Big first for Jackson
Yohan Blake close to his best in men’s 100 metres with 9.85 seconds victory
Despite a lengthy wait for the start, Tokyo Olympics 100 metres bronze medallist Shericka Jackson stormed towards a maiden national title while 2011 100m World champion Yohan Blake rolled back the years by claiming his fifth national title on yesterday’s second day of the JAAA National Senior and Junior Championships at the National Stadium.
Jackson won in a time of 10.77 seconds ahead of Oregon graduate Kemba Nelson who set a personal best time of 10.88 to finish second and make her first senior championship team. Double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson Herah finished third in 10.89. Four-time world 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who clocked 10.70 in Thursday’s first round, faced the starter in the semi-finals but did not finish. She already has a bye into the World Championships as the defending 100m champion.
The ladies had to wait a while before getting off the blocks, but Jackson said she gave the credit to her improved start which has been a main focus of her coach Stephen Francis this season.
“Coach was like ‘alright what we are going in there to do is work on our start.’ I think I did that. I had a couple of races where the start wasn’t good. But I kept working on the start every day in training. I did pretty well tonight. I know there was a lot of stuff that I need to fix but 10.77, I think coach will be happy,” Jackson said.
Blake clocked 9.85 for victory storming ahead in the final metres to beat Oblique Seville who clocked 9.88. Ackeem Blake came third in 9.93. After not recording a sub-10 time prior to the championships this season, Yohan now has three in the space of two days. He said that he credits the continued belief in his process this year.
“I have been working hard all season and sometimes you have to keep on believing in yourself and never doubt yourself. We have been working on the last part (of my race) and you could see that tonight,” Blake said.
Thompson Herah will hope for better luck in the 200m when the preliminary rounds start today at 7:40 p.m.
Meanwhile, the 400m hurdles women’s and men’s titles were retained by Janieve Russell and Jaheel Hyde in close finishes. Russell clocked 53.63 ahead of Shiann Salmon who finished second in 53.82. World championship bronze medallist Rushell Clayton finished third in 54.20 to make her second World Championship team.
Hyde clocked 48.51 holding off second-place finisher Kemar Mowatt who crossed the line in 48.53. Shawn Rowe came third in 49.66.
G.C. Foster College’s Lushane Wilson captured the men’s senior high jump title, clearing the bar at 2.18m on his first attempt for victory. University of South Florida’s Romaine Beckford came second, also at 2.18m, but needed two attempts to clear the height. MVP Track Club’s Raymond Richards was third with 2.15m.
The top three fell short of the automatic World Championships qualification height of 2.33m.
In the men’s 400m first-round Jevaughn Powell clocked 45.56 seconds to win his first-round heat with the fastest time. ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Champion Class One 400m winner Gregory Prince, former national champion and national record holder Rusheen McDonald, Sprintec’s Demish Gaye also advanced as well as defending national champion Sean Bailey and Karayme Bartley. The other qualifiers for today’s semi-finals at 6:55 p.m are Nathon Allen, Akeem Bloomfield, Anthony Cox, Tokyo Olympic Games finalist Christopher Taylor, Javon Francis, Jeremy Bembridge, Antonio Hanson, Zandrion Barnes, Chevannie Hanson and Terry Thomas.