Jamaica’s Blake shows he is not a spent force

BIRMINGHAM (United Kingdom): Bahamas star Shaunae Miller-Uibo came from behind to overhaul home hope Dina Asher-Smith and win a star-studded women’s 200 metres at the Birmingham Diamond League meeting on Sunday. Asher-Smith fell just short, as did her compatriot Adam Gemili in the men’s 100m, the injury-plagued sprinter being held off by the slimmest of margins by Jamaica’s 2011 world champion Yohan Blake.

There was a consolation for AsherSmith as well as two-time world champion at the distance Dafne Schippers who finished a distant fourth. That’s because Miller-Uibo will only contest the event in which she is Olympic champion — the 400m — at the world championships in Doha which begin on September 27. “Nothing went right for me from the get go,” said Miller-Uibo. “I had to really fight to get back on level terms but once I pulled upsides her I knew I had the power to win,” added the 25-year-old. Asher-Smith was satisfied with her run which saw Jamaican great Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce finish third.

Jamaica’s Yohan Blake reacts after his victory in the men’s 100m final during the 2019 IAAF Birmingham Diamond League athletics meeting at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham on August 18, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)
US athlete Shaunae Miller-Uibo (centre), Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith (right) and Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce pose together after their 1-2-3 in the women’s 200m on Sunday. Photo: AFP

“The competitor inside me always wants to win but with that field I am more than satisfied to be second,” said Asher-Smith. Blake and Gemili have both had injury woes down the years but they provided a thrilling finish to the 100 metres. Blake timed 10.07sec holding on by eight thousandths of a second from the fast-finishing Gemili in a race that had lost some of its lustre with the withdrawal on Friday of American champion Christian Coleman.

“I am feeling good and I want to keep on improving,” said 29-yearold Blake. “I wanted to put on a good show and lay down a marker.” For Gemili it was a very encouraging performance with the likes of training partner and triple Olympic medalist Andre de Grasse and C o m m o n wealth champion Akani S i m b i n e behind him. “To finish second in a field like this is fantastic,” he said. D a n i e l l e Williams landed a big psychological blow ahead of the world championships, Jamaica’s 100 metres hurdles world champion in 2015 winning in a meeting record of 12.48 seconds. – AFP