Thompson and Richards shine for Jamaica in Rabat Diamond League

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Caterine Ibarguen,Kimberly Williams,Rasheed Dwyer,Warren Weir,Caster Semenya,Shaunae Miller-Uibo,Noveleve Williams-Mills,Zuzana Hejnova,Janieve Russell,Ryan Crouser,Ryan Whiting,Christania Williams,Michelle-Lee Ahye,Jura Levy,Elaine Thompson,O’Dayne Richards,IAAF Diamond League,Marie Josee Ta Lou,

File Photo: O'Dayne Richards broke his own national shot put record on Sunday when he threw 21.96m for second place at the Rabat IAAF Diamond League.





Elaine Thompson and O’Dayne Richards were among the top performers for Jamaica in Rabat on Sunday at the last stop in the IAAF Diamond League Series before the World Championships in London next month.

Thompson won her 14th straight 100m race but had to fight off a determined challenge from Marie Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast (10.90), who led the race up the 70m mark before the Olympic champions surged ahead to stop the clock at 10.87s. Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago was third in 11.02.

Thompson who was pleased with her performance said, “My races are going fine and I’m in the shape I want to be in now.”

The other Jamaicans in the race, Jura Levy with 11.18 and Christania Williams 11.28 finished 7th and 9th respectively.

Meanwhile, national shot put  record holder and Commonwealth champion O’Dayne Richards continued to enjoy a wonderful comeback season, extending his own record to 21.96m to finish second in the event behind Ryan Crouser of the USA. Crouser won with a throw of 22.47m while his fellow American Ryan Whiting was third with a distance of 21.26m.

Janieve Russell continued her good showing in the women’s 400m hurdles since her disappointment at the National Championships.  Russell finished a close second to World Champion Zuzana Hejnova in the second of two heats. Hejonova was first in 54.22, Russell second in 54.36, Eilidh Doyle of Great Britain third in 54.92 and Ristananna Tracey who won the first heat, finished fourth on time in 55.18. Rhona Whyte, running in her first Diamond League event finished 11th overall in 56.00.

Noveleve Williams-Mills (51.18) and Shericka Jackson (51.20) were fourth and fifth respectively in the women’s 400m that was won by Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas in a fast 49.80. Americans Natasha Hastings (50.86) and Quanera Hayes (51.08) were second and third. The much touted battle between Miller-Uibo and Caster Semenya failed to materialize as the South African finished 7th in 51.53.

The only track event that saw Jamaican males participate was the 200m which was won by Canadian sensation Andre De Grasse in20.03. Ameer Webb of the USA was second in 20.18 and Zharnel Hughes who trains at the Racers Club in Jamaica but represents Great Britain was third in 20.22. Rasheed Dwyer was 6th in 20.43 and Warren Weir, a bronze medalist at the London Olympics in 2012, was 7th in 20.48.

Colombian superstar Caterine Ibarguen continued to dominate the women’s long jump, winning with a distance of 14.51 while Jamaica’s Kimberly Williams was second with 14.31m. Paraskevi Papahristou of Greece was third with 14.21m.

Tajay Gayle, the only competitor in the men’s long jump, was 9th with a leap of 7.41m.