IAAF Jamaica Invite: Stars impress at Jamaica Invitational
Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce brought the house down at the Jamaica International Invitational inside the National Stadium, showing her class, while taking the women’s 200m in 22.53 seconds.
Fraser-Pryce, the world 100m and 200m champion, won ahead of the American pair Kimberly Duncan, 22.61 and Jeneba Tarmoh, 22.69.
In what was perhaps the most exciting event at the meet, Dominican Republic’s Luguelin Santos edged world champion LaShawn Merritt at the line, winning in a solid 44.82, as the American crossed the line in 44.88. Youssef Al-Masrahi, 44.96, finished third.
Francena McCorory was also impressive in winning the women’s 400m in 50.22, with the Jamaican pair of Stephenie McPherson, 50.58 and Novlene Williams-Mills, 50.90.
Justin Gatlin, as usual slept in his blocks, but the American found his gear in the middle of the race to out-power the rest of the field with a 10.11 clocking, while battling a -1.9 wind.
"It was not a great start for me but I'm happy with what I was able to do in the second phase. This win sets me up really well for the rest of the season and I’m looking forward to that," said Gatlin.
Andrew Fisher, a student at the University of Technology, got the best start of the lot and did enough to hold on to second place in a time of 10.21, with Nesta Carter, taking third place in 10.22.
The women’s race was won by Nigerian Blessing Okagbare, 11.19, who demonstrated raw power to win ahead of Kerron Stewart, 11.32 and Carrie Russell.
"This crowd is amazing," beamed Okagbare. "They give you so much energy and I’m not going to lie, I am not pleased with the time but I am happy for the win."
In the men’s 400m hurdles; a race between the reigning Olympic champions Felix Sanchez and World Champion Jehue Gordon, it was the veteran Felix who crossed the line first in a time of 49.21, with the Trinidadian finishing second in 49.32 after clipping the last hurdle.
The 2013 NCAA champion Kori Carter of the United States, 54.94 took the women’s 400m hurdles ahead of Jamaican Ristananna Tracey, 55.12 and Nickiesha Wilson, 55.61.
WATCH: Stars impress at Jamaica International Invitational