Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah led all qualifiers to the semi-finals of the 100m as Athletics action got underway at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Tuesday.

The World Championship 100m bronze medallist from Eugene ran an easy 10.99 to win heat two and advance.

Antigua & Barbuda’s Joella Lloyd was next up, finishing third in heat three in 11.42 to advance. In heat four, Guyana’s Jasmine Abrams almost perfectly matched Lloyd, running 11.42 for third to advance.

Trinidad & Tobago’s Michelle Lee-Ahye and the Bahamas’ Tynia Gaither ran 11.14 and 11.19, respectively, to finish first and second in heat five and progress.

Jamaica’s Natalliah Whyte ran 11.31 to win heat six and advance while St. Lucia’s Julien Alfred (11.24) and Jamaica’s Remona Burchell (11.46) were the top two finishers in the seventh and final heat.

On the Men’s side, Nadale Buntin of St. Kitts & Nevis will be in the semis after finishing third in the first heat with a season’s best 10.37.

Rikkoi Brathwaite of the British Virgin Islands finished second in heat three in 10.42 to advance.

Next up was Jamaican 2014 Commonwealth Games 100m champion Kemar Bailey-Cole who ran 10.15 to finish second in heat four to progress.

Heat six saw Trinidad & Tobago’s Kion Benjamin produce 10.34 for second to move on while Jamaica’s Conroy Jones (10.28) and Trinidad & Tobago’s Eric Harrison Jr (10.37) both advanced from the eighth heat.

The tenth and final heat saw three Caribbean men advance. Trinidad & Tobago's Jerod Elcock won the heat in 10.26 while Guyana's Emmanuel Archibald (10.28) and St. Lucia's Stephan Charles (10.29) finished second and third, respectively.

Jamaican World Championship finalist Natoya Goule is now a Commonwealth Games finalist as well after running 1:58.39 to advance to the final as the fastest qualifier.

In the field, Jamaica’s Danniel Thomas-Dodd and Lloydricia Cameron both advanced to the final of the Women’s shot put after throws of 18.42m and 16.61m, respectively. Thomas-Dodd’s distance was the farthest in qualifying.

The Caribbean will be well represented in the final of the Men’s long jump as The Bahamas’ Laquan Nairn (7.90m), Jamaica’s Shawn-D Thompson (7.85m), Guyana’s Emmanuel Archibald (7.83m), Dominica’s Tristan James (7.65m) and Trinidad & Tobago’s Anduelle Wright (7.58m) will all be present.

Jamaica’s Traves Smikle (64.90m) and Roje Stona (58.35m) will both be in the final of the Men’s discus throw alongside Grenada’s Josh Boateng (56.51m).

Newly crowned Jamaican national 100m Champion Yohan Blake expects Jamaica to be back in contention for gold in the Men’s 4x100m at the World Championships in Eugene to be held from July 15-24.

“The 4x100 is looking great,” he said in an interview after running 9.85, his fastest time in a decade, to claim the national title ahead of Oblique Seville (9.88) and Ackeem Blake (9.93).

“Our sprinting is up there again and we’re looking to challenge the world again,” Blake added.

The retirement of Usain Bolt after the 2017 London World Championships signaled a shift in the balance of the Men’s 4x100m relay at major championships.

Jamaica’s men won the 4x100m gold at three straight Olympics (2008-2016) and four straight World Championships (2009-2015).

The 2017 and 2019 World Championships and the 2020 Olympics all saw Jamaica fail to medal in the event but with Blake returning to his best and the rise of youngsters Seville and Blake, the sixth and eleventh fastest men in the world this year, the 2011 World 100m Champion expects things to go back to normal in Eugene.

Jelani Walker (10.00), 2014 Commonwealth Games 100m Champion Kemar Bailey-Cole (10.10), and Conroy Jones (10.10) finished fourth, fifth and sixth in the final and are expected to round out the relay pool.

Defending World 100m Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce stole the show Thursday’s day one of the Jamaican National Senior Track and Field Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston with a blistering 10.70 to win her heat of the Women’s 100m.

Reigning Olympic Gold and Bronze medallists Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson were also safely through to Friday’s semi-finals with times of 11.06 and 10.99, respectively.

2011 World 100m Champion Yohan Blake ran his fastest time since 2017 with a 9.93 effort to advance to the semi-finals in the Men’s equivalent.

The fastest Jamaican in 2022, Oblique Seville, was also in fine form with an easy 9.98 clocking to win his heat.

Conroy Jones (10.00), Ackeem Blake (10.01), Oshane Bailey (10.03) and Kemar Bailey-Cole (10.06) were also among the fastest qualifiers to Friday’s semis.

There was a surprise in the Women’s high jump as Kimberly Williamson won her seventh national title with a 1.88 clearance ahead of pre-meet favourite Lamara Distin on Texas A&M University who cleared 1.85m.

Distin, the NCAA Champion, twice broke the Jamaican national record this season and her best clearance, 1.97m, places her third on the world list this season.

“I just felt like my run-up felt wrong today. It wasn’t the perfect day to jump so I just feel like it’s one of those days I have to accept and move on from,” Distin said.

“My expectation at the World Championships is to be in the medals,” she added.

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