Sun | Sep 19, 2021

‘Confidence’ booster

Thompson Herah buoyed by 200m victory at British Grand Prix

Published:Wednesday | July 14, 2021 | 12:12 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer

Reigning Olympic champion Elaine Thompson Herah registered a confidence-boosting win in 22.43 seconds in the women’s 200 metres at yesterday’s Muller British Grand Prix in Gateshead, London.

Thompson Herah was sluggish over the first 100m, but was still classy enough to come off the curve in front and maintained her form down the straight to hold off the late charge of Great Britain’s Jodie Williams, who finished second in a season-best 22.60 seconds. Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare was third in 22.61 seconds, while Jamaica’s other representative in the race, Natasha Morrison, finished eighth in 23.16 seconds.

Despite her moderate time, Thompson Herah was pleased with the win at the last Grand Prix event before the Tokyo Olympics.

“It helps me to build my confidence to get that win on the board. It may not be my fastest time, but I am still pleased with that,” she stated.

The Jamaican, who won the sprint double at the Rio Olympics, promised to work on her curve running going into Tokyo.

“I need to get the work in to get that curve as quick as possible and keep pushing forward,” said Thompson Herah, who also stated that she is “pretty excited” going to her second Olympic Games.

Two other Jamaican athletes, Stephenie-Ann McPherson and Ronald Levy, captured their events, while Janieve Russell and Omar McLeod had top-three finishes.

National 110m hurdles champion Levy turned back the challenge of the Olympic champion, McLeod, as both Jamaicans were involved in a close battle from midway the race, before Levy gained the advantage over the final barrier to score the win in 13.22 seconds. McLeod was second in 13.42 seconds, with Great Britain’s Andrew Pozzi taking third in 13.45 seconds. Rasheed Broadbell, the other Jamaican in the race, ended fifth in 13.84 seconds.

“I just came out here to execute. I fell short at the start, but I picked up at the end. I had some complications in Hungary, but I didn’t let that get me down,” said Levy, referring to his previous race in the Wanda Diamond League Series. “I came out here to execute and that I did, and I am happy.”

McPherson, the national 400 metres champion, maintained her winning form in the Women’s 400 metres with an easy victory in 50.44 seconds. Great Britain’s Jodie Williams, 50.94, was second, and Lieke Klaver of The Netherlands was third in 51.44 seconds.

For the second meet in a row, national 400m hurdles champion Janieve Russell, 54.66, finished third in the event. Femke Bol of The Netherlands won in 53.24 seconds, and the United States’ Shamier Little, 54.53 seconds, was third.

Sprint hurdlers Danielle Williams, 12.78, and Britany Anderson, 12.81, finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the women’s 100m hurdles. Cindy Sember of Great Britain won in 12.69 seconds.

In a heavily stacked men’s 100 metres, the United States’ Trayvon Bromell, the world leader in the event, bounced back to winning ways. After suffering his first defeat of the season in Monaco a week ago (where he was fifth), Bromell won in 9.97 seconds, as Great Britain’s Chijindu Ujah and Zharnel Hughes took second and third in 10.10 and 10.13 seconds, respectively.

The Diamond League series will now take a break for the Tokyo Olympics and will return on August 21 in Eugene, Oregon.