SHANGHAI, China, CMC – Jamaican Novlene Williams-Mills snatched the 400 metres hurdles at Sunday’s Shanghai Golden Grand Prix to steal the headlines for the Caribbean, after sprint sensation Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce pulled out of the 200 metres.
However, American Justin Gatlin stormed to a world-leading 9.92 seconds as he won the marquee men’s 100 metres event, ahead of Jamaican Nesta Carter in 10.12 seconds, and fellow American Mike Rogers (10.18).
“I have much more left in the tank. I cruised at 9.92 with no wind. I felt I made it look easy,” an upbeat Gatlin said.
The only other Caribbean presence in the event, Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis, finished a disappointing fifth in a time of 10.25 seconds.
Williams-Mills, meanwhile, was the only bright spot for the region as she clocked 50.31 seconds to beat Botswana’s Amantle Montsho who was timed at 50.37 seconds.
Jamaican Stephenie Ann McPherson was third in 50.54 but her counterpart Kaliese Spencer was seventh in 51 seconds.
In the women’s 200 metres, Fraser-Pryce’s pull out with a shin injury left the field open and in-form Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare capitalised to reach the wire first in 22.36 seconds.
Bahamian Anthonique Strachan followed her home in 22.50 seconds while American Kimberlyn Duncan finished third in 22.96 seconds
Former World and Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown finished fifth with Anneisha McLaughlin, also of Jamaica, sixth in 23.33 seconds.
Despite the poor result, Campbell-Brown was hopeful of getting back to top form.
“I know sooner or later I will get back into the shape I want to be,” the Olympic 100m bronze medallist said.
There were also disappointing results in the men’s 110 metres for the Caribbean, where former Olympic champion Dayron Robles of Cuba and former World champion Ryan Brathwaite of Barbados finished out of the points.
Robles was sixth in 13.48 seconds while Brathwaite finished seventh in 13.64 seconds, as China’s Wenjun Xie clocked 13.23 to win the event.