Photo: Elaine Thompson sped to a world leading 10.78s in the women's 100m at the Shanghai Diamond League on Saturday.
Two of Jamaica’s stars at the Rio Olympics, Elaine Thompson and Omar McLeod, continued their impressive start to the 2017 season at the Shanghai Diamond League meet on Saturday, scoring contrasting but impressive wins in the Women’s 100m and Men’s 110m hurdles respectively.
Thompson won her event going away from the field while McLeod was made to work hard for the win as both athletes showed their power, strength and concentration to record impressive wins.
Thompson underlined her current status as the best in the world with an impressive display of sprinting to record a world leading 10.78s. Lined up against a quality field including two other Jamaicans, Christania Williams and Veronica Campbell-Brown, Olympic silver medalist Tori Bowie and Marie Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast, the double gold medalist from Rio was disdainful in dismissing her rivals to win by over five metres.
The 24 year old got off to her usual fast start and moved away from her rivals at 50m before seemingly finding another gear at 60m to power away from the field, extending her long legs to extend her lead with every stride. Bowie just hung on for second in 11.04s, ahead of Ta Lou in 11.07s. The other Jamaicans in the race, Campbell-Brown was sixth in 11.23 and Williams eighth in a season’s best 11.33s.
It was not nearly as easy for McLeod as it was for Thompson as he was pushed all the way to the tape by Ortega of Spain. The powerfully built Jamaican hit the second hurdle but maintained his composure as both he and the other Jamaican in the race, Hansle Parchment led after the first few flights of hurdles.
Midway the race Ortega started closing the gap as the race rusty Parchment faded into third. It was almost neck and neck over the final few hurdles before McLeod used his superior flat speed to open up a gap on the Spaniard in the last three metres. McLeod finished in 13.09, while Ortega clocked 13.15. Xie of China gave the home crowd something to cheer about when he finished third in 13.31, edging out Parchment with a lean at the line. The tall Jamaican who was running in his first Diamond League event of the season finished in 13.35s.
In the Women’s 400m Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas destroyed the field to win in a world leading 49.77s. The three Jamaicans in the race, Novlene Williams-Mills (51.45), Aneisha McLaughlin-Wilby (51.63) and Stephenie Ann McPherson (51.97) finished fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.
The other Jamaican performing in Shanghai was 400m hurdler Annsert Whyte. The Olympian has had an indifferent start to the season and was only able to finish seventh in 50.18s. The event was won by the ageless Bershawn Jackson who won by almost 10 mete