Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Tyquendo Tracey emerged Jamaica’s National Senior Women’s and Senior Men’s 100m champions following impressive victories at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association/Ministry of Health/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships inside the National Stadium on June 25.
In winning her fourth National 100m title Fraser-Pryce made every inch of the running and was never in danger of losing to stop the clock at 10.71 seconds (1.0 mps), comfortably ahead of surprise package Shericka Jackson in 10.82secs and defending Olympic 100m gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah in 10.84secs.
Briana Williams (11.01secs) was fourth.
“It is just about putting in the work,” reflected the six-time National champion in her post race interview.
“To be honest, a lot of time you wonder how you keep going but you have to find it and I think I am definitely so much more committed, especially when I was able to put together the races I did last month. I knew that a lot of things were possible, so for me I continue to work and I know that once I get to that point, that peak time in the season, I know it’s going to be amazing,” Fraser-Prye said.
Tracey ran 10.00 seconds (0.6 mps) to upstage race favourite Yohan Blake for his second National title. Blake was a whisker away in second place in 10.01 seconds, with Oblique Seville third in a personal best 10.04 seconds, all booking their places to the Olympic Games.
Tracey was overjoyed with making his first Olympic Games.
“God, it’s a good feeling, that’s the best way to put it right now,” he said. “It’s a really good feeling. Right now this is just like a stepping stone for Tokyo because there are things that I need to work on, as I started doing a lot that I needed to do really late, so I am behind but I have a good coach. He did the research and he did what he needed to do to get me up and running and from what I can see it is just going to get better from here.”
Earlier in the sprint semi-finals, Jackson reported in a menacing mood when she stunned those in attendance at the venue to smash her personal best with a 10.77secs (0.9 mps) posting to beat Briana Williams (11.02secs), Kemba Nelson (11.06secs), Remona Burchell (11.15secs) and Ashanti Moore (11.19secs).
The other semis was won by Thompson-Herah in 10.82secs (1.1 mps) ahead of Fraser-Pryce in 10.84secs and Natasha Morrison in (11.03secs).
Blake had looked the part earlier when he won semi-final one in a new season’s best 9.98 seconds (1.2 mps) ahead of Tracey in 10.04secs, Seville (10.10secs) and Oshane Bailey (10.18secs).
Julian Forte won semi-final two in 10.03secs (0.8 mps) ahead of Nigel Ellis (10.14secs), Jevaughn Minzie (10.16secs) and 17-year-old Edwin Allen schoolboy Bryan Levell (10.27secs).
Meanwhile, Jaheel Hyde booked his ticket to Japan when he smashed his lifetime best of 48.52secs set in 2017 with a 48.18secs run to win the 400m hurdles final, well within the 49.30secs required.
Shawn Rowe was second with 49.60secs, and Kemar Mowatt third in 49.61secs. Rowe failed to attain the Olympic standard but Mowatt had already attained the required mark, as did Leonardo Ledgister, who failed to progress from the semi-finals on Thursday.
And Janieve Russell of MVP put away the women’s 400m hurdles final field in 54.07 seconds ahead of Ronda Whyte with 54.94secs, and Leah Nugent with 54.98secs for the automatic qualifier positions to Japan.
Aisha Praught-Leer won the 1500m title in 4:20.22 minutes, well below the qualifying mark of 4:04.20 minutes, while Calabar High schoolboy Kevroy Venson triumphed in the men’s equivalent in a pedestrian 4:06.01 minutes. The Olympic qualifying mark is 3:35.0 minutes.
In the men’s 400m quarter-final heats, Christopher Taylor was the fastest qualifier with 45.99 seconds in heat two. Demish Gaye, who was fourth at the 2019 World Championships is Qatar, advanced as the second fastest qualifier with 46.08 seconds, with Sean Bailey (46.29secs) next, followed by Rusheen McDonald (46.67secs), Karayme Bartley (47.03secs) and Nathon Allen (46.35secs) as the top six.
Gaye and Allen have already attained the qualifying standard from last season.
In the men’s 800m semi-finals, Dennick Luke (1:49.72 minutes) won the only heat where all six competitors advanced to today’s final. However, none has gone close to the Olympic qualifying standard of 1:45.20 minutes.
Jordan Scott won the men’s triple jump with 16.50m with Carey McLeod finishing in third place with 15.98m. McLeod had already attained the qualifying standard and so he has booked a ticket the Olympic Games, but no such luck for Scott.
Samantha Hall threw a personal best 62.94m to win the women’s discus but missed the Olympic qualifying standard of 63.50m.
However, her mark lands her in 27th place in the world ranking and there is every possibility that she will be invited to the Olympics to fill out the quota of 32 athletes.
Shadae Lawrence was second with 61.42m, but she had already attained the mark with throw of over 67m.
Shanice Love finished in third place with 58.80m but she had already thrown 61.22m, to rank in 36th place, four places beyond the cut-off mark.
The women’s long jump was won by Chanice Porter with 6.36m, with Taishia Pryce second with a best jump of 6.27m and Tissanna Hickling third with 6.22m. However, Hickling is on her way to the Olympics, having already attained the qualifying mark of 6.82m done last June.
Porter could also be on her way via a special invite as she has a 6.77m jump which ranks her 24th on the world list, and within the 32 qualifiers needed for the meet. The qualifiers close out on Monday.
On today’s third and penultimate day of competition, 17 events are down to be decided. They include the women’s hammer throw, the men’s hammer throw and the men’s 200m heats in the morning.
In the afternoon, the women’s triple jump, high jump and shot put will be on the card, along with the men’s long jump, high jump and discus.
On the track the women’s and men’s 400m semi-finals, the women’s and men’s 800m, the 200m for both genders and the day will close out with the women’s 100m hurdles semi-finals and the men’s 110m hurdles semi-finals.