Sat | Jul 20, 2019

Controversial end to ‘Trials’

Published:Monday | June 24, 2019 | 12:17 AM
Danielle Williams sits on the track moments after officials decide to move on to the men’s 110m hurdles, as a result of two false starts in the women’s 100m hurdles final, at the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Athletics Championships at the National Stadium last night.
Danielle Williams sits on the track moments after officials decide to move on to the men’s 110m hurdles, as a result of two false starts in the women’s 100m hurdles final, at the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Athletics Championships at the National Stadium last night.

What was shaping up to be an incident-free Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA)/Supreme Ventures National Senior Athletics Championships ended in controversy at the National Stadium last night as the women’s 100m hurdles final was abandoned.

This was because the race was delayed by the lengthy protests of 2015 IAAF World Champion Danielle Williams, who was judged by officials to have false-started. Williams was shown the red card and ejected from the race but refused to immediately leave the track after the incident, preventing the race from going ahead smoothly afterwards. Williams did vacate the area, but the second attempt to complete the race ended in chaos as Shimarya Williams did not move at the sound of the gun, while other hurdlers, including Olympian Megan Tapper and national record holder Janeek Brown went off. Tapper completed roughly 70 metres of the track while Brown crossed the line, only to realise that her opponents had stopped and the race was not officially timed.

It was reported that several competitors picked up injuries in this attempt, forcing officials to abandon the event altogether. The JAAA says it will meet at a later date to review performances of the 100m hurdles to decide on its trio for the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar this September.

Affected by controversy

Commonwealth Games champion Ronald Levy, who won the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.23 seconds, said he and opponent Hansle Parchment were affected by the controversy and had asked the officials to get their race under way, while they figured out a resolution to the women’s event.

Orlando Bennett, 13.27 seconds, and Andrew Riley, 13.33 seconds, finished second and third, respectively, behind Levy.

Olympic double champion Elaine Thompson got the better of MVP Track Club teammate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, much like she did in the 100m final on Friday night.

This time, she won the 200m sprint ahead of her in 22.00 seconds. Fraser-Pryce finished in 22.22, while Schillonie Calvert-Powell clocked 22.96 seconds for third.

Rasheed Dwyer pipped Yohan Blake to the line in the men’s equivalent in 20.23 seconds. Blake finished in 20.27 seconds while André Ewers took third in 20.48 seconds.

Olympic bronze medallist Shericka Jackson clocked a best performance in the women’s 400m. The former Vere technical athlete, who came into the Championships with a personal best of 49.83, stopped the clock at 49.78 seconds to win her third national title.

Veterans Anastasia Le-Roy and Stephenie Ann McPherson rounded out the top three with times of 50.94 and 51.01 seconds, respectively.

Demish Gaye, who finished sixth at the last World Championships, cruised to his first national title in a season’s best performance of 44.83 seconds.

Racers Track Club’s Terry Thomas finished second in 45.47 seconds to put himself in contention to make his first senior team, as he has not met the qualifying mark of 45.30 seconds.

Javon Francis finished third in 45.60 seconds, meaning that he, too, will continue his quest for the qualifying mark.

Former Commonwealth Games champion O’Dayne Richards, won his sixth straight national title in the men’s shot put. The St George’s College old boy produced 19.93m to win the event. Ashinia Miller threw 19.25m for second, while Kyle Mitchell grabbed the third-place spot in 18.53m.

Shanieka Ricketts retained her title in the women’s triple jump as she leaped to 14.73m. Commonwealth Games champion Kimberly Williams finished second with a jump of 14.39m, and Shardia Lawrence rounded out the top three with a mark of 13.83m.

rachid.parchment@gleanerjm.com