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Blake, Hughes renew rivalry

Published:Friday | July 19, 2019 | 12:00 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter

The rivalry between Yohan Blake, the 2011 world 100m champion, and his former training partner, Zharnel Hughes, could intensify at this weekend’s London Diamond League, as both athletes will stand on the line for the men’s 100 metres for the second time this season.

Hughes, who is still under the tutelage of Glen Mills at Racers Track Club, is leading the season’s rivalry 1-0, having beaten Blake at the Racers Grand Prix with a 9.96 seconds effort, and will be confident about extending his run of wins over the Jamaican in front of his home-crowd support at the two-day meet, which gets underway at the London Olympic Stadium tomorrow.

Blake only managed 10.01 that night, but he turned up at the National Senior Championships two weeks later in fine form, producing 9.96 seconds to reclaim the national title in the event. Both athletes should be fiercely pushed by South African Akani Simbine and Hughes’ British teammate Adam Gemili.

Tyquendo Tracey, who produced his lifetime best (9.96) at this same meet last year, is also scheduled to face the starter in the event.

Shericka Jackson could lower her personal best in the 400m again this season as she will have to be at her best to challenge Qatar’s Salwa Eid Naser and Niger’s Aminatou Seyni, who produced lifetime best times of 49.17 and 49.19 seconds to finish first and second, respectively, in the women’s one-lap race at the Monaco Diamond League meet last week.

Jackson’s personal best of 49.78, which was set at the National Senior Championships last month, ranks her fourth in the world as Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo stands in the number-one spot with 49.05 seconds.

Danielle Williiams will look to continue on the path to redeeming herself after the false-start debacle at the Jamaican Trials after she blitzed to a season best time of 12.52 seconds to finish second in Monaco last week. Without world record holder Kendra Harrison, who only beat her at the final flight of hurdles last week, Williams is favoured to win here, but she should be challenged by Nigerian Tobi Amuzan and her compatriots, Megan Tapper and Yanique Thompson.

Thompson’s winning ways

Reigning Olympic Champion Elaine Thompson is looking to go back to winning ways in the women’s 200m after she was beaten by Miller-Uibo last week. Sashalee Forbes and Schillonie Calvert-Powell will also face the starter in the women’s half-lap race.

In the men’s 400m hurdles, Jaheel Hyde will look to run faster than 49.30 seconds in order to cement his qualification for the IAAF World Championships scheduled for Doha in September. The two-time world Under-20 champion finished in the top three in the event at the Jamaican championships last month, but needs to run the qualifying mark of 49.30 in order to compete at athletics’ flagship event. His season’s best so far stands at 49.57 seconds.

Tajay Gayle, the MVP Track Club break-out star for 2019, will look to improve on his 8.30 metres personal best, when he competes against Cuban Juan Miguel Echevarría and South Africans Luvo Manyonga and Zarck Visser in the long jump event.