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'I'm getting faster and stronger' - McPherson targeting 49.10

Published:Monday | May 6, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Jamaica's Stephanie McPherson (right) runs to win the women's 400 metres ahead of Great Britain's Christine Ohuruogu at the Jamaica International Invitational track and field meeting at the National Stadium last Saturday night. McPherson recorded a world-leading 50.43 seconds. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
Tyson Gay (centre), of the United States, powers to victory in the men's 100 metres ahead of Jamaica's Nesta Carter (right) and American Darvis Patton during the men's 100 metres race at the Jamaica International Invitational at the National Stadium last Saturday night. Gay won in a world-leading 9.86 seconds. - PHOTOS BY Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce waves to the crowd after winning the women's 200 metres at the Jamaica International Invitational track and field meet at the National Stadium last Saturday night. Fraser-Pryce won in 22.38 seconds. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown (left) leans at the finish to beat Trinidad and Tobago's Kelly-Ann Baptiste and win the women's 100 metres at the Jamaica International Invitational track and field meeting at the National Stadium last Saturday night. Campbell-Brown won in 11.01 seconds, while Baptiste clocked 11.06 seconds. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter

Jamaica's Stephanie McPherson produced another impressive early season run to lower her personal best (PB), posting a new world-leading time of 50.43 seconds to capture the women's 400m at the 10th Jamaica International Invitational track and field meeting staged at the National Stadium last Saturday night.

The IAAF World Challenge Series meet attracted a strong field for the one-lap race, but McPherson took command from early and showed great strength in the final stages to power away from the field.

"I am happy and thankful," the MVP athlete said after the race, pointing out that she is aiming to go as low as 49.10 seconds this season.

"The season has been very good; I am getting faster and stronger. I wasn't doing enough gym before, but I am now," she stated.

Former Olympic and World Champion over the distance, Britain's Christine Ohuruogu, had to settle for second in 50.58, with Jamaica's reigning national champion, Novlene Williams-Mills third in 51.05.

Dominican Republic's Luguelin Santos (45.06) produced a late burst to win the men's equivalent. Altonio McQuay of the United States was second in 45.06, with Jamaica's Javere Bell third in a new PB, 45.57 seconds.

With the absence of Olympic champion and world-record holder, Usain Bolt, world champion Yohan Blake and sub-10 king, Asafa Powell, it was American Tyson Gay running against the clock in the men's 100m.

The US sprint ace showed he was up for the challenge, as he registered a world-leading 9.86 seconds to easily capture the event.

Gay was the only man to dip below 10 seconds, as Jamaica's Nesta Carter was second in 10.03 seconds, finishing ahead of America's Darvis Patton (10.07).

"Whoever is in the field is in the field, I don't really care," Gay stated after his victory.

"For me to run 9.86 and last year my PR was 9.88 just shows that I am ahead of where I am supposed to be," he observed.

Veronica Campbell-Brown pulled off a fine win in the women's 100m, as she captured the event in 11.01 seconds, the world's second-fastest time this year.

Trinidad and Tobago's Kelly-Ann Baptiste (11.06) was second, with Jamaica's Carrie Russell (11.08) bursting through for third.

The USA's Allyson Felix (11.13) was fifth, behind the world's fastest woman over 60m this year, Muriel Ahoure (11.11) of Cote d' Ivoire (Ivory Coast).

Nickel Ashmeade's superior strength saw him claim victory in the men's 200m, as he too established a world-leading mark, 20.00 seconds. Ashmeade held off the challenge of Olympics bronze medallist Warren Weir, who came home in 20.14 seconds to finish ahead of the USA's Wallace Spearmon (20.32).

In the women's equivalent, Olympic 200m silver medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce clocked 22.38 seconds - the second-fastest time over the distance this year - to take the event ahead of compatriots Kerron Stewart (22.71) and Sherone Simpson (22.83).

The USA's Antwon Hicks won the men's 110m hurdles in a new meet record and world-leading time of 13.25 seconds. Olympics bronze medallist Hansle Parchment (13.26) was second ahead of fellow Jamaican Andrew Riley (13.28).

In the women's 100m hurdles, Dawn Harper of the USA's winning time of 12.62 was also fastest in the world this year. Jamaica's Queen Harrison (12.64) was second ahead of Canada's Jessica Zelinka (13.06).

Another American, Ryan Whiting, established a world-leading mark in winning the men's shot put with a throw of 21.74m. Compatriot Christian Cantwell (20.29m) was second, with Jamaica's Raymond Brown (19.87m) third.