On a weekend when Olympic medallists Warren Weir and Hansle Parchment were handed surprise defeats, Kaliese Spencer lived up to expectations to win the 400m hurdles at the Jamaican Championships in Kingston (26-29).
The three-time Diamond race winner produced her fastest time for nearly three years to win in a world-leading 53.41, the fastest time ever run on Jamaican soil. More than a second behind, world junior champion Janeive Russell clocked a PB of 54.75 in second place.
But while Spencer enjoyed an easy victory, world silver medallist and world leader Weir had a battle on his hands in the 200m; one which he ended up losing.
Former World University Games champion Rasheed Dwyer impressed with a 20.22 clocking in the semi-final before speeding to a PB of 20.04 to finish 0.13 ahead of the Olympic bronze medallist.
That same evening, Olympic bronze medallist Hansle Parchment was beaten in the 110m hurdles. World finalist Andrew Riley got the verdict on the dip as just 0.02 separated the men, 13.27 to 13.29.
A headwind of -1.5m/s in the men’s 100m final got in the way of any sub-10-second performances, but Nickel Ashmeade’s 10.06 in such conditions was impressive nonetheless. The 24-year-old, who finished in the top five in both the 100m and 200m at least year’s World Championships, finished 0.05 ahead of Jason Livermore.
There were faster performances in the previous rounds as Ashmeade won his semi-final in 10.02 with Livermore winning the other one in a PB of 10.05. In the heats, Kemar Bailey-Cole clocked a wind-assisted 9.95.
The women’s 100m title was won by Veronica Campbell-Brown in 10.96 (-0.4m/s) with 2008 Olympic silver medallist Kerron Stewart running a season’s best of 11.02 in second place.
A spate of personal bests and season’s bests were set in the women’s 400m. Novlene Williams-Mills won her eighth national title over the distance in 50.05, her fastest clocking of the year.
Behind her, Christine Day clocked a PB of 50.16 with Stephenie Ann McPherson taking third in 50.50. In fourth, Anastasia Le-Roy also dipped below the 51-second mark with a PB of 50.84.
Having finished second and third at previous editions of the Jamaican Championships, Roxroy Cato finally won the national 400m hurdles title, setting a PB of 48.48 – the second-fastest time in the world this year – for good measure.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF