There Jamaicans secured victories on Sunday’s (15 July) final day of the Athletics World Cup in London.
Tyquendo Tracey, Shericka Jackson and Shanieka Ricketts were the winners at the inaugural event.
The men’s 100m was very evenly matched on paper and the race itself was equally close. The eventual winner, Tracey, won in a lifetime best of 10.03 but only two-hundredths of a second separated him from the USA’s Kendal Williams in second place.
Tracey’s gift of 8 points provided Jamaica with a much-needed boost during an underwhelming evening for the Caribbean nation.
Despite running a personal best, Tracey still was not completely satisfied, acknowledging that “there were a few flaws in the race” that he intends to work on once he arrives back in Jamaica.
“It was a good race,” said Tracey. “There were a few flaws in the race, but we will work on that when I get back home to the track. It was a good none the less.
On the runway, the women’s triple jump proved to be a duel between Jamaica and the USA, with the former emerging victorious as a result of Ricketts’ personal best leap of 14.61m that defeated Keturah Orji by just 1 centimetre.
The 2018 Commonwealth silver medallist, Ricketts is clearly in the form of her life as she then went on to equal her previous personal best with her final jump.
“I am very happy. I have been trying to get a personal best since 2016 so to get it here on the big stage I am very grateful,” a delighted Ricketts said.
Back on track, Shericka Jackson demonstrated admirable speed endurance to move past Jenna Prandini in the closing stages of the women’s 200m to record a winning time of 22.35 and scored a valuable 8 points, prevented Jamaica from sliding further down the table. Prandini’s time was 22.45secs.
Jeanine Williams came ever so close to making it two consecutive batches of 8 points for Jamaica in the women’s 100m hurdles but 2014 African Champion Rikenette Steenkamp had other ideas, stopping the clock at 12.88 and ending South Africa’s long wait for 8 points in a track event this weekend.
Williams crossed the line in 12.95 ahead of American Queen Harris, 12.99secs.
“It was good for my first senior event and I’m just glad to get a medal. The team environment helps but sometimes it’s a little scary, but I am excited for the years to come,” said Williams.
Earlier, the second track event of the evening; the men’s 400m hurdles, ended in chaotic fashion as Jamaica’s Annsert Whyte, who had led for the majority of the race, stumbled across a couple lanes after smashing into the final hurdle and fell back into fourth place as a consequence. Whyte’s time 49.80 while Kenny Selmon picked up gold in 48.97.
Simoya Campbell ran 2:01.59 for third in the women’s 800m, which was won by Raevyn Rogers of the USA in 2:00.20.
Ramone Bailey secured third in the men’s long jump with 8.13m behind Luvo Manyonga of South Africa 8.51m and Zack Bazile of USA 8.30m.
In the 4x100m relay, Jamaica’s team of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson, Jonielle Smith and Tissana Hickling, crossed the line second in 42.60 behind USA 42.52.
At the conclusion of the weekend’s action, the Athletics World Cup presented by Muller’s final standings painted a picture of dominance for the United States of America team who finished with 219.
Jamaica had to settle for fourth place on 153 points, but the fact that they were only 9 points behind Poland and 2 behind Great Britain & Northern Ireland is a testament to how close the contest was behind the eventual Athletics World Cup winners, the USA