Another international feast of competition delivered a series of standout performances for Altis athletes this weekend. Whilst the sprint crew featured in the US, Cayman and China – with highlights including a South African National Record – the jumpers battled it out in the desert heat of Doha and Arizona, matching the rising mercury with standout performances including a Paralympic American Record.
Anaso Jobodwana won the Cayman Invitational 200m in a PR and South African record of 20.06s, beating Zharnel Hughes, Jason Livermore and Delano Williams; whilst also eclipsing Morne Nagel’s previous record of 20.11s from 2002 (-0.8s) in Germiston.
“Anaso’s result was the highlight of the weekend” said performance director, Stuart McMillan. “Breaking a National Record is a massive accomplishment, but we expect so much more from Anaso. He has yet to put anything like a complete race together, and I am looking forward to him running sub-20 seconds once he does. His next race is at the Prefontaine Classic at the Eugene Diamond League Meet, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he does there.”
In the men’s Triple Jump Josh Honeycutt finished 2nd with a leap of 16.26m (0.0). Coach Hierholzer was satisfied with the performance: “Josh continues to be solid in the Triple Jump this season. For his first International meet of the year, the performance is fine. He is building a solid cluster of performances in all conditions, and we are highly confident he is not far away from some bigger jumps.”
Doha Diamond League
Christabel Nettey scored a top three place in the women’s Long Jump, coming away with a wind legal (+0.5) performance of 6.93m on the back of her 6.98m Canadian Outdoor Record set in April.
“We are pleased with a podium finish in the season’s first Diamond League meeting” Coach Dan Pfaff reflected. “Christabel had some technical issues with the approach, but competed well against a field she will see again in Beijing come August.”
Shanghai Diamond League
Aries Merritt finished in 3rd place in the men’s 110m Hurdles, with a Season’s Best time of 13.29s.
“Aries put together a much better front end of his race” said Coach Behm “but unfortunately clipped a hurdle which caused him to lose rhythm, but he recovered nicely enough though to finish in third place.”
Overcoming a rocky start, Gowda had to settle for third place following a fifth round throw of 63.90m. The result fetched him one Diamond League point and some lessons learned – as explained by Coach Godina: “This was certainly not the level of performance Vikas is used to, but considering the travel schedule following the competition in Jamaica, we chalk it up to a learning experience and look forward to the Eugene Diamond League.”
Meanwhile, in the women’s 100m a frustrating race for Muna Lee resulted in a 6th place finish in a time of 11.48s – “it was a very restless crowd in the stadium, causing Muna to not hear the start gun” explained Coach Behm. “Her reaction time was .255 based off everyone else’s movement. At that point she was just playing catch up with the rest of the field.”
The highlight in a slightly windy Florida was Akeem Haynes’ season opener, where he finished 3rd in a strong field in the 100m. Akeem left Clermont with the two fastest times of his career – 10.16s in the prelim, and 10.06s in the final (+3.0) – boding well for the remainder of the year.
“After some time away with the Canadian Relay Program, Akeem finally got his 2015 season off the mark. Although rusty, Akeem’s performance was very good” said Coach McMillan. “He has come away happy and healthy – and ready for his next challenge.”
Also in Clermont, Lindsay Lindley ran her second ever sub 13s for the 100m Hurdles as she dipped under the mark in 12.99s for a solid 5th place finish.
2015 Desert Challenge Grand Prix
Lacey Henderson broke the Paralympic American Record this weekend at the Paralympic Desert Challenge in Tempe, AZ – with a distance of 3.46m (1.3).
“It was a pretty impressive performance given that the competition started at 8 in the morning” said Coach Hierholzer. “Lacey is continuing to work on her major Key Performance Indicators, and we are just chipping away a little bit each week. She is working on a solid cluster of performances, and we would be surprised if she hit a bigger jump as the season progresses.”