Elaine Thompson-Herah, Briana Williams to clash over 100/200m at inaugural New Life Invitational on Saturday

By Sports Desk June 02, 2021

Reigning double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah headlines a large field of world-class athletes down to compete at the inaugural North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) New Life Invitational this Saturday at the Ansin Sports Complex in Miramar, Florida.

Thompson-Herah is entered in both 100 metres and 200m events. The 100 field also includes her fellow Jamaicans Natasha Morrison and Briana Williams, Bahamian Tynia Gaither, Trinidad and Tobago’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste and American Tianna Bartoletta.

Thompson-Herah is second on the 2021 world outdoor performance list at 10.78 seconds, trailing only American sprint sensation Sha’Carri Richardson (10.72). Morrison is fourth with a 10.87 run, while Williams is 11th at 10.98. Gaither is also in the top 20, her 11.02 clocking placing her at number 13.

In the longer sprint, Thompson-Herah will be challenged by Williams, Gaither, Great Britain’s Jodie Williams and American Brittany Brown, the 2019 World Championship 200m silver medalist.

Brown, eighth on the 2021 global list at 22.43 seconds, is tipped for top honours in the NACAC New Life Invitational half-lap event.

Bartoletta, the 2016 Olympic Games long jump gold medalist, is on the entry list for her pet event. Bartoletta will face strong challenges from fellow American Malaina Payton, Jamaica’s Chanice Porter, Briton Lorraine Ugen and Canadian Christabel Nettey.

The women’s 100m hurdles is packed with quality that includes Jamaica’s 2015 world champion Danielle Williams, Nigerian Tobi Amusan and American Christina Clemons.

Jamaican Chrisann Gordon-Powell and American Wadeline Jonathas go head-to-head in the women’s 400 while in the 400 hurdles, Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad takes on 2021 world leader Shamier Little (53.12).

The two Americans, though, will not have things all their own way as in-form Jamaicans Rhonda Whyte and Shiann Salmon are also in the line-up and coming off season-best performances in Jacksonville on Sunday.

American Ajee Wilson is expected to dominate the women’s 800m.

And in the women’s triple jump, Dominican Republic’s Ana Tima is the one to watch.

Among the men that will feature at the NACAC New Life Invitational are American sprint star Trayvon Bromell, the 2021 100m world leader at 9.88 seconds, and Samoan discus thrower Alex Rose.

Some 200 athletes from 27 countries are expected to be on show at the NACAC New Life Invitational. Saturday’s meet starts at 2 pm (Eastern Daylight Time).

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    “It’s hard for a lot of these athletes that do great things at young ages, a lot of them never surpass what they do,” Frater told the SportsMax Zone.

    “That's why most people will tell you that they prefer athletes who weren’t teeing off at a young age,” he added.

    “I think with Briana’s attitude and dedication, though, it won’t be a problem for her transitioning to the next level, and as coach Ato said he may not have been able to spend enough time with her.  For an athlete to be a world-class athlete she has to get the full attention that she needs.”

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