The Danielle Williams train continued to gather steam at the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham, England, on Sunday.
Coming off her world-leading and national record 12.32 set in London a month ago, the 26-year-old 100m sprint hurdler destroyed a talented field to win her event in a meet record 12.46s on Sunday, which could make her the favourite for the gold medal at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics that runs from September 28 to October 6.
Included in the field that she dismantled on Sunday was the world record holder Kendra Harrison, who finished a distant second in 12.66s. The 2018 Commonwealth champion Tobi Amusan finished in 12.71.
Notwithstanding the emphatic victory, Williams was not overly happy with her performance.
“To be honest, I didn’t execute that properly. I banged my knee on one of the hurdles, but I came away with the win, so I am happy,” she said.
Williams will now head to Brussels where will attempt to win again and be crowned Diamond League champion.
Three other Jamaicans won events in Birmingham on Sunday.
Akeem Bloomfield, who is desperate to win the Diamond League title that would guarantee him a spot in Doha, took the 400m in 45.04s. Yohan Blake, who carries the hopes of a nation in the men’s sprints in Doha, won a close 100m over Great Britain’s Adam Gemili. Both men were given the same time of 10.07. The USA’s Mike Rodgers, the 2019 Pan Am Champion, was third in 10.09.
Meanwhile, Omar McLeod got a morale-boosting win in the 100m hurdles six weeks out from the world championships in what has been a poor season so far. The 2017 World Champion clocked 13.21 to take the win over the USA’s Freddie Crittenden who ran a season-best 13.31. China’s Xie Wenjun was third in 13.43.
He stated afterwards that he intends to defend his title in Doha, despite the challenges he has faced this season and the fact that he recently changed coaches, leaving Tony Ross for Rana Reider.
“For Doha, I need to go there in the best possible shape and not being half-bothered about it. Anything can happen, and I need to go there as defending champion and be ready to compete,” McLeod said.
Seven-time World Champion and 2019 Pan Am 200m champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, was third in the 200m in 22.50. Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas won the race in 22.24s, while Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith was second in 22.36.
— Story by Chase