It was an emotional day for multiple World Record holder and the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt, as the Jamaican sprinting legend ran his last competitive race on home soil at the Racers Grand Prix in Kingston, Jamaica on Saturday.
World stars such as Mo Farah, Wayde Van Niekerk, Allyson Felix, David Rudisha and Christian Taylor, as well as IAAF President Sebastian Coe, attended the meet which had more than 30,000 fans in attendance, and had come to bid farewell to the 8-time Olympic Champion. The meeting was appropriately tagged ‘Salute to a Legend’.
The 30-year old competed in the men’s 100m Dash Salute, which was his first race of the season. He went on to clock a Season’s Best (SB) of 10.03s, with compatriots Jevaughn Minzie and Nickel Ashmeade following in 10.15s and 10.18s.
The men’s 100m dash was won by former World Champion Yohan Blake (9.97s) who finished ahead of South Africa’s Akani Simbine (10.00s) and Keston Bledman (10.22s).
Kelly-Ann Baptiste was the woman to beat in the 100m dash as she raced to victory in 11.13s, while Jenna Prandini and Natasha Morrison clocked 11.16s and 11.26s in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Meanwhile, reigning World and Olympic Champion in the men’s 400m, Wayde Van Niekerk continued his brilliant outing this season by smashing Anaso Jobodwana’s former National Record (NR) of 19.87s enroute his victory in the men’s 200m, replacing it with a World Lead (WL) of 19.84s.
The Jamaican duo if Rasheed Dwyer and Warren Weir followed in 20.11s and 20.18s respectively.
Prandini won the women’s event in 22.57s, with Kimberly Duncan and Antonique Strachan returning times of 22.61s and 22.84s respectively.
Multiple Olympic Champion Allyson Felix returned to winning ways in the women’s 400m where she posted an SB of 50.52s to finish ahead of teammate Courtney Okolo (50.72s). Nigeria’s Margaret Bamgbose was 3rd in 51.79s.
It was a Caribbean affair in the men’s 400m as Jamaica’s Demish Gaye raced to the title in an impressive time of 44.73s, with Trinidad and Tobago’s pair of Lalonde Gordon and Machel Cedenio following in 45.18s and 45.57s respectively.
WR holder in the men’s 800m David Rudisha was beaten by fellow Kenyan Willy Tarbei who crossed the finishing line in 1:44.86, while the two-time Olympic Champion clocked an SB of 1:44.90 in 2nd place. USA’s Erik Sowinski was 3rd in 1:45.27.
Sharika Nelvis dominated the 100m Hurdles in 12.78s. Danielle Williams and Sally Pearson were 2nd and 3rd in 12.81s and 12.83s.
Beijing 2015 Bronze medallist Shamier Little upstaged Olympic Champion Dalilah Muhammed to win the women’s 400m Hurdles in 54.21s, with the latter following in 54.59s. Home girl Ristananna Tracey was 3rd in 54.61s.
USA’s Quincy Downing clocked a scorching 48.13s to snatch victory in the men’s 400m Hurdles, as World U-20 Champion Jaheel Hyde placed 2nd in a time of 48.82s, and Johnny Dutch 3rd in 49.00s.
Great Britain’s Mo Farah continued his dominance this season by taking the win in the men’s 3000m in a time of 7:41.20, while Australia’s Pat Tierman Kemoy Campbell of Jamaica followed in 7:41.62 and 7:41.87 respectively.
Christian Taylor was the only man to jump over 17m in the men’s Triple Jump event which he won with a mark of 17.20m. Donald Scott and Wilbert Walker posted 16.78m and 16.33m, while Nigeria’s Tosin Oke finished in 4th place with 16.33m.
Both Ryan Whiting and Jamaica’s O’Dayne Richards recorded a distance of 21.11m in the men’s Shot put though the former took the tile, with Kurt Roberts following in 20.44m. Nigeria’s Stephen Mozia placed 8th with a mark of 18.92m.