Three Jamaicans, Elaine Thompson-Herah, Stephenie-Ann McPherson and Ronald Levy, secured wins at Tuesday’s (13 July) Gateshead Diamond League.
The Müller British Grand Prix meet is the last hooray before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which will see track and field running from 30 July to 8 August.
Thompson-Herah’s victory came in the women’s 200m. The Rio 2016 Olympic Games sprint double champion ran a decent curve and straightened in front before she cruised down the homestretch and crossed the line comfortable 22.43 win.
“It may not be my fastest time, but I’m still pleased with that (race),” Thompson-Herah said in her post-race interview. “I need to get the work in to get that curve as quick as possible and keep pushing forward,” she added.
Thompson-Herah is gearing up to defend her titles against the likes of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Gabby Thomas, Dina Asher-Smith and Shericka Jackson in the sprints.
Jodie Williams of Great Britain finished strong to take second place in 22.60. Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria also had a solid last half and ended third in 22.61.
Omar McLeod loses to Ronald Levy in Gateshead Diamond League men’s 110m hurdles
The Jamaicans battle for the entire race, which saw Omar McLeod with a slight lead in the middle stages, then Levy, before the latter pulled away after the final hurdle to win in 13.22. McLeod, who lost his way after the final hurdle, had to settle for second in 13.42. The other Jamaican in the race, Rasheed Broadbell, finished fifth in 13.84
Levy, who disclosed he has some problems in Hungary, commented on today’s race. “I came out here to execute and win, and I’m happy.”
McLeod said: “It was a good race, seeing as I haven’t trained very hard since my Jamaican trials. I am a bit out of it but happy to finish healthy.”
McPherson continued her run towards her first Olympic Games individual medal. She again ran a solid race to win the women’s 400m event in 50.44. She won ahead of Jodie Williams of Great Britain in 50.94. Sada Williams of Barbados finished sixth in 52.34.
“It’s been a hard two weeks in training, and I came out here to Gateshead to work on my technique and other areas. Now the preparation begins, and watch out for Stephenie McPherson,” she said.
Bahamian Donald Thomas cleared 2.25m to win the men’s high jump.
“I’m just glad to be here, and thank god I can prepare for Tokyo.
“It’s a privilege to be jumping, and I want to say thanks for the invite. My preparation is going good, and I’m looking forward to Tokyo,” said Thomas.
Jamaican Janieve Russell finished third in the women’s 400m hurdles – crossing the line in 54.66 behind Femke Bol (NED) 53.24 and Shamier Little (USA) 54.53
Jamaicans Danielle Williams and Britany Anderson finished fourth and fifth with times of 12.78 and 12.81. Cindy Sember of Great Britain won the event in 12.69.
Sember was pleased with her race. “It was a good competitive race. I was so happy the weather was great out there. My legs definitely felt better than the last time I was here, and I was so happy to run fast against a tough field.”
In the men’s 100m, American and Tokyo 2020 favourite Trayvon Bromell returned to winning ways. Bromell, who lost in Monaco last week, ran 9.98, the only sub-10 time, to beat Great Britain’s pair of Chijindu Ujah, 10.10 and Zharnel Hughes, 10.13.
Bromell said: “I’ll take that win, and I really want to get back into training, get my body under wraps, recover and get ready for Tokyo.”
Fred Kerley, who switched from the 400m to the shorter sprint this season, struggled to 10.13 for fifth. He, too, is heading to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Isaiah Harris of the USA ran 1:44.76 to beat Kenyan Wyclife Kinyamal, 1:44.91.