Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah led all qualifiers to the semi-finals of the 100m as Athletics action got underway at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Tuesday.

The World Championship 100m bronze medallist from Eugene ran an easy 10.99 to win heat two and advance.

Antigua & Barbuda’s Joella Lloyd was next up, finishing third in heat three in 11.42 to advance. In heat four, Guyana’s Jasmine Abrams almost perfectly matched Lloyd, running 11.42 for third to advance.

Trinidad & Tobago’s Michelle Lee-Ahye and the Bahamas’ Tynia Gaither ran 11.14 and 11.19, respectively, to finish first and second in heat five and progress.

Jamaica’s Natalliah Whyte ran 11.31 to win heat six and advance while St. Lucia’s Julien Alfred (11.24) and Jamaica’s Remona Burchell (11.46) were the top two finishers in the seventh and final heat.

On the Men’s side, Nadale Buntin of St. Kitts & Nevis will be in the semis after finishing third in the first heat with a season’s best 10.37.

Rikkoi Brathwaite of the British Virgin Islands finished second in heat three in 10.42 to advance.

Next up was Jamaican 2014 Commonwealth Games 100m champion Kemar Bailey-Cole who ran 10.15 to finish second in heat four to progress.

Heat six saw Trinidad & Tobago’s Kion Benjamin produce 10.34 for second to move on while Jamaica’s Conroy Jones (10.28) and Trinidad & Tobago’s Eric Harrison Jr (10.37) both advanced from the eighth heat.

The tenth and final heat saw three Caribbean men advance. Trinidad & Tobago's Jerod Elcock won the heat in 10.26 while Guyana's Emmanuel Archibald (10.28) and St. Lucia's Stephan Charles (10.29) finished second and third, respectively.

Jamaican World Championship finalist Natoya Goule is now a Commonwealth Games finalist as well after running 1:58.39 to advance to the final as the fastest qualifier.

In the field, Jamaica’s Danniel Thomas-Dodd and Lloydricia Cameron both advanced to the final of the Women’s shot put after throws of 18.42m and 16.61m, respectively. Thomas-Dodd’s distance was the farthest in qualifying.

The Caribbean will be well represented in the final of the Men’s long jump as The Bahamas’ Laquan Nairn (7.90m), Jamaica’s Shawn-D Thompson (7.85m), Guyana’s Emmanuel Archibald (7.83m), Dominica’s Tristan James (7.65m) and Trinidad & Tobago’s Anduelle Wright (7.58m) will all be present.

Jamaica’s Traves Smikle (64.90m) and Roje Stona (58.35m) will both be in the final of the Men’s discus throw alongside Grenada’s Josh Boateng (56.51m).

Now that he has finally been able to train consistently after two years of disruption caused by the global pandemic, Traves Smikle produced his best throw in three years to achieve the qualifying mark for this summer’s World Athletics Championships at the second JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series meet at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

Smikle, the 2018 NACAC silver medallist, threw a season-best 66.60m for the victory, his best throw since he threw 67.57m in January 2019. It was the perfect birthday present for Smikle, who revealed afterwards that it was a welcome reprieve from a tough past couple of years.

“The last two years have been crazy with the pandemic and everything. It was very difficult to get into a training flow and now that things are better, not perfect but better, my coach and I got some consistent work in,” said Smikle, who won JMD$90,000 for the win.

“For the season I have been averaging 64/65m. We have been knocking at the door and we finally got it (the qualifying mark) today on my birthday and I am happy about that.”

Noticeably bigger than he has been in previous years, Smikle revealed that his increase in size is also part of his coach Julian Robinson’s plan for him to throw farther this year.

“One of the things my coach wanted me to do is put on a little more weight and we are doing some explosive work, trying to keep consistent with training and today we saw the fruits of our labour,” he said.

Smikle’s throw makes him Jamaica’s best thrower this year ahead of his training partner and friend, Fedrick Dacres, the 2018 Commonwealth Games champion and 2019 World Championships silver medallist and, at least for now, gives him bragging rights in the Reckless Control training group.

Dacres, he said, is sure to use it as motivation to throw beyond the 65.98m he threw at the same venue just over a week ago, the next time he competes.

“Fedrick is a phenomenal athlete and we have been training hard, he has been working hard and we are on track. It is only a matter of time before he hits a big throw,” Smikle said of Dacres.

“Both of us have been averaging over 65m and we just want to work hard and respect each other. I am pretty sure he has seen this mark and it is going fire him up to get something big so the next time we compete, it’s going to be a good one.”

Shashalee Forbes and Ackeem Blake won their respective 60m races at the first meet in the JAAA/SDF Jubilee at Kingston’s National Stadium on Saturday.

Forbes, 25, the 2017 World University Games 100m champion, clocked a time of 7.16 running into a negligible wind of 0.2 m/s to edge Anthonique Strachan (7.17). Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Natasha Morrison finished third in 7.27.

Blake, meanwhile, clocked a decent 6.61 to defeat Kishane Thompson, who ran 6.67, the same time as Michael Campbell, who is making his way back from a horrific injury to his spine in a motor vehicle accident in late 2017.

In a battle between Olympic bronze medallists over 200m, Tiffany James got the better of Candace McLeod. James ran 23.85 to claim victory over McLeod who ran 24.06. Michae Harriott finished third in 25.17.

Zandrion Barnes won the men’s 400m in 45.99, well clear of Malik James King who ran a pedestrian 46.67 while Terry Thomas was third in 46.99.

In the field, the Julian Robinson-coached pair of Shadae Lawrence and Traves Smikle won the women and men’s discus competitions, respectively.

Lawrence, who made her first Olympic final in Tokyo last year, threw 62.56m to comfortably win her event ahead of Samantha Hall, who had a best throw of 55.65m. Cedricka Williams threw 53.38 for third.

Meanwhile, Smikle, her Reckless Control training partner uncorked a throw of 64.65m for victory over Chad Wright, who mustered 58.02m for second place. Moses Parkinson managed 46.80m for third.

Tissanna Hickling won the long jump with a decent effort of 6.43m. Jodian Stewart was second with her best jump of 6.31m.

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