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Sprint ace Thompson wind-aided 10.71sec clocking at JII meet

Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson made surprisingly light work of a good field to win the 100m ahead of American English Gardner during the Jamaica Int
ernational Invitational meet at the National Stadium on Saturday May 7, 2016. Thompson posted a wind-aided 10.71 seconds for the victory.
Other Jamaican winners included Asafa Powell, Kemar Bailey-Cole, and Javon Francis at the 13th staging of the Jamaica International Invitational.

Thompson, showed impressive acceleration between 30 to 60m where she separated herself from the field and maintained the distance to win in 10.71 seconds,
then pumped the air in jubilation after learning of her time. Her joy was dampened following the announcement of a 2.4 metres per second wind reading which was over the allowable mark, of 2.0 m/s. It was a year ago at the 12th staging of the
Jamaica International Invitational that Thompson used the event as a coming out party and her win was just a continuation of the
celebration which has been punctuated by a 2015 World Championship silver in the 200m and an Indoor 2016 World Championship silver in the 60m.

English Gardener of the United States of America was second in 10.85, ahead of Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago with 10.98 seconds. American Jenna
Prandini was fourth in 11.08 seconds.

Bailey-Cole, who was injured just before the World Championships in Beijing last year, surprised many by beating a top-class field to win in 10.01
seconds just ahead of Mike Rodgers of the USA in 10.03. Jamaica’s Julian Forte who two weeks earlier had run the relay leg of his young life to
hold off Mike Gatlin at the Penn Relays was third from lane one in 10.06, ahead of another Jamaican Andrew Fisher with 10.07.

American 2007 World champion Tyson Gay was fifth in 10.08, as six runners dipped for the line with 40-year-old veteran Kim Collins of
St Kitts stopping the clock at 10.08. Jamaica’s Oshane Bailey was seventh in 10.13 seconds.Gay, despite his rivalry with Jamaica’s Usain
Bolt and Asafa Powell as well as his doping infraction in 2015 was well accepted by the Jamaican crowd. He was well received by the appreciative
and knowledgeable fans whomobbed him for photo ops and autographs. He graciously acknowledged that due to Usain Bolt’s influence on the sport
of Track and Field Athletics participants were earning more and getting more lucrative contracts.

Shaunae Miller of The Bahamas, in the absence of Jamaica’s double Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who did not
show for the 200m, won in 22.14 seconds, with a slightly over the limit wind of 2.2 m/s. The consistent Annesha McLaughlin-Whilby
was second with 22.79 ahead of American Shalanda Solomon (22.80). Jamaica’s World Championships 400m bronze medallistShericka Jackson
who has looked out of sorts but may be carefully timing her peak form for later in the year, was fourth from lane two in 22.86 seconds.

The enigmatic Powell, who has a special place in the heart of Jamaican fans, won the 200m in 20.45 seconds ahead of Bejee Lee of the USA,
and Jamaica’s 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Rasheed Dwyer, both in 20.52 seconds.Powell, in lane six, got one of his patented
lightening starts and led coming off the curve. As expected it was a long way to the finish line, but despite some ungainliness
he held on to take the victory. Powell whose personal best of 19.90 seconds was done in 2006 has not been participating in the
200m for some years now but has now done two in a row.

He too was the subject of much adoration by the screaming fans in the the bleachers. He noted that he intended to do the sprint double at National Trials in June.
No one recorded whether his statement was accompanied by a smile or a wink.

In the last event of the evening, Francis who has done yeoman work to move the winning times of Jamaican men’s 400m to sub 45 seconds turned in a sublime performance
to win the 400m in 44.85 seconds. It was anencouraging performance and a signal that his preparation for more lethal competition is on the right track. In taking the victory he left Vernon Norville of the USA, Kevin Borlee of Belgium, Deon Lendore of Trinidad and Tobago and Martyn Rooney of Great Britain behind him. All of the top five finishers except for Lendore were semi-finalists at the 2015 World Championships.
Jamaica’s Janieve Russell of the University of Technology (UTech) who was fourth at the 2015 World Championship and continues to produce consistent performances
paced herself well to win the women’s 400m hurdles in a personal best of 54.61 seconds. Ristananna Tracey was second in 55.31. American Leah Nugent coming off a good win in Bermuda went out quickly but was reeled in thirty metres from the line and settled for third with 56.24 seconds. Great Britain’s Eilidh Doyle the winner in the 4oom with 54.53 seconds, done at the Doha Diamond League meet is the world leader followed by Russell’s time of 54.61.
Jaheel Hyde in 49.16 seconds was able to finish second in the Men’s 400m hurdles behind Jeffrey Gibson of The Bahamas in 48.96, the third best time this
year. American 2005 World champion Bershawn Jackson was third with 49.29 seconds, and Jamaica’s Roxbert Cato fourth in 49.32 seconds. Gibson was the bronze
medalist in 48.17 at the 2015 World Championships.

Hydethe 2014 World Junior champion, who seemed very comfortable among senior competition.Hewent out fast from lane seven and was up on
the shoulders of American Michael Stiger, held his form well to take the last hurdle even with Gibson and was just outside his personal best of 49.01 seconds.

American Alexa Efraemsonset a new meet record of 4:08.37 minutes to win the women’s 1,500 metres. Second and third were her compatriots Leah O’Connor with 4:11.45 and
Dana Mecke in 4:17.09 minutes. Jamaica’s Kenia Sinclair took fourth with 4:17.13.

Wesley Vasquez of Puerto Rico won the men’s 800m in 1:46.15 minutes after Jamaica’s Ricardo Cunningham had excited the spectators with a torrid front running pace. Hewas unable to sustain and dropped out after 500m. Cunningham who at thirty years old is Jamaica’s best 800m runner and a good example of the difficulties 800m runners experience in a sprinter’s paradise. Second wasRofith Rodriquez of Colombia in 1:46.67 minutes. American Mike Ruth took third in 1:47.20.
In the Men’s 100 Development race, Kemarley Brown, now of Bahrain, formerly of Jamaica,won in 10.03 seconds, separating himself from the field in the last 30 metres. Second in 10.30 was Jermaine Hamilton, the lead man in Jamaica’s successful 4x100m team at the recent Penn Relays, ahead of Chadric Hinds in 10.32 seconds and Emmanuel Callendar of Trinidad and Tobago who was fourth in 10.41 seconds.
The men’s development 400m was won in 45.61 seconds, by the steadily improving Demish Gaye of GC Foster, who earlier in the year won the intercollegiate title.
He overhauled Javere Bellwho was second in 46.04,with 30m to go. One commendable feature of Gaye performances to date is his strong and well composed finishing.
Iba Anne Mame of France was third in 46.68 seconds.

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