Kaliese Spencer wins the 400m hurdles at the IAAF Continental Cup, Marrakech 2014
Kaliese Spencer rounded off her near-perfect season with a peerless performance in the 400m hurdles, adding an IAAF Continental Cup title to the Commonwealth Games gold medal she won earlier this summer.
The Jamaican took the expected eight points for Americas as she strode home in 53.81, just 0.4 off her world-leading time set on home soil in Kingston back in June.
As in Glasgow, it was Great Britain’s Eilidh Child who chased her home, the Scot taking seven points for Europe in 54.42 as Bahrain’s Kemi Adekoya, representing Asia-Pacific, was third in 54.70.
Adekoya is the only athlete to beat Spencer this year and she set off with the intention of repeating that feat from the start, catching the Jamaican half way down the back straight as Child was adrift a lane inside her.
However, Spencer is too good an athlete to let a fast-starting rival trouble her, and she pulled clear around the bend as Child made up ground.
Spencer had a two-metre lead with two hurdles to go and held her form down the final straight to become the first Jamaican ever to win this event at an IAAF World or Continental Cup.
Child was well-supported by her Europe teammate Anna Titimets as the Ukrianian finished fourth in 55.20 for five valuable points, while the US champion Kori Carter – this year’s world No.2 – could place no higher than seventh
Matthew Brown for the IAAF