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Thompson, Praught impress in Doha

Published:Friday | May 5, 2017 | 12:00 AMAndre Lowe

Elaine Thompson looks unstoppable. Asafa Powell is still waiting for his 98th sub-10 seconds 100m time, and Aisha Praught got her name in the record books as the Diamond League circuit got going in Doha yesterday.

As the temperature teased 40 degrees Celsius at the Qatar Sports Club ahead of the action on the track, Thompson brought some heat of her own, blazing to a 22.19 seconds win in the 200m ahead of a field that included world champion Dafne Schippers as well as Jamaicans Veronica Campbell-Brown and Simone Facey.

Considering the -2.3 wind factor, yesterday's run was a clear improvement on the 22.16 (+1.9) season-opening effort from last season in the 200m and shows that the double Olympic sprint champion is primed to continue her lordship in female sprinting.

Schippers tried to rally as both athletes came off the bend in front but had no response to Thompson's extra kick, and in the end, had to settle for second place in 22.45 ahead of Marie-Josee Ta Lou, 22.77. Facey ran fourth in 23.00 with Campbell-Brown next best in 23.09.

For Thompson, it was all about execution and making the most of her first experience in Qatar, the host for the 2019 World Championships.

"This is my first time in Doha, and my first race of the season. I just wanted to get the race right and see how far I am in the season, and I just wanted to execute a good race," said Thompson, who will be looking to improve on her 200m silver medal won at the last World Championships in Beijing at this year's event in London.




Things weren't so rosy for Powell, who despite crossing the line in second place in his second 100m of the season, was more disappointed that he was not able to stride closer to a magical 100 sub-10 seconds clocking in the event.

Akani Simbine took an impressive win in 9.99 seconds - his sixth sub-10 seconds time of the season, with Powell crossing the line in 10.09. The Jamaican has now gone four races without a sub-10 clocking, and he thinks this time around, the wind was the enemy.

"I'm not surprised coming in second. We're only just beginning our season. I wanted to go sub-10, but couldn't because of the wind," he said pointing to the -1.2 m/s wind factor.

Thid place went to Femi Ogunode, 10.13 with Justin Gatlin, 10.14, in fourth, and Andre De Grasee, 10.21 in fifth place.

Jamaican distance runner Aisha Praught had reason to celebrate after she lowered the national record in the 3000m steeplechase, clocking 9:19.29 for eight place in the event. Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi, 9:00.12, got the win ahead of Beatrice Chepkoech, 9:01.57 and Olympic champion Ruth Jebet, 9:01.99.

"I am totally pleased to set the national record," she told The Gleaner yesterday. "I really wanted to do it last year, but I could not quite pull it off. Today was a big day!"

Praught is now the 37th fastest women ever in the event, and she replaced Mardrea Hyman's 9:27.31 set in 2005.

Megan Simmonds managed a 13.13 run, which was good enough for fifth place in the 100m hurdles with world record holder Kendra Harrison, 12.59, securing another commanding win. Cindy Roleder, 12.90, and Sherika Nelvis, 12.91 finishing second and third.

Natoya Goule, 2:01.59, attacked the field in the first 400m of the women's 800m but faded badly into eight place as Caster Semenya, 1:56.61 overpowered the field to register a big win; while Annsert White, 50.80, also found himself at the back of the pack in the men's 400m hurdles event. This was won by hometown standout Abderrahaman Samba in 48.44 ahead of Kerron Clement 49.40 and LJ Van Zyl, 49.49.

Steven Gardiner, 44.60, won the men's 400m to continue his positive start, while Qatari star Mutaz Essa Barshim's 2.36m clearance in the high jump secured his first win at the Doha Diamond League. Christian Taylor won the triple jump with 17.25m off the board.

Selected Results

Men's results

100 Metres - Men Wind: -1.2 m/s

1 Simbine, Akani 9.99

2 Powell, Asafa 10.08

3 Ogunode, Femi 10.13

400 Metres - Men

1 Gardiner, Steven 44.60

2 Merritt, LaShawn 44.78

3 McQuay, Tony 44.92

1500 Metres - Men

1 Manangoi, Elijah Motonei 3:31.90

2 Kiplagat, Silas 3:32.23

3 Birgen, Bethwell Kiprotich 3:32.27

3000 Metres - Men

1 Kwemoi, Ronald 7:28.73

2 Chelimo, Paul Kipkemoi 7:31.57

3 Kejelcha, Yomif 7:32.27

400 Metres Hurdles - Men

1 Samba, Abderrahaman 48.44

2 Clement, Kerron 49.40

3 van Zyl, L.J. 49.49

8 Whyte, Annsert 50.80

High Jump - Men

1 Barshim, Mutaz Essa 2.36m

2 Grabarz, Robert 2.31m

3 Thomas, Donald 2.29m

Triple Jump - Men

1 Taylor, Christian 17.25m

2 Craddock, Omar 17.08m

3 Copello, Alexis 16.81m

Javelin Throw - Men

1 Rohler, Thomas 93.90m

2 Vetter, Johannes 89.68m

3 Vadlejch, Jakub 87.91m

Women's results

200 Metres - Women

1 Thompson, Elaine 22.19

2 Schippers, Dafne 22.45

3 Ta Lou, Marie-Josee 22.77

4 Facey, Simone 23.00

5 Campbell-Brown, Veronica 23.09

800 Metres - Women

1 Semenya, Caster 1:56.61

2 Wambui, Margaret Nyairera 1:57.03

3 Sum, Eunice Jepkoech 1:58.76

8 Goule, Natoya 2:01.59

3000 Metres Steeplechase - Women

1 Jepkemoi, Hyvin Kiyeng 9:00.12

2 Chepkoech, Beatrice 9:01.57

3 Jebet , Ruth 9:01.99

8 Praught, Aisha 9:19.29

100 Metres Hurdles - Women

1 Harrison, Kendra 12.59

2 Roleder, Cindy 12.90

3 Nelvis, Sharika 12.91

5 Simmonds, Megan 13.13

Pole Vault - Women

1 Stefanidi, Ekaterini 4.80m

2 Morris, Sandi 4.75m

3 Silva, Yarisley 4.65m

Shot Put - Women

1 Carter, Michelle 19.32m

2 Marton, Anita 18.99m

3 Dubitskaya, Aliona 18.90m