Defending Olympic 100m champion Elaine Thompson-Herah ran a season-best 10.78s to win the 100m at the Pure Athletics Elite Meet in Clermont, Florida today.

Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, Olympic and World Championships 400m bronze medalist and former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell have been named to a Jamaican selection that has named to participate in the World Relays set for May 1-2 in Chorzow, Poland.

Natalliah Whyte was well pleased with her 100m outing at the Miramar South Florida Invitational on Saturday but she is hoping that she will go much faster as the season progresses. Whyte was third in 11.16 behind runaway winner Sha’ Carri Richardson, who ran a jaw-dropping 10.72s, the fastest time in the world this year.

The 23-year-old Jamaican, who ran the lead-off leg for Jamaica’s gold medal-winning 4x100 relay team at the World Championships in Doha in 2019, had run even faster in the preliminary round clocking 11.07s, her season-best.

However, taking the two races together, Whyte said she was happy with the overall performance.

“The first 100 metres of the season after not competing or doing much due to Covid this time last year, and with a time of 11.07 in the heats and 11.16 in the finals, I am satisfied,” she told Sportsmax.TV following her race.

She explained that the races were meant to provide her and her coach with indicators of what her progress is this season.

“It’s really just taking each race at a time and finding out my weak points and working on those so I can put everything together to get that perfect race,” said Whyte, who trains with Puma MVP International at their base at the Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

“I was hoping to go faster in the final run but, as I said, the race wasn’t perfect but there is still room for improvement. It’s the first race of the season and I think everything will come together as I move forward.”

Whyte did not compete indoors during the winter but does not believe it had any impact on her performances outdoors where she has run two 200m races recording times of 22.88 and 23.28 on March 20 and April 4, respectively.

“Not competing indoors doesn’t give you that early push that pushes you into outdoor. So basically, just training doesn’t give you a true benchmark of where you would want to be,” she explained.

“Competing with world-class athletes is what really sets the standard for what to work on and to just see where you are in your progress. So this meet was a great meet. It had a lot of world-class athletes so it was a true test of progress.”

Having run both short sprints so far this season begs the question, does she plan to compete at both at the Olympic this summer should she qualify at her national championships set for June? Whyte said it’s too early to say.

“Both events complement each other so at the moment I am using each event to get better at the other. The 200m really helps with speed endurance but eventually, when it gets closer to that time, my coach and I will decide based on how the season progresses, what will be best,” she said.

“At the moment, I am delighted for the opportunity to compete. I haven’t run the 200 consistently for the past few years so I am just trying to familiarize myself with the event again. So it’s really a learning process as I go along.  I am also trying to stay injury-free, which is my number one goal.”

Commenting on Richardson's phenomenal time, Whyte said: "Richardson's run was spectacular, she’s a very talented athlete."

 

Track and field coach and broadcaster Ato Boldon believes the USA’s Sha’ Carri Richardson is now favoured to break Jamaica’s stranglehold on the Olympic 100m title this summer, following her jaw-dropping 100m run at the Miramar South Florida Invitational on Saturday.

Bahamian sprint queen Shaunae Miller-Uibo threw down the gauntlet to would-be challengers over the 200m on Sunday when she sped to a world-leading 22.03 run with a trailing wind of 1.5m/s at the Pure Athletics Spring Invitational in Clermont Florida.

Following his world-leading 100-metre time set at the Tropical Elite Sprints Meet in Miami on Saturday, Antigua and Barbuda's CejHae Greene said he did not expect to go so fast so early.

He did say, however, that he intends to go a bit faster over the course of the season as the Olympic Games draw nearer.

Also at the meet held at the Tropical Park Stadium, Jamaica’s Akeem Bloomfield and Natalliah Whyte, Greene’s MVP International training partners, enjoyed impressive wins over 200m.

The 25-year-old Greene was second in his preliminary round heat in 10.27 behind the USA’s World Championship 400m medalist, Fred Kerley, who won in 10.15. However, he managed to turn the tables on his more celebrated American rival in the final, winning in 10.01.

Kerley was second in 10.11, the third-fastest time in the world this year, while Jeremy Bascomb was third in 10.51.

Greene said the time came as a bit of a shock.

“I was surprised to see 10.01 show up on the clock but coach been saying I am in good shape, I have been training well so once I executed a good race I should run fairly fast, but in my head, fairly fast meant 10.1/10.2, so it just shows that if you listen to your coach and do what you have been doing in practice you should be fine,” said Greene, who ran with a trailing wind of 1.2m/s.

He revealed that having Fred Kerley in the race also played its part in his fast season-opener that bumped China’s Bingtian Su’s 10.05 that was run earlier Saturday, from the top spot.

“Fred’s presence made me have to focus a little bit more because we all know Fred is fast so it kind of forced me to compete at a higher level,” Greene said.

“Fred’s presence really changed the game because I knew I had to execute a really good race because Fred is fast and he is strong, he is one of the best 400m athletes in the world so I know I had to execute the start very well to win the race.”

Realistically, it should not have been that much of a surprise for the 2016 Olympian given how well he says he has been training at MVP International’s base camp in Florida. He said the competitive nature of training has helped him bring out his best.

“My training group definitely helped me push a little harder this year. Being alongside Akeem Bloomfield, Nathon Allen and Teray Smith each day at practice, it gets really competitive and we push each other and we go at it. Every day is like a race so I think that really helped me to push myself to be in a lot better shape this early,” he said while revealing that he intends to dip below 10 seconds in time for the Olympic Games this summer.

“The goal is to go sub-10 and once we keep healthy and keep listening to the coach and keep executing races, getting race sharp, that should happen. So my goal is to keep improving each week in practice, stay healthy and go on to the Olympics and do great things.”

He said he is likely to race next in Clermont on April 4, where he could be running the 200m.

“I want to improve my 200 times. I know once I can improve over the 200m it should translate pretty good into the 100 so I’ll probably give it a shot down there.”

Bloomfield was also impressive at the meet seemingly exerting relatively little effort in winning the 200m in 20.75 over Teray Smith (20.90) and Zaza Wellington (21.05), respectively.

In the women’s event, Whyte, a sprint relay gold medalist at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, was the fastest Jamaican in the world with her winning time of 22.88.

In the time trial, Angela Tenorio was second-best in 23.06 while Ashley Kelly was third in 24.18.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natalliah Whyte doesn’t remember much about her gold medal performance at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar. She does remember the feeling of winning and it has been driving her on to win another medal at the Tokyo Olympics in Japan next year.

Competing at the American Track League meeting on Saturday was a release for Natalliah Whyte, the 2019 sprint relay gold medallist.

A Jamaican trio of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Christania Williams and Natalliah Whyte are set to take on a solid field of women over 60m at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow, Scotland on February 15.

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