Super-quick sprinting provided most of the highlights at the Jamaica International Invitational, an IAAF World Challenge meeting, with Shaunae Miller continuing her run of good early season form with a world-leading 200m clocking of 22.14 on Saturday night (9).
The Bahamas’ 2011 world youth and 2010 world junior 400m champion showed that she was in good shape when she improved her best over one lap of the track to 50.17 in the USA two weeks ago but still caught many people by surprise when she sliced 0.31 off her best over the shorter distance on the famously quick track in Kingston’s National Stadium.
An indication of just how impressive Miller’s time was can be seen by the fact that although three women ran faster than the 21-year-old in 2014, it took them until last August to do so.
Not only did she equal the meeting record, but Miller's time is also a national record, breaking the 22.19 set by 2001 world champion Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie and moving ahead of 2000 Olympic champion Pauline Davis-Thompson on the national all-time list.
There were quick times behind Miller as well as USA’s Tori Bowie was second in 22.29 and local superstar Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce third in 22.37.
Another athlete to impress was US hurdler Jasmin Stowers, who improved her personal best and world-leading time by 0.01 to 12.39, helped by a 2.0m/s following breeze.
Behind her, the Jamaican siblings Danielle and Shermaine Williams were close to their bests with 12.77 and 12.89 for second and third respectively.
Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross, who acquired two gold medals at the IAAF/BTC World Relays, Bahamas 2015 last weekend, produced the first sub-50 women’s 400m time in the world this year when she dominated the race and won in 49.95.
Quick and early
Ominously for the rivals of the 2009 world champion, you have to go back to 2006 for the last time Richards-Ross ran this quick this early in the season.
Francena McCorory was a distant second in 50.73 and Stephenie McPherson third in 50.98.
Saudi Arabia's Youssef Masrahi took a good win in the men’s 400m in 44.59 with USA's LaShawn Merritt second in 44.80.
The top field event saw Colombia’s world triple jump champion Caterine Ibarguen bound out to a world-leading 14.87m in her opening contest of the year.
Ibarguen is now unbeaten in 22 consecutive triple jump competitions stretching back almost three years, her last loss coming when she finished second at the 2012 Olympic Games.
In the men’s 100m, Jamaicans enthusiastically celebrated Asafa Powell’s win in 9.84, beating Ryan Bailey into second place.
Bailey, who anchored the USA to victory in the 4x100m at the IAAF/BTC World Relays, Bahamas 2015 last week, clocked 9.93 for second with Jamaica’s Nesta Carter third in 9.98.
Behind the leading trio, Jamaica’s Andrew Fisher improved his best to 10.01 in fourth place.
Elaine Thompson made it a Jamaican double in the 100m, winning in 10.97 to leave Nigeria’s Commonwealth champion Blessing Okagbare, a winner in Kingston 12 months ago, having to settle for second in 11.05 this time, with USA’s Allyson Felix third in 11.09.
In a competitive men’s 200m, home star Nickel Ashmeade won in 20.25, just getting the better of fellow Jamaican Rasheed Dwyer, who was second in 20.28, with Canada’s Aaron Brown third in 20.30.
US hurdlers dominant
Aleec Harris was a comfortable winner in the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.16, which equals his own best time for the year, while fellow US hurder and former world champion Bershawn Jackson remains unbeaten in 2015 after four 400m hurdles races and won well in 48.47.
Another man unbeaten in 2015 is Indian discus thrower Vikas Gowda, the Asian Games silver medallist notching up his fifth straight win when he reached 65.14m to win by more than three metres.
Kori Carter completed a clean sweep by the US women over the barriers in Kingston when she won an exciting 400m hurdles in 55.12 with Jamaica’s Janieve Russell second in 55.29 and USA’s Tiffany Williams third in 55.35.
There were another US winner in the women’s 800m with Ajee Wison taking the homours in 2:00.65 with their compatriot Christian Cantwell beating a classy field in the men’s shot put with 21.08m.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF