Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fraser-Pryce wins ‘Diamond’ opener


CARIBBEAN JEWEL: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, right, of Jamaica wins the women’s 100 metres at the IAAF Diamond League meet in the Qatari capital of Doha, yesterday. —Photo: AP

Mark Fraser


World and Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce opened her IAAF Diamond League campaign in winning fashion when she stormed to victory in the 100 metres at the Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix yesterday.

The Jamaican sprint queen got off to a good start and pulled away from the field, but was forced to fend off the fast-finishing Nigerian Blessing Okagbare, to cross the line first in 11.13 seconds.

Okagbare was second in a season-best 11.18 seconds while Kerron Stewart of Jamaica was third in 11.25.

“It was a good race, the crowd definitely is a plus, very diverse, energetic and supportive,” said Fraser-Pryce.

“Now my goal for the season is to break the 22 seconds barrier in the 200 metres and in Shanghai (second Diamond League meet) I will run the 200 metres.”

Admittedly, Fraser-Pryce was without real competition in the event as three of her major rivals – American Carmelita Jeter, the Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure and Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown – were all absent.

In the men’s 200 metres also devoid of the major world stars, Jamaica clinched a one-two finish with Nickel Ashmeade upsetting Olympic bronze medallist Warren Weir.

Ashmeade produced a steady performance to clock 20.13 seconds and out-pace Weir, who struggled from the start and through the curve, to post a time of 20.31.

Qatar’s Femi Ogunode was third in 20.38 with Jamaica Rasheed Dwyer trailing in fifth in a season-best 20.48.

The 2012 European champion, Churandy Martina of Curacao who runs for the Netherlands, was a disappointing seventh.

Meanwhile, Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica was forced to settle for second as Kemi Adekoya of Nigeria stormed to a world-leading and national record 54.59 seconds in the women’s 400 metres hurdles.

Spencer was second in 55.07 seconds.

The second Diamond League meeting is in Shanghai on May 18.