BIRMINGHAM, England — World 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain made a winning start to her 100 meters 2022 campaign after edging the Olympic bronze medalist Shericka Jackson at the 2022 Birmingham Diamond League Meeting on Saturday (21).
Asher-Smith Edges Jackson in tight 100m
Asher-Smith, who finished third in the 200m at the opening Diamond League meeting of the season in Doha, earlier this month, returned to post 11.11 seconds (-0.1 m/s) to secure the victory in front of her home supporters.
“It’s my first 100 of the season, it’s a long season so we’re easing our way into it and it was good,” the 2019 world 200m champion said.
“There was a very strong field, I could have done a few things differently if I am being picky but I’m very happy to win in this temperature and against this field.
“Being British I wanted to come to Birmingham in this beautiful new stadium and put on a show. When other girls are three or four races done, you are like ‘I hope my opener is sharp enough to beat everybody’ and it was so all good.”
Jackson, who was the third bronze medal winner in the Jamaican medal podium sweep at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, finished very strongly in the closing meters, but ran out of real estate and had to settle for second in 11.12 secs.
British Olympic finalist Daryll Neita was also in good form, running 11.14 secs for third place after finishing quickly as well.
Despite the defeat, Jackson, who revealed after the race that it was a little bit chilly for her liking, said she was still pleased with her overall performance this weekend.
“It was actually a good race. I never get the start I wanted but it’s all work in progress and I’m definitely happy,” Jackson told reporters after the race.
“This is not my type of weather but it’s my job when I’m competing and I just came here focused on what I needed to do.
“The track feels good. It’s the first time coming out here and it’s good ahead of the Commonwealths.”
A host of Americans, Mikiah Brisco (11.25), Gabby Thomas (11.31), Destiny Smith-Barnett (11.35), and Cambrea Sturgis (11.35) were also among the finishers.
Brown wins the men’s race after Bromell, Hughes DQs
In the men’s 100m, Aaron Brown of Canada recovered from a pair of false starts around him to clock 10.13 secs (-0.2 m/s) for the win.
American Trayvon Bromell and Briton’s Zharnel Hughes were the men who were disqualified for jumping the gun.
Jamaica’s Yohan Blake ran 10.18 seconds for second place with Jerome Blake of Canada taking third place in 10.20 secs. His countryman and Olympic bronze medalist Andre De Grasse was fourth in 10.24, while Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake was the top British finisher in fifth at 10.31.
Parchment gets better of McLeod with WL
Meanwhile, Olympic champion Hansle Parchment got the better of his fellow countryman, Omar McLeod, in a Jamaican 1-2 finish in the men’s 110m hurdles.
McLeod got away to a blistering start, but the 2016 Rio Olympics champion clipped the sixth hurdle and it slow him down —enough for the usually quick finishing Parchment to blow past him on his way to running a world-leading time of 13.09 seconds.
“As Olympic champions, I do not feel any pressure but I just tried to execute my own race but also to feel less tense and help others to relax,” a smiling Parchment said.
“I am pleased with a world leader but it is very early in the season so you can´t read too much into it at the moment.”
He added: “It is awesome to have my compatriots here and we can talk to each other and have some fun. We are all teammates and we will be looking for a 1-2-3 at the world championships.”
McLeod clocked 13.17 secs for second place in a seasonal best for him, while Asier Martínez of Spain and Poland’s Damian Czykier were a distant third and fourth at identical times of 13.32 secs, respectively.
“It was a season´s best so that is good although it wasn’t the cleanest of races, to be honest,” McLeod said.
“I am very happy for us both (Hansle Parchment) to get these results and push each other harder, keep building and try and get faster with every race.”
Hodgkinson returns with impressive victory run
Olympic silver medalist Keely Hodgkinson made an impressive return from the quad injury she suffered during the indoor campaign after she clocked 1:58.63 to dominate the women’s 800m race.
“It felt good out there today, I felt strong and I really enjoyed it. I was pleased with the time for my outdoor opener. It was a bit windy,” Hodgkinson told reporters.
The 2021 European Indoor champion, who is coming off an outstanding indoor season in which she broke the British record with an impressive 1:57.20 performance in Birmingham, this past February, was challenged by Natoya Goule heading into the homestraight, but the 20-year-old found another gear to pull away comfortably from the Jamaican who eventually faded to third place.
“I could see Goule out the corner of my eye getting close to me on the final straight but I felt in control and was able to wind it up a bit right to the end,” Hodgkinson added.
“The atmosphere was very special with so much support for the British athletes out there. It is lovely for us to have that support. I am heading to Pre now and expecting a big battle but it will be a great experience for me.”
Frenchwoman Rénelle Lamote took second place in 1:59.53 with Goule crossing in third place at 2:00.13.
Marco Arop of Canada adopted well to what seems to be a new race tactic, powered home to victory in the men’s 800m, and looked very strong in doing so as well.
Other winners on the track were…
The 23-year-old who usually takes his race out very fast and then tries to hold on in the close meters, held back well today before breaking away in the final 100m of the race and then kept pulling away to stop the clock at a season’s best 1:45.41.
Also on the track, 2016 World Indoor 1500m silver medalist Dawit Seyaum won the women’s 5000m with a meeting record of 14:47.55 to lead and Ethiopian 1-2-3 finish. Hawi Feysa ran 14:48.94 for second and Fantu Worku did 14:49.64 for third.
Jessica Judd, fresh off her victory at the Night of the 10000m PBs a week ago, recorded a new PB of 14:57.19 for sixth place in the women’s 5000m today.
In the meantime, Laura Muir of Great Britain won the women’s 1500m in 4:02.81 after battling with the wind, while world champion Dalilah Muhammad of USA eased to victory in the women’s 400m hurdles in a comfortable 54.54 secs.
World Indoor bronze medalist Abel Kipsang of Kenya took the men’s 1500m with a time of 3:35.15. Spain’s Mohamed Katir ran home for second in 3:35.62.
Fun field event clashes!
In field event action, Valarie Allman of USA, the Tokyo Olympic champion, won a very exciting women’s Discus throw after tossing 67.85m in the second round of the competition to get the better of her Croatian arch-rival Sandra Perković who threw a season’s best 67.26m.
“Diamond League is critical to me this season. Going up against the best can help you find your footing before a major championship which makes it easier to execute and focus on yourself,” Allman said.
The men’s competition was just as exciting after Slovenian Kristjan Ceh produced a national record, Diamond League, record, and world leading mark of 71.27m in the third round to dominate his rivals.
Elsewhere, two-time world indoor pole vault champion Sandi Morris of USA set a world lead of 4.73m to win that event, while Canadian Django Lovett cleared 2.28m to top the men’s high jump, and Olympic champion Malaika Mihambo of Germany leaped a meeting record and world leading 7.09m to take the women’s long jump title.