Track and Field Roundup: Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, Major capital needed for local lab

Bolt Highlights British Sainsbury Anniversary Games 

The 2013 London IAAF Diamond League Grand Prix meet has been re-branded the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games. The meet has been relocated to the 2012 Olympic Stadium east end and extended to two days Friday July 26 and Saturday the 27th. The two-day athletics event sold out all 120,000 tickets in 75 minutes. Eleven London 2012 Olympic Games champions and four World record holders including Usain Bolt took part in the former Aveva Meeting. 

One of the many marque events the mens 100 meter dash saw Usain Bolt entering the race with a season best of 9.94. However, after his typical poor start, Bolt recovered comfortably to win and better his season best in 9.85-seconds on Friday. American Mike Rodgers was second in 9.98 and Jamaican Nesta Carter (SB 9.87) third in 9.99.

The double Olympic champion and world record holder Usain Bolt  needs to improve his start before next month’s IAAF World Championships in Moscow on August 10 when he will face US sprinter Justin Gatlin. Bolt said after the race “I’m so excited, I just had a bad start.”  

Racers Track Club and Olympic 200m bronze medalist Warren Weir, (who switched from 110m sprint hurdles in 2011) continued his impressive season lead up to next month’s IAAF World Championship in Moscow. As part of a Jamaican double he powered his way to victory in the 200 m in 19.89(SB) – his fourth sub-20 seconds for this season and sixth in his career-against the surging University of the West Indies ½ lap sprinter Jason Young who clocked 19.99  a 20.18 by USA’s Wallace Spearmon for third place. Diamond league leader from France Christophe Lemaitre SB20.07 was fourth in 20.43. Weir said after the race “I am pretty pleased with the 19.89. I am confident going into the World Champs that I can run my race and win.”

For former Munro College and ISSA Boys and Girls Champs champion and Turks and Caicos native Delano Williams, now representing Great Britain, things went badly as he finished eighth in 20.74. While Diamond league leader Christophe Lemaitre of France finished fourth. With Bolt added to this event Jamaica could pull another trifecta at the IAAF World Championship in Moscow in August.

In the women’s 400-metre hurdles Jamaica Racers Track Club Ristananna Tracey, who came into the meet with a season best of 54.52 finished seventh in 55.55 while meet record holder Kaliese Spencer (52.79) who has been in sub par shape this season after winning Diamond League Winner in this event last year finished fifth in 54.88. The top three spots was won by Czech Republic’s Zuzana Hejnova, 53.07, with Britain’s Perri Shakes-Drayton, 53.67, and Georganne Moline of the United States, 54.32. Melaine Walker, the former Olympic and World champion and the second fastest woman ever in the 440 hurdle who has been noticeably absent this season was missing from this event. Walker switched from MVP track club to Racers Track Club in Jamaica earlier this year after a dispute with MVP coach Stephen Francis over her running the 100 meter hurdle.

In Triple Jump Jamaica Olympic finalist Kimberly Williams, coming into the meet with a SB of 4.53 and the Diamond League #1 Rank managed 14.38m for second in the event, finishing behind Russian Ekaterina Koneva, 14.52m, with Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko, 14.29m, in third spot.

 Grenada’s Diamond League leading, Olympic and IAAF World’s men’s champion Kirani James won the 400m event in 44.65 followed by USA’s Tony McQuay in 45.09 and Belgium’s Jonathan Borlee in 45.14.

On Saturday in the women’s 100m  Jamaica’s double Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran 10.77, a SB and the fastest time this season in her heat against arch-rival American Camelita Jeter, who qualified, but this is the second consecutive diamond league meet Jeter didn’t show up for the final. Fraser-Pryce lined up against a field that could be the line up for the women’s 100m final in Moscow next month. After Fraser-Pryce barely edged Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare in Monaco two weeks ago, I caution my fellow track enthusiast Clifton Quarry that the greatest threat to Fraser-Pryce’s securing the IAAF World Championship 100 meter crown will be the Nigerian, who seem to be peeking at the right time as she attempts the Carl Lewis feat of winning both the long jump and the 100m next month.  In the final with five women running under 10 seconds Fraser-Pryce had to settle for fourth place with time of 10.94. 

Blessing Okagbare repeat her Birmingham success over Jamaica’s two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as she broke Barbara Laurie 1999 African 100m record in both her heats and final in 10.79, American Barbara Pierre (formerly of Haiti, who will not be running the individual 100m in Moscow) placed second with PB of 10.84, while Trinidad’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste placed third in 10 .93.Jamaica’s Karron Stewart finished sixth in 11.02. 

Before 60,000 fans packed into the Olympic Stadium Usain Bolt ran an impressive anchor in Men’s 4X100m relay to pace his Racer’s Track Club to victory in the Diamond League event in 37.74 seconds. Bolt led teammates Mario Forsythe, Kemar Bailey-Cole and Warren Weir home ahead of France and Canada. 

In the 100m women’s hurdles Australian Sally Pearson is seeking to return to her 2012 Olympic form before the IAAF World Championship in Moscow next month. She won the 100m hurdles in 12.65, ahead of home town favorite Tiffany Porter of Britain in 12.76 and the USA’s Kelli Wells 12.95. Briton, Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill finished fourth in 13.08.Jmaica Shermaine Williams placed seventh in 13.16.

The Men 110m hurdles was won by American David Oliver in 13.26 followed by Frenchman Martinot- Lagarade Thomas 13.55  and  Ryan Wilson of the USA 13..58. Jamaica’s Dwight Thomas did not make the final. Oliver he who failed to qualify for the Olympics last year will be looking to medal while Olympic champion Aries Merritt clipped a hurdle and went out. 

In the Men’s 400m hurdles Jamaica’s Ledford Green placed seventh while in the Women’s 200m MVP’s Anneisha McLaughlin placed fifth 22.88. The event was won by American Alyson Felix in 22.41

In the 400m Jamaica’s women were way of Christine Day, with a PB of 50.85 and SB of 50.91 placed fifth in 51.41 and Rosemarie Whyte who was way of her personal best 49.84 or season best 50.86 placed seventh with 51.60. The event was won by Britain Christine Ohurougu in 50.00. The USA took second with Francina MCcorory in 50.13 and Natasha Hastings in 50.68.

Jason Morgan will not be chosen, JAAA’s Dr Blake

Former national discuss throw record holder Jason ‘Dadz’ Morgan, who is ranked top five in the world this year and is the only Jamaican discuss thrower to have achieved the World Championships standard will not be chosen to a part of the Jamaican delegation to next month’s 14th IAAF World Championships, according to president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), Dr Warren Blake. 

The USA-based Morgan missed the JAAA National Senior Trials held at the National Stadium to be sworn in as an American citizen the weekend of June 20-23. His green card and travel documents were already turned over to the USA department Homeland Security. In his email to the JAAA outlining his case, Morgan explained that he didn’t have his travel documents and unfortunately, could not travel without an American passport. He is scheduled to receive his US passport at a later date. Morgan last used his travel documents, eg, Green Card to come Jamaica for the May Invitational before he turned them in to the US Homeland Security.

With the suspension of national record-holder Traves Smikle, having failed a drug test at the National Trials, and national champion Chad Wright not making the ‘B’ standard, Morgan, whose personal best of 65.94 meters is well over the 64.00m ‘B’ standard and just short of the 66.0m ‘A’ mark for the IAAF World Championships, has the best mark by any Jamaican male and is ranked at number 11 in the world, overall.

Dr Blake told the Jamaica Observer that Morgan does not have any chance of being named and that there is no case to be made for him. Blake reiterated that, “he must come to Trials and he did not, so we can’t choose him.” The JAAA boss rubbished Morgan’s reasons for not coming to Jamaica for the Trials as not being sufficient for him to be included. He also said that Morgan’s reasons didn’t meet the JAAA exemptions requirement for an athlete who is not able to compete at Trials. According to Dr. Blake the rules are clear.

Morgan has thrown past the ‘B’ standard three times already this season and is the only Jamaican qualified; his non-selection will ensure whatever chance the island may have had at a medal may have been ruled out. Morgan feels his non-selection is “a plain slap across my face from my country saying, ‘I don’t appreciate all you have done for me.”                         

Major capital needed for local lab

The establishment of an internationally accredited anti-doping laboratory in Jamaica will require substantial capital investment and support from other countries to ensure sustainability.

So says Minister with responsibility for Sport, Natalie Neita Headley, as she addressed a Jamaica Information Service Think Tank on July 23.

The objective of the lab would be the establishment of an internationally-accredited laboratory with capabilities to test athletes for all the substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) banned list, as well as proactively test supplements taken by athletes. This according to the Minister and JAAA president Dr Warren Blake  is an expensive venture that requires significant capital to set up and maintain. “It is a matter as to whether or not Jamaica would be able to find that additional capital (and), to convince the rest of the world that we have all the requirements for them to send their tests to Jamaica,” she stated.

“Unless significant support is given to Jamaica as a location, to satisfy the needs of several countries, the country cannot sustain a laboratory of that nature. Discussions have taken place with WADA and the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce regarding the establishment of such a lab here. Sustainability of the laboratory at an international standard will also depend on support from other countries.


Stan Evan Smith is the Host of State of Affairs on The Keys Blog Talk Radio.  (www.thekeys107network.com)
Senior Editor and North East Media Coordinator: Jamaicans.com (FL)Contributing writer: YUSH .com (UK).
Contributing Editor: Everybody’s Magazine (NYC)
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About the author

Winston Stan Evan Smith

Senior Editor and North East Media Coordinator for Jamaicans.com