Photo: Olivia Leckford of GC Foster College throwing her second personal best of the season in the javelin at the Allcomers Meet atthe National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica last Saturday.
It has been a great start to the month of June for Jamaica’s female track and field athletes. As the junior and senior trials approach at the end of the month, the athletes have being rounding into top shape as they set their sights squarely on the World Junior Championships in Poland and the Rio Olympics respectively.
On Thursday, the second day of the month, Janieve Russell ran a world leading and personal best time of 53.96s to win the 400m hurdles at the Rome Diamond League Meet, sending a massive signal of her readiness to go for gold in Rio. Her five meter margin of victory over a quality field, which included Eilidh Doyle of the United Kingdom, highlighted the quality of her performance.
On the same day, at the same meet, Jamaica’s newest sprinting sensation, Elaine Thompson, also ran a world leading 10.87s to win the women’s 100m with a storming finish over the last 50 meters as she got the better of the American, English Gardner. Thompson won the silver medal in the 200m at the World Championships in Beijing last year and has declared that she will be lining up in the 100m and 200m at trials.
While Russell and Thompson were winning on the track, Shanieka Thomas and Kimberly Williams were putting in creditable performances in the field - in the triple jump to be exact. Thomas finished third with a leap of 14.46m with Williams not far behind in fourth at 14.38m. The amazing Caterine Ibarguen of Columbia won with 14.78m.
Two days later, Natoya Goule and Kenia Sinclair continued to show the range of the country’s presence in track and field at the American Track League in Atlanta. Goule became only the 12th woman to go under two minutes in the 800m this season, running a personal best time of 1:59.63, while Sinclair ran an Olympic qualifying standard time of 2:00.81 as she battles back from a three year spell plagued with injuries.
And with virtually no one looking on, Javelin thrower Olivia Leckford continued her steady improvement, throwing yet another personal best of 48.66m (up from 46.60m) , at the All Comers Meet inside the National Stadium in Kingston. With only herself and former National champion Olivia McKoy participating in the event, the GC Foster College athlete got the distance on her final throw in what was a fairly satisfying performance.
Leckford told Yardie Sports, “I came here with the intention of getting 48m today and I was able to do that so I am pleased, even though I was a bit too casual on my first attempt.”
“My next target is 51 and hopefully I can get that at Trials in a few weeks.”
Over in England on Sunday, running in the Birmingham Diamond League, Christine Day produced a season’s best time of 51.09s to finish second in the 400m behind Floria Guei of France who ran a personal best time of 50.84.
Williams and Thomas reversed order, in the triple jump in England – Williams remaining fairly consistent with 14.36m for fourth but Thomas got only 13.88m for seventh.