J’cans hunt Diamond League points in London
F our hundred metre runner Stephenie Ann McPherson and triple jumper Shanieka Ricketts lead a group of 14 Jamaicans holding top-eight placings in their respective events in the IAAF Diamond League standings. Many of them compete this weekend in the two-day London Anniversary Games with the goal securing a place in the two-leg Diamond League final late in August and early in September.
McPherson and Ricketts are second in the 400m and triple jump, respectively, with Bahrani Salwa Eid Naser and Colombian Catherine Ibarguen ahead. Both Jamaicans have company as Kimberly Williams is the number four and McPherson's MVP Track Club teammate Shericka Jackson is joint number seven in the 400m.
Fedrick Dacres, Tajay Gayle, Danniel Thomas-Dodd and double Olympic gold medallist Elaine Thompson appear at number three in the League standings in the discus, long jump, shot put and, for Thompson, in both the 100 and 200m. In the 100m, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is joint eighth.
Sprint hurdlers Omar McLeod and Danielle Williams arrive at number four, as does 400m hurdler Janieve Russell. McLeod is joined at number seven by 2018 Commonwealth 110m hurdles winner Ronald Levy.
Reigning Pan-Am Games champion O'Dayne Richards is number nine in the shot put, while Nathon Allen and Rushell Clayton stand at number 11 in the men's 400m and the women's 400m hurdles, respectively.
Four-time World champion Fraser-Pryce heads the Jamaican contingent who will compete for Diamond League points this weekend. She sprints back into action in the 100m with compatriots Natasha Morrison and Jonielle Smith. McPherson and Jackson go in the 400m, with Allen, Clayton, Dacres, Russell and Williams also chasing safety. After London, the Diamond League will move to Birmingham on August 18 and Paris on August 24.
Those meets will precede the League finals in Zurich, Switzerland, on August 29 and in Brussels, Belgium on September 6.
The other Jamaicans on the Diamond League roster in London are 100m entrants Yohan Blake, Tyquendo Tracey and Julian Forte, 100m hurdlers Megan Tapper and Yanique Thompson, Akeem Bloomfield and Demish Gaye in the 400m, and Tissanna Hickling and Chanice Porter in the long jump.
Gayle and Goule will compete, but their events don't have Diamond League status in London. The same goes for the 110m hurdles which features McLeod and Levy, the 200m, which includes 2014 Commonwealth Games winner Rasheed Dwyer, the 400m hurdles with Kemar Mowatt and Jaheel Hyde and the women's 200m where Thompson will lead Schillonie Calvert and Shashalee Forbes into battle.