Athletics: Thompson wins Jamaican 100m title with year-best time

Reuters , Saturday 24 Jun 2017

Jamaica's Elaine Thompson (L) and Christania Williams in action during the Women's 100m final. (Reuters)

Jamaica's Olympic champion sprinter Elaine Thompson defended her national 100 metres title in Kingston on Friday with a world leading time of 10.71 seconds.

Thompson, who completed a stunning Olympic 100 and 200m double at Rio, recovered from a moderate start to rein in training partner Christania Williams and pull away for an emphatic win.

"The plan was to come out here and just go through the rounds, take it step by step, and even though we got some rain I just got the job done," Thompson told Reuters.

"As I know the season is very long, so I just have to take race by race.

"The focus is on the world championships, so in due time the fast times will come," she added.

Thompson's time improved on the year-best she set in Shanghai last month.

Simone Facey had a poor start but closed quickly over the last 30 metres to be runnerup in 11.04, just pipping third-placed Jura Levy.

Men's former 100m world champion Yohan Blake recorded a season-best 9.90 to capture the national title in the absence of Olympic champion Usain Bolt, who decided to skip the meeting as he prepares for his world championships farewell in London.

Blake, who won 100m and 200m silver at the 2012 London Olympics, recorded his fastest time since logging 9.69 in 2012 and said his confidence was back after years of hamstring problems.

"As you can see every time I run I keep on getting better and better, so I just want to maintain this form going into the world championships, it's not far away," a beaming Blake told Reuters, adding that he intended to win the 200m title.

"Everyday Usain Bolt keeps encouraging me and along with the hard work things are coming together at the right time."

Julian Forte, who clocked a personal best 9.99 to win his semi-final, was runnerup in 10.04, with Senoj-Jay Givans third.

Asafa Powell, who has been nursing tendonitis, failed to report for the final after posting 10.15 in his semi-final.

There was an upset in the women's 400m hurdles when the little-known Ronda Whyte produced a late burst to win in a career best 54.28, edging runnerup Ristananna Tracey third-placed Leah Nugent.

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