Danielle Williams set a new Jamaican 100m hurdles record at the IAAF Diamond League in London on Saturday (20 Jul).
Williams, the 2015 world champion, was on fire from the outset en route to a sensational 12.32 performance to cap what was by far the most exceptional day of the 26-year-old’s career.
Her winning time in the final elevated Williams to No. 7 on the all-time list while beating Janeek Brown 12.40 as the Jamaican record holder.
Earlier in the heats, Williams, who was disqualified from the Jamaica Trials, ran 12.41 to better her previous best time of 12.45.
“It has been coming all season,” said Williams, who shattered Brown’s six-week-old 12.40 national record.
“This track is a fast track and the fact that we get two opportunities because of the heats, you can fix what you did wrong and get ready for the final.”
Nia Ali of the US was a distant second in 12.57 while her compatriot Queen Claye clocked 12.64 for third place.
Blake runs sub-10
In the men’s 100m, Jamaica champion Yohan Blake recorded the third-fastest time. The 2011 World champion ran 9.97, only to be beaten by African champion Akani Simbine, who held off Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes 9.95 to 9.97.
“It’s alright,” Blake said of the race. “Thank God I came out injury-free. I wanted to make a race of it, but I could tell I just stumbled which kind of knocked me off, but I’m feeling great.
“It’s a bit early with me running times like this right now. But come Doha, I’m going to bring it,” he added.
Japan’s Yuki Koiek (9.98) and Canada’s Andre De Grasse (9.99), a personal best for the former and season’s best for the latter, also went below 10secs.
Blake ran 10.06 in the heats while Julian Forte, 10.33 and Tyquendo Tracey, 10.18, failed to make the final.
Jackson edges McPherson
Rounding out the sprints, Jamaican champion Shericka Jackson held off compatriot Stephanie Ann McPherson to take the 400m, 50.69 to 50.74, to take her first Diamond League win of the season. Briton Laviai Nielsen clocked a 50.83 personal best to finish third.
Anastasia Le-Roy, the other Jamaican in the race, finished 4th in 51.46secs.
Thomspon wins 200m
Elaine Thompson, the Olympic sprint double champion and world leader at 22.22, had a comfortable 22.13secs victory in the half-lap event. Marie-Josee Ta Lou was second in 22.36, a season’s best.
Thompson: “I’m feeling great to back in London competing over 200m. It’s all work in progress – it’s a long season so I just came out here to perform and enjoy it.
“I want to stay healthy and focused for the rest of the season – that’s the aim. I came out here and pulled through today. I think there’s a great strength in the 200m fields and I feel like it’s helping me continually improve.”
Two other Jamaicans, Shashalee Forbes, 22.93 and Schillonie Calvert, 23.16, were 4th and 7th respectively.
Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce made up a 15-metre deficit to anchor a Jamaican quartet to a 42.29 victory in the 4×100 relay, to edge a British squad by a scant 0.01.
Fraser Pryce said: “When it comes to the relay you just have so much energy and I felt strong and was overall just glad I managed to come away with the win for the team.
“It is a different way to run but that’s part of the competition. It’s cold, so much different.
Natasha Morrison, Jonielle Smith and Thompson were the other team members.