Kingston Diary: Elaine Thompson headlines first IAAF World Challenge of 2018

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Thompson_Elaine1-Pre17.jpgElaine Thompson, photo by PhotoRun.net
Elaine Thompson the headliner
KINGSTON (JAM): Double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson is among the top stars for the first IAAF World Challenge meeting of 2018, in Kingston on Saturday. The Jamaican will face Commonwealth Games silver and bronze medallists Christania Williams and Gayon Evans, plus Natasha Morrison, who was fifth in Gold Coast. Shericka Jackson, who won Commonwealth silver in 22.18, is another home star and headlines the 200m line-up. She faces world No.1 Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor of Nigeria and world 400m champion Phyllis Francis of USA. Kyra Jefferson, the NCAA record-holder and London World Championships finalist Kimberlyn Duncan will also be in the half-lap event. Kim Collins, the 2013 world 100m champion, comes out of retirement again and faces Ronnie Baker and Mike Rodgers, plus Jamaican Julian Forte. Olympic champion Kerron Clement returns as meeting record-holder in the 400m hurdles and is up against twice world junior champion Jaheel Hyde, Puerto Rican Javier Culson plus the in-form Bahamian Jeffery Gibson, the Commonwealth silver medallist. In the women's event, Commonwealth champion Janieve Russell is challenged by Olympic bronze medallist Ashley Spencer. Commonwealth bronze medallist Javon Francis goes in the men's 400m, where Demish Gaye, Bralon Taplin and Kevin Borlee are among the contenders. US record-holder Gwen Berry heads the entries for the first round of the IAAF World Hammer Challenge. Following her recent 75.96, world No.2 DeAnna Price is also included, as are fellow Americans Jessica Ramsey, Jeneva Stevens and Amanda Bingson. European hopes lie with Hungary's Reka Gyuratz. Commonwealth shot champion Danniel Thomas-Dodd is another to watch out for in the field. Olympic long jump champion Tianna Bartoletta makes out her 2018 outdoor debut, facing Christobel Nettey, the world No.1.

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