Shericka Jackson and Rushel Clayton score important wins in Marrakech Diamond League
Shericka Jackson and Rushel Clayton score important wins in Marrakech Diamond League

Marrakech, Morocco – Shericka Jackson, competing in her first 200m race since winning the Diamond Trophy in September of last year, did not display her usual dominating form. The two-time world champion clocked 22.82 seconds (-1.0 m/s) to win her pet event at the Marrakech Diamond League meeting on Sunday, 19 May 2024.

“I think I did pretty good tonight; it’s a bit cold and windy, said Jackson. “It’s my first 200m of the season, and I didn’t know what to expect; I have a few more races to go before the Jamaica trials, and I’ll definitely peak at the right time.”

World leader Rushell Clayton led a 1-2 finish for Jamaica in the women’s 400m hurdles. Clayton crossed the finish line in 53.98 seconds, while countrywoman Shiann Salmon registered a season’s best time of 54.27 seconds for second place.

“I am very happy as it was a pretty good race, but there are still some things to fix in the hurdling,” Clayton explained. “This is my second race of the season and the second time I ran under 54 seconds; so far, I am very satisfied.”

It was a different story for Jamaica in the men’s 100m, with Yohan Blake, the 2011 world champion, struggling to keep pace with the field. Blake ran a season’s best 10.41 seconds to finish eighth. This improved his ninth-place finish (10.43) in the opening Diamond League in Xiamen. His compatriot Rohan Watson was fifth in 10.26 seconds behind winner Emmanuel Eseme of Nigeria in 10.11.

South Africa’s Prudence Sekgodiso produced a world lead and personal best to win an exciting women’s 800m. Sekgodiso, trailing Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu coming off the top bend, found an opening on the inside and took advantage, rushing through to cross the finish line in 1:57.26.  

“I’m so excited, I’m over the moon,” said Sekgodiso. “I trained so hard to be at that pace, so I wasn’t fazed; I was prepared for it and just gave it my all.”

World Indoor champion Alexander Doom chopped four-tenths off his previous best to claim victory against a quality field in the men’s 400m in 44.51 seconds. Doom was involved in a gripping duel with Zambia’s Muzala Samukonga (44.54) and Botswana’s Bayapo Ndori (44.59).  

“I am very happy, especially since I was injured after World Relays,” said Doom. “I started with some doubts; I said this race would be like a training race with a focus on the European Championships, and I’m happy with this start.”

Elsewhere, world record-holder Mykolas Alekna was the only man to throw 70m in the men’s discus. He launched the disc 70.70m in the fourth round to put pressure on Matthew Denny, who finished second with 67.74m and Daniel Stahl with 67.49m. Jamaica’s Traves Smikle (66.04m) claimed fourth, while Fedrick Dacres finished sixth with 65.05m.   

Chase Jackson won the women’s shot put with a meeting record of 20m on her second attempt. Jamaica’s Danniel Thomas-Dodd finished fourth with 18.54m. 

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