Reigning Olympic 100m champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah, will miss this weekend’s Doha Diamond League meet, despite being originally listed as a part of the line-up.

According to an announcement made by organisers last week, Thompson-Herah was expected to clash with compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Sha’Carri Richardson, and Marie-Josee Ta over the 100m distance.

However, earlier this week, when the start list was announced the athlete’s name was nowhere to be seen.  It was a similar situation last weekend, where weeks before, many had expected the athlete to make her season debut at the Gateshead Diamond League meet against Richardson and Fraser-Pryce.

The early season, high stakes Gateshead clash was won by Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, prior to the race Richardson had clocked the season’s fastest time with 10.72.  Thompson-Herah is the second-fastest woman in the world this year with her time of 10.78 seconds.

Fraser-Pryce, the Doha 2019 world champion, ran the 100m for the first time in Gateshead, where she finished fourth in 11.51.  Thompson-Herah, who has a best of 10.70, the same as Fraser-Pryce and Richardson (10.72) are three of the fast women in history over the distance having clocked the joint-fourth and sixth fastest times over the distance.

 

 

Jamaica quarter-miler Stephenie-Ann Mcpherson has expressed delight at seeing fans returning to the seats after a year of empty stadiums brought about due to the presence of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lower case counts across the UK and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s confirmation that the next stage of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown was on track last week meant that 2000 fans were allowed to attend the Wanda Diamond League opener in Gateshead.

In cold wet conditions, McPherson, the 4x400m relay Olympic silver medallist, had to settle for second behind the United States’ Kendal Ellis who crossed the line in 51.86.  Mcpherson, who finished second in 51.96, however, admitted that conditions were difficult but turned also her attention to other things.

“I came out here just to see where I'm at but it wasn't good conditions to run in. I am grateful to come out here and finish injury-free,” McPherson said.

“To see people back in the stands is exciting and it's always good to have people to cheer you on.”

It was another Jamaican, Shanieka Ricketts, who stole the show after winning the women’s triple jump with a leap of 14.40m.

After suffering her first defeat of the season, the USA’s Sha Carri Richardson is already putting it behind her and focusing on the future, vowing to always be competitive.

Richardson, who went into Gateshead with the three fastest times in the 100m this season – 10.72, 10.74 and 10.77 – was collared by Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, who sped to victory in 11.35s in rainy, windy and cold conditions.

The headwind was measured at -3.1m/s. The American was well back in 11.44s. She was just ahead of Marie Jose Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast who clocked in at 11.48. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who like Asher-Smith, was running her first 100m of the season, clocked 11.51s for fourth.

Afterwards, a defiant Richardson said: “I'm happy with my race. I'm definitely proud that I was able to execute and now I know what I need to go back and work on and what I need to get better at.

“This won't be the last time that I'm going to line up against these ladies and I want to let the world know and let the ladies know that I'm here to compete just as well as they've done for many years. I'm here to show them what I'm good at. I'm definitely looking forward to running in some sunshine next week in Doha!”

Meanwhile, the victor was ecstatic about the outcome.

“I feel really good. Conditions were far from ideal for sprinting but the most important thing is to come away with a good result and a win and I was very happy to do that. I think all in all today was more of an experience but the only thing that can indicate Tokyo is the Olympic final itself,” she said.

“I want to stay focused, do well and get better from here.”

 

 

 

The blockbuster women’s 100m clash scheduled for this Sunday, at the Müller Grand Prix Diamond League meet, in Gateshead, will feature three of the six fastest women ever to run over the distance.

In what many predict could be a preview to the Olympic Games later this summer, Jamaican speed queens Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah will finally face red-hot American Sha'Carri Richardson, the early-season favourite, for the first time this year.

Historically, as far as the speed record book is concerned, the early season clash could be one of mammoth proportions.  The trio are not only three of the six fastest women alive, but also the only ones still active on the all-time speed list.

Fraser-Pryce holds the fourth-fastest time ever recorded over the distance at 10.70, set in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2012.  Her compatriot, Thompson-Herah, matched that identical time, at the same venue, in 2016 and is joint-fourth on the list.  Richardson joined the exclusive list last month with her clocking of 10.72, recorded in Florida, making her the sixth-fastest of all time.

The times are only bettered by Marion Jones (10.65), Carmelita Jeter (10.64), and Florence Griffith-Joyner (10.49), a trio of American sprinters who are no longer active.

Richardson has of course set the season marker with her burst of speed last month, but Thompson-Herah is not far behind having registered 10.78 in Clermont.

The trio are, however, not the only big names in the field with Great Britain’s fastest woman Dina Asher-Smith and Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare also set to face the starter.  Another Jamaican, who will also line up in the blocks, Natasha Morrison, is also in fine form this season having recorded the third-fastest time, 10.87, last month in Florida.

In addition to just the times, there will be plenty of pedigree on display, between them Fraser-Pryce and Thompson-Herah have claimed 7 of the last 9 major games 100m Olympics and World Championship titles.  The only exceptions to that dominance being the 2011 World Championships, which was won by Jeter, and the 2017 World Championships, which was won by another American Torrie Bowie.

Also scheduled to take part in the meet are world long jump champion Tajay Gayle, world triple jump silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts, and world shot put silver medallist Danniel Thomas-Dodd.

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