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US and Jamaica Battle for World Leads in Track and Field Championships

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US and Jamaica Battle for World Leads in Track and Field Championships
Gabby Thomas Sets New Personal Best and Reclaims World Lead in Track Championships

The track and field championships in the US and Jamaica witnessed an intense rivalry as athletes vied for world leads in the shorter sprints. Within a span of 48 hours, six world leads (WL) were established across the women’s 100m, 200m, and the men’s 110m hurdles.

Gabby Thomas reclaimed her world lead by setting a new personal best (pB) with a time of 21.60, just an hour after Shericka Jackson sprinted to victory in the Jamaican Championships with a time of 21.71.

During the semifinals on Saturday, Thomas had already recorded a world-leading time of 21.86, only to be outdone by Jackson’s impressive performance of 21.71.

A similar scenario unfolded in the women’s 100m, where Sha’Carri Richardson initially set a personal best and a world lead of 10.71, only to have it surpassed by Jackson’s remarkable time of 10.65 during the Jamaican trials.

Despite Richardson posting the fastest time in the preliminary rounds with a windy 21.67 (+2.6), she finished second in the final with a time of 21.94. Kayla White demonstrated a strong finish in the last 40 meters, securing her third-place qualification with a time of 22.01.

Thomas, the daughter of a Jamaican immigrant, missed her chance to compete for a world title in 2022 due to a nagging hamstring injury. Expressing her determination, Thomas said, “Last year being injured was really heartbreaking for me, so I was really ready this year and really wanted it more than, I think, anyone.”

In the men’s competition, despite the absence of world leader Noah Lyles, Erriyon Knighton showcased his prowess by winning his first senior title with a time of 19.72. Kenneth Bednarek, the world and Olympic runner-up, finished as the runner-up once again with a time of 19.82, narrowly edging out NCAA 100m champion Courtney Lindsey, who secured third place with a time of 19.85.

In a month’s time, Lyles will join them, having led the American sweep of the podium in Eugene. Knighton expressed confidence in the team, stating, “We got us a good squad going over there; We gonna try to make the same thing happen as last year and get the sweep.”

In the men’s 110m hurdles, Cordell Tinch‘s inspiring journey from being a cell-phone salesman in GreenBay, Wisconsin, to pursuing his dream of world-class hurdling, culminated in him qualifying for his first World Championship team. He finished behind Daniel Roberts with a time of 13.05-13.08. Freddie Crittenden claimed third place with a time of 13.23.

However, Tinch’s world lead of 12.96 was broken by Jamaica’s Rasheed Broadbell, who asserted his arrival to world athletics stardom with a winning time of 12.94 in his national championships, defeating Hansle Parchment (13.12) and Orlando Bennett (13.13).

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