Elaine Thompson beats Tori Bowie in first 100m match up since Rio

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In their first match-up since the Rio Olympics, Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson handily topped the U.S.’ Tori Bowie in the 100m at the second Diamond League meet of the season in Shanghai.

Thompson, the 100m and 200m gold medalist in Rio, raced to 10.78 seconds. Bowie – who took the silver medal in Rio – clocked a season’s best, 11.04, for second place.

“I made a great start and I was able to bring it home,” Thompson told media. “I am pleased with the time.”

Thompson added that her next stop will be to compete in the Jamaica Invitational later in May, followed by more world championships preparation.

Two-time Olympic 200m gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown from Jamaica finished sixth in 11.23 and Olympic long jump champion Tianna Bartoletta of the U.S. was last in 11.49.

In the men’s 100m hurdles, Olympic champion Omar McLeod of Jamaica came out ahead of Spain’s Orlando Ortega, 13.09 to 13.15. China’s Xie Wenjun was third in 13.31, followed by Hansle Parchment of Jamaica and Sergey Shubenkov clocking 13.35. Aries Merritt finished sixth in 13.36.

“I didn’t get out that great and that did not allow me to control the race,” McLeod said after the race, despite winning. “I didn’t execute that well and it turned into a bit of scrap. I know [Ortega] is a great competitor, so I’m pleased to win. Every time you go out to the track and win, it is a confidence booster. You don’t want to be defeated as that throws your confidence off.”

The U.S.’ Noah Lyles equaled the world’s fastest time this year at 19.90 in the 200m, ahead of teammate LaShawn Merritt who clocked 20.27.

Lyles, the 2016 world junior champion in the 100m, told media he believes the 200m is his strong suit. He plans to focus on that when competing in the Diamond League Rome meet, the Adidas meet, and the U.S. Trials.

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Usain Bolt, more Olympic champions to get statues next to Jamaican legends

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Usain Bolt will be immortalized near Bob Marley and his Jamaican Olympic heroes next year.

Bolt, along with Olympic champion teammates Shelly-Ann Fraser-PryceVeronica Campbell-Brown and Asafa Powell, will be honored with statues in a park outside the National Stadium in Kingston. The four statues will be constructed in the next two years.

There are a few statues already in that area, including of the singer Marley and Jamaican Olympic sprint legends Herb McKenleyDon Quarrie and Merlene Ottey.

In 2014, Bolt called McKenley the greatest Olympian of all time.

Bolt and Fraser-Pryce’s statues are slated to be finished next year, followed by Campbell-Brown and Powell.

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Yohan Blake sweeps Jamaica Trials sprints; Fraser-Pryce, Thompson miss 200m final

Yohan Blake
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Yohan Blake completed a Jamaican Olympic Trials sprint sweep, while Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson did not contest the women’s 200m final in Kingston on Sunday.

Blake, the reigning Olympic 100m and 200m silver medalist, swept the 100m and 200m at the Jamaican Olympic Trials for a second straight time. He won the 100m in 9.95 seconds on Friday and the 200m in 20.29 on Sunday, coming back from a series of hamstring injuries the last three years.

“I’ve been working miracles in my life,” Blake said, according to The Associated Press. “This is what miracles are all about.”

This year, Blake won without having to face Usain Bolt, who withdrew before the 100m final Friday night due to a grade-one hamstring tear. Bolt is expected to be named to the Jamaican Olympic team in the 100m and 200m despite not competing at Trials, potentially knocking out the third-place finishers.

Fraser-Pryce, the two-time reigning Olympic 100m champion, and Thompson, the world 200m silver medalist, qualified for the 200m final but did contest it due to reported injuries. They both submitted medical exemptions like Bolt, according to Reuters.

Thompson won the 100m on Friday night in 10.70, matching Fraser-Pryce’s national record. It was the fastest time in the world since Fraser-Pryce’s repeat 100m title at the 2012 London Games. Fraser-Pryce finished second Friday night, so they are both on the Olympic team in the 100m.

Veronica Campbell-Brown, a two-time Olympic 200m champion, finished second in the 200m final Sunday. She has been a longtime rival of Allyson Felix. Campbell-Brown missed the team in the 100m, finishing fourth, but will likely be on the 4x100m relay team.

Asafa Powell, the former 100m world-record holder, did not make the Olympic team individually but could race the 4x100m relay after finishing fourth in the 100m on Friday.

Warren Weir, the Olympic 200m bronze medalist, was fourth on Sunday and looks like he will not be able to contest the event in Rio.

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