The JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships at the national stadium, Kingston, Jamaica, witnessed some remarkable sprinting over the weekend (25 / 27 June), topped by the 9.91 national record in the men's 100m for Asafa Powell on Saturday (26).
Powell quickly making up for Paris disappointment
The Jamaican Federation’s website neatly summed up the performance by the 21 year-old with the headline, “Awesome Asafa!”, as run into a slight (-0.1) head wind it was something to take the breath away.
Powell with a 9.99 result had first ducked under 10 seconds in Spanish Town on the 12 June with a 1.8 assisting wind, improving his personal best from 10.02 (2003). However, his improvement on Saturday by such a large margin of the 9.96 national record, which Ray Stewart had set in the 1991 Tokyo World Championships final, is a class of result which speaks for itself.
The 9.91 clocking demonstrates Powell’s rapidly growing star quality, something which Jamaican athletics needs when its principle star attraction Usain Bolt, the junior legend is absent due to injury.
Behind Powell finished a quality field of clockings, Steve Mullings (10.04 – personal best) and Dwight Thomas (10.15) took second and third, with a 10.25 fourth place for Michael Frater, and Patrick Jarrett taking fifth in 10.29. There was also a personal best for Winston Smith in 6th (10.30).
NB. UPDATE 31 May 2005 - Steve Mullings of Jamaica has been suspended by the Jamaican Federation for a doping offence, effective from 26 June 2004.
Powell also posted 10.36 (heats – Fri 25) and 10.30 (semi- Sat 26) results in the lead up to the final.
The youngster who was so upset about being disqualified in the Paris World Championships at the quarter final stage, is now well on the way to making up for that misfortune last summer, exactly as he openly avowed he would at the time of his Spanish Town win.
Campbell double - 200m world lead
The women’s sprints were all about one lady, Veronica Campbell who took a very impressive sprint double. An 11.06 win in the 100m on Saturday was followed by a world leading 22.18 in the 200m on Sunday (27 June) ahead of four times national champion Aileen Bailey (22.70) and the veteran Beverley McDonald (22.85).
Campbell, the 2000 World Junior 100m and 200m champion, who announced that she was turning professional just a few days before the championships, also received the 'best athlete' award for her performances over the three-day championships.
Fine sprinting elsewhere too
The men’s 400m also lived up to the top billing and saw a stirring battle down the finishing stretch between winner Brandon Simpson, who ran a season’s best of 44.88 ahead of 2002 Commonwealth champion Michael Blackwood 44.99, and rising star Jermaine Gonzales 45.72.
Nadia Davy won the women’s 400m in 50.76 to secure her place in the Athens Olympics in the absence of World and Olympic silver medallist Lorraine Fenton.
Steve Mullins who had run a PB behind Powell in the 100m, also improved his best in the 200m, taking the national title in 20.22.
The women’s 100m Hurdles saw Delloreen Ennis-London leading from the start to out run fast finishing World silver medallist Brigitte Foster, who was racing outdoors for the first time this summer. Their times were 12.50 and 12.56 respectively.
Golding-Clarke was third in 12.81, as former national champion Michelle Freeman returned to action with a time of 13.03, just six months after having her first child.
Maurice Wignall won a very eventful 110m Hurdles in 13.42 with several runners seeing their Olympic dreams sent crashing to the ground.
In the one lap Hurdles, the men's final which was run on 26 June was won by Danny McFarlane in 48.95 from Dean Griffths (49.27), and Kemel Thompson in third (49.55).
The women's 400m Hurdles was taken by Debbie Parris in 55.30.
World silver medallist James Beckford won another Long Jump national title with a leap of 8.13m, ahead of second place André Edwards 7.88m.
IAAF and JAAA