Photo: Janieve Russell ran a world leading and personal best time of 53.96s in the Women's 400m hurdles in the Rome Diamond League Meet on Thursday.
Elaine Thompson and Janieve Russell highlighted the performances of Jamaicans inside the Italian city of Rome with season best performances at the Diamond League track and field meet on Thursday. Thompson got the better of the American, English Gardener in the Women’s 100m in an impressive 10.87s while Russell ran a superbly timed race to destroy a quality field and finish with a new personal best and world lead time of 53.96s in the 400m hurdles.
Sitting in the middle of the pack halfway through the eight hurdle event, Russell went into overdrive on the last curve to come off the turn in the lead, before streaking away from Wenda Nel Theron of South Africa who ran a season’s best and Eilidh Doyle of Great Britain to win by five clear meters, producing her third season’s best time of the year. Russell has now installed herself as one of the favourites for the Olympics in Rio, having beaten former world leader, Doyle in comprehensive fashion. The other Jamaican in the race, Kaliese Spencer finished sixth in 55.51.
In the women’s 100m, Thompson overcame a slow start to chase down Gardner, producing a fantastic burst of speed over the last fifty meters to overhaul the American close to the line. Gardner stopped the clock at 10.92 while Barbara Pierre was third in 11.13.Thompson has been in fine form this season and is showing that she will be ready for ‘Trials’ later this month. She currently leads the Diamond League race with 20 points.
World Champion Wayde Van Niekerk was impressive in victory in the Men’s 400m winning by about ten meters in a time of 44.19s, leaving Bralon Taplin of Grenada and Isaac Makwala of Botswana and the rest of the field eating his dust. Jamaica’s Rusheen McDonald finished 8th in 46.05.
Shanieka Thomas continued to show good form in the Women’s triple jump, finishing third with a leap of 14.46m. Her teammate Kimberly Williams finished fourth with 14.38m. The event was won by reigning World Champion, Caterine Ibarguen of Columbia, who cut the sand at 14.78m to extend her incredible winning streak to 34.
Fedrick Dacres finished a credible fourth in the men’s discus with a throw of 63.50m. Robert Urbanek of Poland won the event with a throw of 65.00m, Victor Hogan of South Africa was second with 64.03m and Robert Harting of Germany was third in 63.96.