Saturday, February 24, 2018

Americans star at Jamaica Invitational


Jamaicans Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Rasheed Dwyer and Hansle Parchment were the only Caribbean winners on a night when Americans Francena McCorory and Christian Cantwell produced two world-leading marks at the Jamaica International Invitational meet here Saturday.

Triple World champion Fraser-Pryce, the headliner at the event, won the women’s 200 metres in 22.53, supported by a head wind of +0.2 m/s.

Fraser-Pryce, who was challenged off the curve but pulled away on the straight to take a comfortable victory, beat Americans Kimberlyn Duncan (22.61) and Jeneba Tarmoh (22.69) into second and third respectively. Jamaican Anneisha McLaughlin was fourth in 22.72.

“Tonight was just to see where I am. I am happy that I ended healthy and I’m now looking forward to my next race,” said Fraser-Pryce who runs the opening Diamond League meet in Doha next week.

In the men’s half lap event, Dwyer won a close race in 20.53 over USA’s world bronze medallist Curtis Mitchell (20.54) and Jamaican Jason Livermore (20.55).

Parchment, meanwhile, scored another sprint hurdles win in 13.42 seconds (-2.2 m/s wind) over American Ryan Wilson in 13.45 and Andrew Riley, also of Jamaica, in 13.56.

On the windy night of the IAAF World Challenge meet, Cantwell’s mark of 21.85m came in the men’s shot put. The event proved competitive with Jamaican Odain Richards setting a personal best of 21.11m, and USA’s Kurt Roberts throwing 21.07m.

In the women’s 400m, American World Indoor champion McCorory dismissed a field including Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross, to win in 50.24.

Apart from Cantwell’s mark, there were two other meet records in the 3,000m with European winner Terzic Amela of Serbia winning in 9:41.12 and Kylie Hutson capturing the pole vault with a measurement of 4.50m.

Meanwhile, visitors to the nation’s sprint factory, Justin Gatlin and Blessing Okagbare, emerged as the 100m winners.

The men’s field, which was without the three fastest Jamaicans Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell, saw Gatlin produce a late burst to beat the field in 10.11 seconds.

Andrew Fisher, a student at University of Technology in Jamaica, who surprised the field with a very fast start, finished second in 10.21 while American Walter Dix clocked 10.22 for third place.

Earlier, in the women’s event, Nigerian Blessing Okagbare stamped her class on the field, which was without few of the likes of Fraser-Pryce, Camerlita Jeter and Veronica Campbell-Brown.

She crossed the line in 11.19 seconds ahead of Jamaicans Kerron Stewart (11.32) and Carrie Russell (11.46).

Also, Luguelin Santos edged out World champion LaShawn Merritt in the 400m in a time of 44.82 seconds, to Merritt’s 44.86, with Youssef Al-Masrahi third in 44.96.