Yohan Blake continues fine 100m form, Jason Young makes half-lap breakthrough and Valerie Adams excels on in-field
In his first race since defeating Usain Bolt in the 100m and 200m at the Jamaican Championships last month, Yohan Blake prevailed over 100m in favourable conditions at the Spitzen Leichtathletik meeting in Lucerne. The world champion didn’t start as well as he can but he quickly made up the deficit and came through in his fifth fastest ever time of 9.85.
Team-mate Michael Frater finished second with Marc Burns from Trinidad & Tobago third. Both athletes were credited with 10.00.
Sherri-Ann Brooks completed a Jamaican sprint double although her victory was by no means as clear-cut. The former Commonwealth champion was given the verdict on the photo-finish in 11.12 ahead of Kelly-Ann Baptiste in 11.13.
The breakthrough performance of the meeting was achieved by Jason Young on his debut appearance on the European circuit. The 21-year-old was only seventh at the Jamaican Championships but from lane two, Young slashed his 200m PB from 20.42 to 19.86 to move to third on the world-rankings. Only Blake and Bolt have run faster this year.
Two-time Olympic 200m champion Veronica Campbell-Brown was decisively beaten in the women’s equivalent though by Charonda Williams. Campbell-Brown led coming off the bend but she was reeled in by the American who won in 22.52 to Campbell-Brown’s 22.70.
American athletes also took the plaudits in the sprint hurdles. Ryan Wilson won a scrappy 110m hurdles race in 13.32 with European and Commonwealth champion Andy Turner a solid fourth in 13.48.
Ginnie Crawford won the 100m hurdles in 12.61 from two-time European champion Nevin Yanit from Turkey, second in 12.73. Crystal Palace winner Kellie Wells never recovered her momentum after clattering the second hurdle and finished third in 12.79.
Brits in form
The British sprinters also took advantage of the favourable sprinting conditions. James Dasaolu strengthened his case for selection in the Olympic relay by running his second fastest time of the season of 10.19 for sixth.
European bronze medallist Danny Talbot was the leading Brit at Crystal Palace and the 21-year-old, who is also contending for a place in the Olympic relay, improved his PB to 20.52 to win the 200m B race.
Marlon Devonish was sixth in the 200m A race in 20.66 with Olympic-bound Christian Malcolm seventh in 20.80.
Kate Dennison also set a substantial season’s best to win a good quality pole-vault. The Olympic-bound vaulter cleared 4.51m at her third attempt before extending her season’s best by another five centimetres with a second-time 4.56m clearance to defeat Commonwealth Games champion Alana Boyd.
Adams twice over 21m on in-field
The field eventers also thrived in the balmy conditions as illustrated by Valerie Adams’ sensational series in the shot put. The reigning Olympic and three-time world champion reached 21m in the third round with 21.01m before improving to 21.11m in the fourth round. The worst of her five valid throws was 20.72m and this would have still beaten second-placer Nadine Kleinert by 1.81m!
Only Nadzeya Ostapchuk has thrown further this year although the Belarusian has never thrown as far as Adams’ winning mark outside of her homeland.
Olga Kucherenko hasn’t been selected for the Russian Olympic team but she defeated two-time world champion Brittney Reese in the long jump with a 6.83m fifth-round jump.