'At home' Ta Lou Smith runs impressive 10.91 opener at Jamaica Athletics Invitational: Forte and Hibbert also shine at inaugural meet in Kingston

By May 12, 2024

In an entertaining night of track and field at the National Stadium in Kingston, Marie Jose Ta Lou Smith stole the show with a scintillating victory in the women's 100m at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational. The Ivorian sprinter, clocking an impressive 10.91, electrified the crowd of over 16,000 spectators, setting the stage for a remarkable season ahead.

Ta Lou Smith, visibly moved by the enthusiastic reception from the Jamaican fans, expressed her deep appreciation for the warm welcome and the incredible atmosphere. "It was incredible. I feel like it was at home," she remarked after her race. "I have never really felt like that, only in France, but here is really amazing. I have to come back to Jamaica."

The 10.91 season opener provided a peek into Ta Lou Smith's early form and her determination heading into the Olympic year. "10.91 for the opening of the season, I was feeling really good," she shared. "I am going to watch back the race with my coach and see what I did well."

Krystal Sloley finished second with a time of 11.09, demonstrating strong competition in the women's 100m event. Kemba Nelson secured third place with a time of 11.12, rounding out a podium filled with promising talent.

Beyond the competition, Ta Lou Smith also savored her time in Jamaica, relishing not just the athletic experience but also the warm camaraderie with local athletes, especially Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, whom she considers a sister. "From the first time I stepped outside the airport I was like this is really feeling like home," she shared. "Coming here and seeing all the people, the atmosphere was great. It was amazing."

Marlon Reid photo: Forte and Blake battling to the line on Saturday.

Meanwhile, in the men's 100m final, Julian Forte and Ackeem Blake engaged in a thrilling duel. Forte claimed victory by a narrow margin, both clocking season-best times of 10.02. Brandon Hickling from the USA secured third place with a time of 10.09, while Jamaica's Kadrian Goldson finished closely behind with a time of 10.10, rounding out the top four.

Marlon Reid photo: Jaydon Hibbert soared out to a winning mark of 17.57m

In the field events, young talent Jaydon Hibbert made a mark in the triple jump, continuing his impressive form from the USATF Bermuda Grand Prix. Hibbert's leap of 17.57m from 12 steps highlighted his potential, exciting the crowd and promising more to come in the season ahead.

Hibbert's impressive performance was complemented by Jordan Scott, another Jamaican athlete, who secured second place with a jump of 16.84m. O’Brien Wasome completed the top three with a jump of 16.62m, showcasing Jamaica's depth in the triple jump event.

 

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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