Photo: Elaine Thompson Herah ran a wind aided 10.73s to win the women's 100m at the final in the series of the Velocity Fest Trilogy last Saturday at the Ashenheim Stadium at Jamaica College.
President of the MVP Track and Field Club, Bruce James, is quite pleased with the effort his organization made in staging the track and field event called Velocity Fest Trilogy 2020 during the month of July.
The event marked the return to athletic competition for some of Jamaica’s top athletes after sports was shut down on the island in March, due to the global pandemic caused by the corona virus, Covid-19.
The meets were staged over three consecutive Saturdays, July 11th, 18th and 25th at the Ashenheim Stadium at Jamaica College.
James outlined a series of results over the three weeks that he pinpointed as making the effort worthwhile.
First on his list was the performance of double Olympic Champion Elaine Thompson Herah. She ran 10.73 (+3.0) in windy conditions but as he put it “10.7 is amazing by any measure.”
That time adjusts to 10.89 with zero wind.
Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce ran 11.00 into a very strong headwind of -2.2 which adjusts to 10.83 with zero wind. He described her 22.74 over the 200m with -0.9 wind reading as “also special”.
Anthonique Strachan 22.72 (+2.0) ran her fastest 200m since 2015, a significant feat for the athlete.
Shericka Jackson 22.89 (-2.2) over 200m reportedly set tongues wagging and James said it was “effortless, you had to be there.”
Janieve Russell with 51.67 in the 400m is the fastest Jamaican for 2020 and she also clocked 55.40 in the 400mH which is her pet event.
Ronda Whyte 55.40 equaled the time run by Russell in the 400mH which is the fastest time run by a Jamaican for 2020.
Tissanna Hickling jumped 6.60m (+1.4) for a Long Jump best by a Jamaican for 2020 while Shanieka Ricketts 14.11 (-0.9) now has the leading distance for the Triple Jump by a Jamaican in 2020.
World Champion, Tajay Gayle, with a small hurricane behind him, flew to 8.52m on a +4.5 wind. “The distance was reminiscent of his Doha WC Gold,” James said. Gayle also had a wind legal jump of 8.23m, a very good distance at this time.
Julian Forte who has suffered with injuries over the last few years, showed signs of a return to form with 9.96 (+2.1) and 10.03 (+0.3), his fastest times since 2017. He also ran 20.71 (-2.9) in the 200m.
Veteran Nesta Carter had a best of 10.18 (+1.6) which is his fastest time since 2018.
Romario Williams 10.39 (-1.4), 10.33 (-0.3), 10.19 (+2.1) improved every week, setting a new personal best at the final meet.
The World U18 Gold medalist over 400m, Antonio Watson, ran 10.70 (-2.6), 10.54 (-0.8), 10.39 (+1.7) in the 100m. This type of improvement speaks volumes for an athlete viewed as one for the future of athletics in Jamaica.
Rasheed Broadbell, who is 19 years old, had a personal best over the 110m hurdles at Olympic height of 13.47 (-0.4).“Providing a World Class environment here in Jamaica for these athletes, who waited 4 months to compete, was critical as international travel for meets is still uncertain,” James said.
James also pointed to personal achievements by his team in the new normal that now obtains.
“A personal highlight was being able to host 3 athletics meetings, under strict COVID-19 protocols, with immediate live results and videos of each race online within minutes.
“Achieving this outside of the National Stadium (thanks to team JC) with only a small fraction of the normal number of officials, no number bibs, no call room, no ISP, no paper, no entry fees, no sponsors, no income (and) plenty expenses.”
He also thanked the handful of volunteers that provided yeoman service for the cause over the three weeks.
“Special thanks to those who turned up each week to make it all happen often by doubling up on duties where the only reward was knowing without your help the meets would not be possible.”