Thompson national champ but Williams steals show
Elaine Thompson beat Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce by the finest of margins to win the women’s 100m at the 2019 JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Athletics Championships at the National Stadium last night as Briana Williams continues to rewrite the record books.
Thompson and Fraser-Pryce both clocked season’s best times of 10.73 seconds, but it was Williams who elicited the loudest applause as she ran a World Under-18 record with her 10.94 seconds effort.
“I am officially a part of the 10.9 club, so I am really happy tonight,” Williams said. “The aim was to get a good start and execute, and I am glad I made the team.”
The race also drew a range of emotions as Thompson was moved to tears after it was confirmed that she was the winner.
“I have been battling for the last two years with this Achilles injury, and even though it is not 100 per cent, I still pulled through, and for me to come back and run 10.73, it is overwhelming,” Thompson said.
Fraser-Pryce, who is in her second season after taking time off for pregnancy, was graceful in defeat.
“I must say congrats to Elaine and Briana. She (Williams) is running 10.9. I wasn’t running 11 seconds good when I was 17 years old,” Fraser-Pryce said.
Yohan Blake won the men’s version in 9.96 seconds ahead of Tyquendo Tracey, who clocked a season’s best 10.00 seconds.
Rasheed Dwyer rounded out the top three with 10.11.
Rushell Clayton pulled off a shocker to win the women’s 400m hurdles in 54.73 seconds.
The former University of The West Indies athlete covered pre-race favourite Janieve Russell from the first bend and never looked back.
“I felt this time coming, knowing who I am competing with,” Clayton said after the race.
She came into the with a personal best of 55.08.
“My aim was to finish in the top three race, and I finished first and got 54,” she said.
Shiann Salmon, who competed at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships last year for Hydel high school, clocked 55.39 for second, while her Sprintec teammate, Rhonda Whyte, finished third in 55.41.
“I am overwhelmed to know that I made my first team just one year out of High School. The transition into the senior stage was challenging, but thank God, I made it through, “ Salmon said.
The Lennox Grahan-coached Kemar Mowatt won the men’s equivalent in 48.70 seconds, ahead of Romel Lewis, 49.46, and Jaheel Hyde, 49.57.
“I am really pleased because I only got four good weeks of practice after an injury, so it’s all (because of) God,” Mowatt said after his victory.
Though he was pleased to have finished in the top three, the former World Under-20 champion Hyde knows he has work to do.
“I am pretty pleased with the season’s best, and I have until September to get the qualifying mark, so it’s just work from here,” he said.
The qualifying mark for the World Championships in the event is 49.30.