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Trinidadian Darrel Brown defends Prefontaine 100m title

9 June 2008

By Gary Smith

Trinidad and Tobago’s Darrel Brown defended his 100-metre dash title on a beautiful Sunday at the 2008 Nike Prefontaine Classic Track and Field meeting at a newly renovated Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

After facing some trouble with the blocks before the race, Brown came back from a slow start to power down the home straight in a winning performance of 10.07seconds (-0.5 m/s). The defending champion managed to catch Americans Ivory Williams (10.10) and teenager Jeffery Demps (10.19) with his strong finish.

"My starting block kept slipping back so we went back the first time. It also slipped the second time, but we just kept on," Brown said after the race.

The other Caribbean athlete in race was Brown’s Jamaican training partner Michael Frater, who could only manage sixth place with 10.24.

The women’s race was also equally competitive, with two Jamaicans Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart both breaking 11-seconds in a close finish for second and third.

After a false-start which put the entire field on the edge, American 2003 World champion Torri Edwards, who was the one called for the early start, got out quickly the second time and held off the fast finishing Jamaicans to win in 10.94.

This was a good sign for the Jamaican public in particular, as Simpson showed that she was back in world ranking form, following a set back because of injury last season, by sprinting home in 10.99 – becoming the fourth Jamaican to run under 11-seconds this season.

Stewart, who was the first in the group to achieve the feat this season, was also timed at 10.99 for third place. Another Jamaican, Peta-Gaye Dowdie came home seventh in 11.31.

There were also top three placings for other regional representatives at a meeting where the fans gathered in their thousands to say good bye to Mozambique distant legend Maria Mutola, who captured her 16th straight 800m crown in 1:59.24 at her second home.

Trinidad and Tobago's Renny Quow, Jamaicans Shericka Williams and Lacena Golding-Clarke, as well as Bahamas’ Leevan Sands were the others who sealed podium positions on Sunday.

In the women’s 400m Jamaican-born Sanya Richards dominated a strong field to post a modest time of 50.10. Her countrywoman Mary Wineberg clocked 50.32 for second with Jamaican Shericka Williams coming home third in 50.34.

World championships silver medallist Novlene Williams (JAM) never fully recovered from a slow opening 200m and was fourth in 50.92.

Quow ran another strong final 150m to take third in the men’s race easily captured by American LaShawn Merritt in 44.65. USA’s Angelo Taylor took second, at 45.14, while Quow finished behind him, at 45.41.

Golding-Clarke home third in the women’s 100m Hurdle in 12.65. Olympic champion Joanna Hayes won in 12.53, while Jamaica’s two-time world medallist Brigitte Foster-Hylton finished fifth in 12.75.

Sands competed in the men’s Triple Jump competition and picked up third place with a best leap of 16.94m.

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