, where she was initially disqualified for false-starting in the 100m final, but then saw the race voided by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, was in a no-nonsense mood yesterday. She got the better of world record holder Kendra Harrison of the United States once more and proved that her win over the American at the Birmingham Diamond League last month was no fluke.

FAST START

Williams was out of the blocks very quickly, leaving Harrison and the others for dead, to win in 12.46 seconds. The slow-starting Harrison was second in 12.73 seconds, just ahead of her teammate, Nia Ali, third in 12.74 seconds. There was some drama at the start of the race as Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan was disqualified for false-starting.

Williams was very satisfied with her win.

“I am really happy with the win here,” she said. “A better field than today here is impossible, and to be able to win, that’s fantastic. I am so satisfied with the time because it was really, really cold. In Doha, my ambition will be the same: make it to the final first and then get a medal.”

Jamaica had three other top-three finishes on the day as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Ronald Levy ended second, while Akeem Bloomfield and Fedrick Dacres were third in their events.

Fraser-Pryce, the co-world leader in the Women’s 100m with 10.73 seconds, had to settle for the runners-up spot in the Women’s 100m in 10.95 seconds. Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, who has played second fiddle to the Jamaican all season in the event, matched the Jamaican stride for stride most of the way before pulling away in the end to win in a season’s best 10.84 seconds, as Josée Marie Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast took third in 11.09 seconds.

After an average season so far, Levy found some good form to finish second in the Men’s 110m hurdles in 13.22 seconds, to hold off defending champion Sergey Shubenkov of Russia, who was third in 13.33 seconds. Spain’s Orlando Ortega took the win in 13.22 seconds.

Earlier, in the Men’s 400m, Akeem Bloomfield had a gutsy performance to finish third in 44.67 seconds. Bloomfield, Jamaica’s number-one man this year in the one-lap event, who did not compete in the event at the National Senior Championships, sent out a strong message to the Jamaican selectors as he was beaten by the two best men in the world over the event this year: the United States duo of Michael Norman and Fred Kerley. Bloomfield was in contention with both athletes up to the final 30m before Norman pulled away to win in 44.26 seconds, ahead of Kerley, second in 44.46 seconds. Nathon Allen, the other Jamaican in the race, finished seventh in 46.17 seconds.

Men’s Discus

Defending champion Dacres had to settle for third in the Men’s Discus with a best throw of 65.27m as world leader Daniel Stahl won with 68.68metres, ahead of Lukas Weisshaidinger of Austria, second with 66.03m.

Following her good showing in Paris, Natoya Goule failed to replicate that form in the Women’s 800m. After placing herself well in the final 110m, where she was in third place, she faded in the end to finish fifth in 2:01.40 minutes as the United States’ Ajee Wilson won in 2:00.24.

The United States’ Noah Lyles wrapped up a sprint double after his success in the Men’s 100m in Zurich last week. He picked up his second Diamond Trophy after easily winning the half-lap event in 19.74 seconds as reigning World champion Ramil Guliyev, of Turkey was second in 19.86 seconds, and Andre De Grasse of Canada, third in a season’s best 19.87 seconds.