Report02 Jun 2024

Seville defeats Lyles, Hibbert leaps to world lead in Kingston


Oblique Seville on his way to winning the 100m in Kingston (© Athelstan Bellamy)

In a memorable race that brought the curtains down on the Racers Grand Prix, Oblique Seville won the 100m in a world-leading 9.82 (0.9m/s) at the World Athletics Continental Tour Silver event in Kingston on Saturday (1).

Seville, who missed last year’s edition through injury, defeated a quality field boasting four finalists from last year’s World Championships, including world champion Noah Lyles, Great Britain’s bronze medallist Zharnel Hughes and African record-holder Ferdinand Omanyala.

“My coach and I have been working on execution throughout the month, and tonight, the work that I put in has paid off,” said the 23-year-old, who was contesting his first 100m of the year. “It is a tremendous feeling as last year I didn’t compete due to injuries. This year, I’m happy to get a personal best and win in front of my Jamaican fans.”

Based on current form and how he oozed confidence at the press conference, it was Lyles's race to lose, and he did. Seville easily brushed aside the challenge of the double sprint world champion, who clocked 9.85 to equal his second-fastest time ever. Omanyala clinched third in 10.02.

It was Lyles’s first legal sub-10 clocking, and his first loss, over 100m this season. “I was satisfied with the performance but disappointed with the starter,” said Lyles. “Half of us were not even set when the gun went. Overall, the race was great; I came out here and ran exactly what I thought I would run, which is anywhere faster than 9.88.”

After a brilliant start, world indoor 60m champion Julian Alfred accelerated away from the field to win the women’s 100m in a lifetime best of 10.78 (1.3m/s), equalling the meeting record and breaking her own national record.

“I felt good about my execution,” said Alfred. “I did not panic; I stayed relaxed and didn’t fight to the line, so that was better compared to last week in Eugene.”

Krystal Sloley proved that her second-place finish at the Jamaica Invitational was no fluke, as she registered another PB, this time dipping under 11 seconds. Coached by Stephen Francis, Sloley’s 10.99 makes her the second Jamaican woman to accomplish the feat this season.

World U20 record-holder Jaydon Hibbert returned to his 14-step approach in the triple jump and bounded out to a world-leading 17.75m in the fourth round – farther than his ratified world U20 record of 17.54m, and the second-best leap of his career behind his 17.87m PB from last year, which is still pending ratification as a world U20 record.

Jaydon Hibbert, triple jump winner in Kingston

Jaydon Hibbert, triple jump winner in Kingston (© Athelstan Bellamy)

The 19-year-old, who intends to participate in both the Paris Olympics and the World U20 Championships in Lima this year, stitched together a decent series, jumping 16.45m in the first round and improving to 17.14m in the second round before adding 16cm in the third round and then soaring to a meeting record of 17.75m in the final round, almost landing outside the sandpit.

Hibbert, along with the fair-sized crowd, was delighted with his performance. “I was satisfied with the third and fourth jumps of the series,” he said. “I feel splendid. I wanted to jump 17.70m, so 17.75m is a bonus.”

World indoor 60m hurdles champion and record-holder Devynne Charlton won a competitive  100m hurdles in 12.64. The Bahamian finished ahead of Jamaican pair Yanique Thompson (12.66) and Amoi Brown (12.73).

In the men's 110m hurdles, 2022 world silver medallist Trey Cunningham delivered a flawless performance to win in a season’s best of 13.12. There was a tight finish behind him with Rasheed Broadbell (13.24) narrowly edging out Michael Dickson (13.26) and Freddie Crittenden III (13.28).

Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards won an entertaining men’s 200m, powering past NCAA champion Udodi Onwuzurike in the home straight. Richards clocked a season’s best 20.13 with the Nigerian trailing in his wake with 20.27.

“I haven’t settled on an event yet,” said Richards, the 2022 world indoor 400m champion. “I am going to run both the 200m and 400m throughout the season and see whichever event is the best one closer to the Olympics.”

Lanae-Tava Thomas won the women’s 200m in a lifetime best of 22.36, while Stacey-Ann Williams delighted the home crowd with her come-from-behind victory in the women's 400m in 50.86.

Nigeria’s Emmanuel Bamidele clinched victory in the final few metres of the men’s 400m, catching hurdles specialist Roshawn Clarke just before the line to win in 45.49 to the Jamaican’s 45.57.

Elsewhere, discus thrower Traves Smikle notched up his seventh win from eight starts this season with a distance of 65.65m.

Noel Francis for World Athletics

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