Olympic gold medalist Briana Williams is aiming for a brand new personal best when she lines up against the world’s fastest women over 100m at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic triple gold medalist, will take on American upstart Sha ‘Carri Richardson and a stacked field that includes the Olympic 100m silver and bronze medalists Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson, respectively, in a blue-ribbon showdown at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meet on Saturday, August 21 in Eugene, Oregon.

Thompson-Herah, who won the 100/200m double at the 2016 Rio Olympics, created history in Tokyo earlier this month when she became the first woman to successfully defend both titles at the same Olympics.

She won the 100m in an Olympic record of 10.61, eclipsing the 10.62 set by Florence Griffith-Joyner at Seoul in 1988 and followed up by winning the 200m in a personal best of 21.53, which made her the second-fastest woman in history.

She then added a third gold medal as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m sprint relay team that established a new national record of 41.02.

The 21-year-old Richardson, who ran a personal best 10.72 in April, won the 100m at US trials in July in 10.86. However, she was subsequently banned for a month after testing positive for THC, a derivative of marijuana. Her omission triggered a debate about whether she would have won had she been allowed to compete in Tokyo.

However, the much-touted American will not only be facing the Olympic champion in the blue-ribbon sprint. She is also facing a motivated Fraser-Pryce, the second-fastest woman in the world this year and the third fastest all time, who is likely to be still smarting from her loss in the Olympic 100m final.

The 34-year-old two-time Olympic champion (2008, 2012) was considered the overwhelming favourite to land a third 100m Olympic title following her 10.63s run at the National Stadium in Kingston on June 5. However, she finished second to Thompson-Herah in 10.74.

The Olympic 100m bronze medalist Jackson, who ran a personal best 10.76 in Tokyo, has also been included in the line-up that will also feature, Tokyo relay gold medalist Briana Williams (10.97), Teahna Daniels (10.98), Javiane Oliver (10.96) and Marie Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast, who ran a personal best 10.78 in Tokyo.

Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji who has run a season-best 10.96, is also listed for the clash that is perhaps the fastest field ever assembled.

 

After suffering her first defeat of the season, the USA’s Sha Carri Richardson is already putting it behind her and focusing on the future, vowing to always be competitive.

Richardson, who went into Gateshead with the three fastest times in the 100m this season – 10.72, 10.74 and 10.77 – was collared by Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, who sped to victory in 11.35s in rainy, windy and cold conditions.

The headwind was measured at -3.1m/s. The American was well back in 11.44s. She was just ahead of Marie Jose Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast who clocked in at 11.48. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who like Asher-Smith, was running her first 100m of the season, clocked 11.51s for fourth.

Afterwards, a defiant Richardson said: “I'm happy with my race. I'm definitely proud that I was able to execute and now I know what I need to go back and work on and what I need to get better at.

“This won't be the last time that I'm going to line up against these ladies and I want to let the world know and let the ladies know that I'm here to compete just as well as they've done for many years. I'm here to show them what I'm good at. I'm definitely looking forward to running in some sunshine next week in Doha!”

Meanwhile, the victor was ecstatic about the outcome.

“I feel really good. Conditions were far from ideal for sprinting but the most important thing is to come away with a good result and a win and I was very happy to do that. I think all in all today was more of an experience but the only thing that can indicate Tokyo is the Olympic final itself,” she said.

“I want to stay focused, do well and get better from here.”

 

 

 

Briana Williams is very satisfied with her outing at the USATF Golden Games in California yesterday.

Caribbean athletes Kimberly Williams, Kyron McMaster, Danniel Thomas-Dodd and Briana Williams all delivered encouraging performances at the USATF Golden Games at the Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut, California on Sunday, but all the buzz was once again around a young American woman who ran 10.7 twice on the day.

The 21-year-old American ran 10.74 in the preliminary round of the 100m and then followed up with 10.77 in the final despite a stiff enough headwind of -1.2m/s. This is the third time in as many races this season that she has run under 10.8s.

Williams, who opened her 100m season with 11.29 in Oregon a week ago, clocked 11.15 for third in the final to follow up on her season-best 11.09 that she ran in the preliminaries for second in Richardson’s heat.

Javaine Oliver was third in 11.08.

McMaster broke his own British Virgin Islands national record of 47.54 when he clocked 47.50 for second place in the 400m hurdles won by Rai Benjamin in a world-leading 47.13. Alison Dos Santos, who finished third, also set a Brazilian national record of 47.68.

Jamaica’s Kemar Mowatt was fourth in a season-best 48.90.

Meanwhile, Kimberly Williams won the triple jump with 14.62m.

Thomas-Dodd threw 18.91m to finish second in the shot put won by the USA’s Maggie Ewen who threw a season-best 19.32. The USA’s Jessica Ramsay was third with her best effort of 18.58m. Two other Caribbean athletes finished in the top 10. Jamaica’s Lloydrica Cameron produced a personal best throw of 18.33m for sixth place while Trinidad and Tobago’s Portious Warren uncorked a 17.83m effort for eighth.

The 100m hurdles was keenly a contested race but world-record holder Kendra Harrison proved to be too much for the field running a season-best 12.48 for the victory. In her wake was Cindy Semper who ran a personal best 12.53 for second place. Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan clocked 12.61 for third, the same time as Devynne Charlton, who established a new Bahamas national record.

A couple of Trinidadian’s picked up third-place finishes in their respective events. Deon Lendore ran a season-best 45.04 in the 400m won by the USA’s Michael Norman in 44.40. Michael Cherry ran 44.86 for second place.

Meanwhile, Jereem Richards ran a season-best 20.20 to finish behind Noah Lyles and Kenny Bednarek, who ran 19.90 and 19.94 for first and second, respectively.

Gabby Thomas won the 200m in a season-best 22.12 over Allyson Felix who opened with a fast 22.26 for second place. Lynna Irby was third in 22.37.

 

 

 

 

It is the clash the world has been waiting for and it comes May 23 at the Müller Grand Prix in Gateshead, the first Wanda Diamond League meeting this year.

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