McLeod, Williams Olympics Casualty as Fraser-Pryce Cops Sprint Double

By L Bronson

Sprint hurdlers Omar McLeod and Danielle Williams were the main casualties from Sunday’s final day of the National Senior Championships at Kingston’s National Stadium on June 27.

The 27-year-old McLeod, the 2016 Olympic Games gold medallist and 2017 World Champion, hit the first hurdle and never recovered as he finished eighth in the men’s 110m hurdles final in 16.22 seconds.

The race was won by Ronald Levy in 13.10 seconds (0-6 mps), his eighth National title, ahead of Damion Thomas (13.11secs) and Hansle Parchment (13.16secs).

Only minutes before another Jamaican favourite, 2015 World Champion and 2019 World Championships bronze-medallist Danielle Williams led early in the 100m hurdles final but faded into fourth place in 12.79secs.

Racing from lane eight, Megan Tapper topped the field in 12.68secs (0.1 mps) with Yanique Thompson next in 12.73secs and Britany Anderson third in 12.75secs.

McLeod refused to comment on his failure, but Williams told the Jamaican media she never had what it takes on the day.

“A difficult moment indeed,” said Williams. “It just wasn’t to be today. My legs would not go or respond.”

But the day belonged to sprint sensation, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who clocked a personal best to land the 200m final in 21.79secs to add to the 100m title she won on Friday night.

Fraser-Pryce, the 34-year-old, two-time Olympic Games 100m gold medallist, edged out Shericka Jackson, who also ran a personal best 21.82secs with 2016 Olympic Games gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah third in 22.02secs.

“We have two other amazing ladies for Jamaica and the pool and the depth in sprinting that we have you can’t focus on one person, you have to go out there and work hard. You have to stay committed and dedicated,” said Fraser-Pryce.

It was also a spectacular Championships Jackson, who contested the 100m/200m double instead of the 200m/400m double and produced two impressive performances behind Fraser-Pryce on both occasions. She became the first woman to have run a sub-11 seconds in the 100m, a sub-22 seconds in the 200m and a sub-50 seconds in the 400m.

“The last time I did a sprint double was back in 2018 when there was no major championships, but now it’s an Olympic year and everyone showed up big, so I am just glad that I was among the greats to perform at my best and my best was good enough and I left with two massive personal best, so I have to be grateful,” Jackson told the media.

Rasheed Dwyer with 20.17secs pipped Yohan Blake (20.18secs) at the wire to win the 200m title with Tyquendo Tracey, the 100m National champion, finishing third in 20.34secs.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and four-time National champion Stephenie Ann McPherson produced a superb personal best 49.61 seconds to win the 400m final ahead of Candice McLeod in 49.91secs, with third place going to Roneisha McGregor in 50.02secs. All three ran lifetime best times.

In the men’s equivalent, Sean Bailey of the University of Texas El Paso won in 45.04secs, marginally ahead of Christopher Taylor in 45.13secs. Karayme Bartley was third in 45.17secs and Demish Gaye, the race favourite in fourth place in 45.30secs.

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