LIÈGE, Belgium, CMC – Nickiesha Wilson got an early birthday gift, when she was the only English-speaking Caribbean competitor to win at the Province of Liège international meet on Wednesday.
The Jamaican turns 25 in two weeks time, and she clocked a sluggish 56.97 seconds in temperatures that hardly rose above 12 degrees Celsius to win the women’s 400 metres hurdles.
Wilson, eyeing a place on Jamaica’s team for the World Championships in South Korea, after finishing third at the national trials last month, was 0.18 secs faster than American Latosha Wallace, with hometown girl Elodie Ouedraogo grabbing third place.
Reigning World 110m hurdles champion Ryan Brathwaite continued to struggle in his build-up to the World Championships.
The Barbadian again failed to inspire confidence that he could make a strong defence of his World title in Daegu, finishing a disappointing fifth in 13.67.
Joel Brown of the United States looked a bit sluggish in the start, but after the second hurdle he was running smoothly and relaxed, and was rewarded with a victory in 13.29, as Americans swept the first three positions.
Brown beat compatriot Tyron Akins into second (13.50) with Fred Townsend taking third, three hundredths of a second later.
Jamaica collected another podium finish, when Kenroy Anderson clocked 10.30 to finish third in the men’s 100, and his fellow countryman Kimmari Roach finished in 10.35 to come fifth.
American Travis Padgett restored his confidence, when he clocked 10.13 to win, and finish well ahead of compatriot Darvis Patton (10.26).