By Vijay, writer

Olympic Games 400m champion Kirani James, Shaunae Miller and Omar McLeod were the Caribbean winners at Saturday’s Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field, Eugene, Oregon. 

Miller, the 2015 Beijing World Championships silver medalist, ran away with the women’s 400m in 50.15 to beat American Francena McCorory 50.23.

Jamaicans Stephenie McPherson, 51.07 and Shericka Jackson, 51.34, were fourth and fifth respectively.

James extended his head-to-head record against LaShawn Merritt to 12-7 by winning in 44.22 to 44.39.

“When we do race each other, it is a really big race like the Pre Classic or another Diamond League event,” James said. “We use all the other races to get a race plan together and get your technique right. Hopefully, we can continue to compete against each other and really try to get a race plan 100 percent right,” added James.

“It brings out the best in both of us,” the 29-year-old Merritt said of his rivalry with James. “Sometimes it doesn’t bring out the most technical races in us because we are such competitors, but it was good.”

McLeod, the world leader in the men’s 110m hurdles with 12.98, topped the sprint obstacle event in 13.06secs. David Oliver and his USA compatriot Jeff Porter finished in 13.38 and 13.48 for second and third respectively.

Asafa Powell, after a slow start, finished second in the men’s 100m, won by American Justin Gatlin in 9.88. Powell’s time of 9.94 put him ahead of another American Tyson Gay 9.98.

“The mic wasn’t working, so that threw me off big time,” a disappointed Powell told The Sunday Gleaner. “I thought the starter would have stopped the race, but that’s how it goes.”

“I’m very disappointed because I felt good coming here,” he added. “I am in good shape and I was expecting to come here and run really fast, so it’s disappointing that they allowed Justin (Gatlin) to go away with such a big jump, and he was too far for me to catch him.”

In the women’s 100m, Two-time Jamaican Olympic Games champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, finished eighth in 11.18, while Carmelita Jeter of USA was seventh in 11.16. American English Gardner won the event in 10.81 ahead of Tianna Bartoletta, also of USA, 10.94.

A message on Fraser-Pryce social media page read: “It's tough to not do justice to your favorite event. Still grateful I was able to make an attempt. Tough road ahead but SFP still has the goal of being the first female athlete to go for the triple." #‎HisWill”

Elaine Thompson ended third in the women’s 200m dash, her time 22.16. Tori Bowie of USA ran 21.99 to hold off Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands, 22.11.


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