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Campbell-Brown wind-aided 10.85 leads four Caribbean wins in Thessaloniki

10 July 2008

By Gary Smith

Olympic 200m champion Veronica Campbell-Brown led the way for four Caribbean winners at the 2008 "Olympic Meeting" in Thessaloniki on Wednesday.

US Virgin Islands' Laverne Jones and Jamaicans Ricardo Chambers and Sheteefa Lloyd were the other champions on a windy evening.

No contest here

Campbell-Brown, who two weeks ago ran 10.88-seconds to finish fourth in the women's 100m at the Jamaica trials, clocked a slightly wind-aided 10.85-secs (2.6 m/s) to totally dominate the shortest event in the outdoor campaign.

"It’s a pretty good time, I’m very happy. I feel welcome and always I have a good time when I am here," said Campbell-Brown.

Following the Jamaican home was American World Indoor 60m champion Angela Williams (11.17), while US Virgin Islands in-form sprinter Laverna Jones (11.26) and Thaesia Harrigan (11.37) of British Virgin Islands finished third and fourth respectively.

Jones returned later in the night to take the 200m in 22.47-secs (3.6 m/s), pushed again by a heavy tail wind.

She flashed home ahead of Jamaica's NCAA champion Simone Facey, at 22.77 and American Debbie Dan, 22.98. Harrigan, 23.78, finished fifth in the race, but was pushed down to sixth overall after the two heats were combined.

The other top podium female Caribbean athlete at the meeting was Sheteefa Lloyd, who ran a strong race from the start to win the women's 400m dash in 51.34.

The Jamaican left Russia's Ksenia Zadorina well beaten in second place with a time of 52.62, while Jamaica's Clora Williams, the sister of world championships bronze medallist Novlene Williams finished fourth in 53.38.

Chambers dominates 400m

Former NCAA champion Ricardo Chambers was the fourth winner from the region on the night -- speeding home to victory in the men's 400m dash.

Following their close encounter at the Jamaica trials, the match up between Chambers and his countryman Sanjay Ayre was billed to be another thriller.

However, Chambers turned in a powerful performance to win in 45.37, leaving Ayre battling for second place with 46.04. Two weeks ago in Kingston, the sprinters featured in an exciting race where they both ran 45.24 to book their Olympic places.

Former two-time Indoor champion Alleyne Francique of Grenada continues to struggle this season, as he could only manage a 46.34 fifth place finish. His best this season is 45.87, achieved in Madrid when finishing 5th at the 2008 Meeting de Atletismo Madrid.

Top three finishes for Christian

Quality performances on the night also came from Antiguan star sprinter Christian Brendan, who picked up third in the 100m in 10.10 (3.0 m/s) behind Ghana's Aziz Zakari (10.08) before improving to second in the 200m with 20.17 (3.0 m/s).

He was beaten by Zimbabwe's Brian Dzingai 20.06 in the half-lap race. Dominica's Chris Lloyd ran 20.70 for fourth.

Meanwhile, the anticipated match up in the women's Triple Jump did materialise, but pre-meet favourite Yargelis Savigne of Cuba was beaten into second place.

The event went to Greek jumper Chrysopigi Devetzi, who won the high quality competition with a world-leading mark of 15.22m.

Savigne, the previous world leader with 15.05m, produced a seasonal best of 15.15m for second. Slovenia's world indoor bronze medal winner Marija Sestak took third with a jump of 14.90m.

Other regional contestants in Thessaloniki were Jamaicans Stoddart Shevon (56.43) for third in the women's 400m hurdles, Richard Phillips (13.62) for third in the men's 110m Hurdles and James Beckford, who struggled to 7.88m for sixth in the men's Long Jump.

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