The JAAA National Senior Trials were not the same without Usain Bolt, but he better be getting his act together. Suga has no doubt he will be ready for the Olympics in Rio, Brazil, 2016 but he is in trouble with regards to his current form heading into the World Championships in Beijing this August. Now Usain faced injuries earlier in the season, so that may be a partial reason for his set back. However, he is not getting younger either. The body is very ungrateful and this is Usain’s last chance to dominate the 100m and 200m at the Olympics before he retires. With Bolt being beaten at the Jamaica trials before London Olympics 2012 by Yohan Blake, he should have taken that as a lesson that even though he has a natural ability to win, as he gets older he still has to train diligently. So kudos to him for pulling off London 2012 but now we have Justin Gatlin as a threat in the World Championships with his World leading times and the best form of his life, supposedly undoped. Usain should not have gone to Trinidad carnival and kept up other various activities. It was way too close to the season. Give it a break for 2 years. Now he has to pull off a great feat to be ready for Worlds after a horrible 200m time about 2 weeks ago. There is no way he can allow USA’s Justin Gatlin to beat him at Worlds. For pride and ego alone. Gatlin is not only Usain’s main rival but Jamaica’s rival and enemy as well. So get it together Usain!
I was going to talk about what occurred at trials right? Yes. A lot occurred. Unfortunately Yohan Blake has not broken 10 seconds in all six of his 100m races since the first season of two that ended in hamstring injuries in 2013. Last Friday night was no different when Blake failed to even qualify for the final, clocking a slow 10.36s. He was entered in the 200m as well for another chance but did not compete. ASAFA POWELL on the other hand is back in his prime form! He has been running extremely well, speeding up instead of slowing down in the last 30m, now being trained by a new coach, his brother. He won the 100m Men’s final in 9.84s. Can he go sub 9.8s though? He needs to do so. Nickel Ashmeade finished 2nd and Kemar Bailey Cole finished 3rd. Nesta Carter had a brilliant start but fell short toward the end finishing 4th, so he will miss out on a chance to compete in the event. It is likely that he will still be carried for the relays. But look out everyone! Young, shorty, Trayvon Bromell (19 yrs) ran 9.84s in the heats of the US trials then 9.76s in the semis! He has been running well on the circuit and is definitely one to watch. He ran 9.96s in the final, finishing 2nd to Tyson Gay who ran 9.87s.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was not her usual pleasant self and certainly meant business, shutting up all who doubted her and quieted the current controversy of having her run the 100m and not Elaine Thompson. Elaine Thompson, trained by Steven Francis as well, has been put to compete in the 200m only, after running some excellent times in the 100m at previous events. Steven Francis was praised last night for making the right decision and for knowing what he is doing, but if someone is doing well, all politics should be put aside and Elaine should be allowed to go for both and realise her dreams. But we shall see. Their coach may know best after all. With that said, both were winners this weekend. Shelly aka Pocket Rocket blew away the field Friday night, winning the 100m Women in an impressive 10.79s! Natasha Morrison finished 2nd and Veronica Campbell-Brown (VCB) 3rd. Hold up tho! Torie Bowie ran 10.81s at the US trials while Carmelita Jeter failed to make the US team finishing 7th in the final. She seemed to be injured as she fell to the ground after the race. We have not even factoried in Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare or Ivory Coast’s Murelle Ahoure as yet!
Yesterday, Birthday girl, Elaine Thompson treated herself to a convincing win in the Women’s 200m finishing in 22.51s. Word from the US is that Allyson Felix may not be competing in the 200m at Worlds because the 200m semis and 400m final are 70m apart at Worlds. Sherone Simpson finished second and VCB 3rd. Simone Facey finished 4th and an old favourite of ours, Kerron Stewart could only manage to finish 5th. Note that there were windy conditions and so the headwind was recorded as -2.4s for the Women’s 200m final.
For the Men’s 200m, Nickel Ashmeade won in 20.36s followed by Warren Weir in 20.40s and Julian Forte in 3rd with 20.51s. The headwind was recorded as -2.6s. News came in that Justin Gatlin recorded a PB of 19.57s at the US trials. Suga has not seen Gatlin run the 200m recently to judge what time he could go to but for the 100m he seems to go all out for at least the first 80 or 90m then slow down. Since for the 100m he has been running consistently at about 9.75s, it is likely that he can run sub 9.7s but not much below. So probably 9.67/9.68s, the least. So with a Usain Bolt on top of his form plus his natural talent, Gatlin should not be able to beat him no matter how fast his start is. How fast can young Trayvon Bromell go though?
Other highlights were great runs by Christine Day winning the 400m in 50.16s. She has been running well but needs to push below 50s. At least she has done better than US trial winner, Allyson Felix who ran 50.19s to upset Natasha Hastings. Sanya Richards-Ross failed to qualify for the final! Javon ‘Donkey Man’ Francis has won his first National meet in the 400m Men with 44.70s. Former Manchester High and Kingston College Old boy, Omar McLeod (21 yrs) now representing the University of Arkansas beat favourite and 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Hansle Parchment (13.08s SB) in the 110m hurdles in a world leading, 12.97s!
Well done Athletes! Looking forward to an extremely competitive World Championship in Beijing this August!