Asafa Powell Flashes To World-Leading 9.84 At JA Invite

Asafa Powell of Jamaica in action of the 100m

KINGSTON, Jamaica (Sporting Alert) — Former world record holder Asafa Powell blasted his way to a world-leading 9.84 seconds to win the men’s 100m title at the Jamaica International Invitational here on Saturday night.

The time was his fastest since 2011.

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Powell, who opened his season with a 10.08secs performance in Guadeloupe a week ago, promised something impressive at the National Stadium in Kingston, and the 32-year-old truly delivered to send a strong statement to his rivals.

He powered through the middle of the pack on his way to becoming the first sub-10 seconds runner this season — bettering the 10.01secs, ran by Trinidad and Tobago’s Keston Bledman earlier this season.

He was then joined by two more runners in the same race.

Ryan Bailey, who anchored USA’s 4x100m relay team ahead of Usain Bolt and Jamaica at the IAAF World Relays 2015 a week ago, ran home second in 9.93, with Jamaica’s Nesta Carter taking third-place with a time of 9.98.

As expected, Bailey was also targeted by several group of Jamaican fans who showered him with boos, for playfully modifying Bolt’s famous ‘To Di Worl’ pose with his own cut throat gesture during his 4x100m relay celebrations in the Bahamas.

World leader Elaine Thompson of Jamaica hammered down yet another sub-11 seconds performance this season, after she posted 10.97 seconds to beat a solid field in the women’s 100m.

Thompson, who owns the world’s best time for 2015, at 10.92 got the better of Commonwealth Games champion Blessing Okabare of Nigeria, at 11.05 and American 200m specialist Allyson Felix, who stepped down in distance to clock 11.09 for third place.

In the women’s 200m, Bahamas’ 2010 World Junior champion Shaunae Miller ran 22.14 secs to beat Tori Bowie (USA, 22.29) and double world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM, 22.39).

The men’s race was won by Nickel Ashmeade (JAM, 20.25), ahead of his Jamaican teammate Rasheed Dwyer (20.28), Aaron Brown (CAN, 20.30), and Julian Forte (JAM, 20.39).

American Bershawn Jackson ran a well judged race to produce a world-leading 48.47 to win the men’s 400m hurdles title.

The 2005 World champion raced off to a fast start before keeping his pace balanced and then powered home to improved on the previous world-leading mark of 48.44, set by his fellow American countryman Michael Stigler, in Texas, in March.

Jackson beat Jamaica’s Ledford Green (49.22) and Jeffery Gibson (BAH) 49.42 into second and third place, respectively.

Kori Carter made a sweep of the 400m hurdles for the Americans, after she won the women’s race in a seasonal best of 55.12 seconds. The time is also the second fastest in the world this year behind USA’s Kendra Harrison’s  54.94 seconds.

Jamaica’s 2012 World Junior champion and 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medal winner Janive Russell, ran 55.29 for second and third went to Tiffany Williams of USA, at 55.35.

Elsewhere at the meet, Ajee Wilson (USA) won the women’s 800m in 2:00.65 in front of Molly Ludlow (USA) 2:01.09, while Jasim Stowers (USA) won the women’s 100m hurdles in a time of 12.39m, Caterine Ibarguen of Columbia set a world best of 14.65 meters to win the women’s triple jump and Christian Cantwell (USA) took the men’s Shot Put.

Aleec Harris, the world-leader for the men’s 110m hurdles, equalled his own fastest time in the world this season and added another victory to his tally this term with a 13.16 performance in Kingston.

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