The Racers Grand Prix, a World Athletics Continental Tour Silver meeting, made a successful return on Saturday (3) after a three-year hiatus with world champions Noah Lyles and Shericka Jackson speeding to season’s bests in Kingston.
Two-time world 200m champion Lyles saved the best for last as he brought the curtains down with a world-leading 19.67 (0.3 m/s) to win the men’s 200m, breaking the meeting record in the process. Running out of his favourite lane seven, Lyles shrugged off a brief challenge from Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes (20.14) around the bend before opening up a sizeable lead to win comfortably in front of the fair size appreciative crowd.
“The crowd was electrifying and I didn’t know what kind of reception I would receive based on the social media comments,” said Lyles. “Tonight, the first 20 metres of my race was great, however, there’s room for improvement in other areas but things are coming together and I feel great to get the meeting record. Bolt (Usain) came over and congratulated me and gave me words of encouragement to become the new face of the sport and take it forward.”
Jackson, the world champion over 200m, stepped down to the 100m and registered a commanding win in a season’s best of 10.78 (1.6 m/s), also breaking the meeting record. Bahamian sprinter Anthonique Strachan’s upward trajectory continued as she finished second in a season’s best of 10.99.
“I think it was a solid run tonight,” said Jackson. “My start has improved tremendously and I know my coach is smiling and definitely I’m taking it one step at a time and looking forward to greater things this season.”
SOURCE: NOEL FRANCIS FOR WORLD ATHLETICS