Jamaicans stumble a little at 5th Reebok Grand Prix

Posted by Dresonic on May 31, 2009

RANDALL’S ISLAND, New York – It was a disappointing day for Jamaica’s seniors at yesterday’s 5th Reebok Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island, as they failed to win any of the major races.

Despite an almost capacity pro-Jamaican crowd, the locals failed to shine, with the best finish being Kenia Sinclair’s second in the women’s 800m.

Pre-race favourite Asafa Powel was a disappointing seventh in the 100m, while three-time champion Veronica Campbell Brown was third in the women’s race.

The meet, which saw six world-leading performances, was highlighted by a scintillating 19.58secs-run by American Tyson Gay who destroyed a quality field in the 200m.

This was the third fastest time ever behind Usain Bolt’s world record 19.30secs and Michael Johnson’s 19.32 set in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympics.

Gay, who was second in Bolt’s 100m world record run over 100m here last year, got a bullet start and by the time they got to the curve was well ahead of the field and kept running through the tape.
Wallace Spearmon, who has won here for the past three years, was second in 19.98, while Xavier carter was third in 20.27.

Sinclair was well placed to win the two-lap event after being taken through the first 400m by pace-setter Sophia Smellie in 57.42 seconds and led until the last 100m befoe being overhauled by American steeplechaser Anna Willard.

Sinclair ran a season best 1:59.66 but lost to a world-leading 1:59.29.

She told Sunday Observer she ran “the third 200m too hard” and paid for it.

Steve Mullings was the best placed Jamaican in the Men’s 100m ‘A’ race, placing third in a wind aided 9.98secs (3.1 m/s) behind Americans Mike Rodgers (9.93) and Travis Padgett (9.96).

Mullings was later carried off the track with cramps, but was later seen walking unassisted.

The MVP trio of Powell, Michael Frater and Nesta Carter were a disappointing seventh, eighth and ninth.

Powell, who ran 10.10secs, later told reporters his injured ankle was still a problem. “It’s not painful but still weak and I couldn’t accelerate off it at all,” he said.

The powerful former world record holder, who will run at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, next weekend, said he is still hopeful he will get back to full fitness and is taking it a race at a time.

Jamaica’s only win came in the Men’s 100m B race where Yohan Blake shook off a false start to win in 10.20, while Winston Barnes was eighth in 10.37.

While failing to improve on his PR 10.07 set earlier this month, Blake was pleased with the run: “It was all right, I hoped to run faster but I will take this one.”

Campbell Brown was beaten in the women’s 100 for the .first time in four years at the meet, finishing third behind the American pair of Carmelita Jeter (10.85), wind 2.8 m/) and Muna Lee (10.88).

Sherri-Anne Brooks was ninth in 11.18 seconds.
Campbell Brown, who was competing in her second meet of the season, said she was not upset by the result, however.

“No, I’m not disappointed, just very happy to be able to get some races in and to be healthy again,” she said.

The two-time Olympic 200m champ said she was still undecided about running the sprint double at the National Trials in a month’s time.

“I’ve still not decided what I will do there,” she said adding, “I have the luxury (as the defending World champion) of skipping the 100m, but we’re still to decide…”

Aileen Bailey was third in the ‘B’ race in 11.07secs as Shalonda Solomon won in 11.04. Schillonie Calvert was sixth in 11.21.

Olympic silver medallist Sherika Williams was second in the 400m behind Allyson Felix of the US, who ran a world-leading 50.50secs.

Williams’ 50.58 makes her the fastest Jamaican this season, while Novelene Williams-Mills (51.11) was third, Shereefa Lloyd (51.18) fifth and Nadia Cunningham (53.85) eighth.

Ricardo Chambers was seventh in the men’s event in 46.02 as Trinidadian Rennie Quow took second in 44.89 behind winner LaShawn Merrit (44.75) – the fourth fastest time in the world this year.

Nickeisha Wilson, who said she had an ankle problem, was second in the 400m hurdles in 55.28, ahead Olympic champion Melaine Walker (55.29). Keliese Spencer was fifth in 55.92.

Shevon Stoddart was second in the first of two races and eighth overall with 56.19.

Walker told the Sunday Observer she “was ready to run but felt lazy and just did not get into the race at all”.

Frater clocked 10.15 and Carter 10.16.


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