Reigning 60m world champion Danielle Williams and sprinter Shashalee Forbes emerged as the best-placed Jamaican athletes at the 116th staging of the Millrose Games, a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting held in New York on Sunday.
Williams, taking the runner-up spot in the women’s 60m, was outpaced by Devynne Charlton, who set a remarkable world record of 7.67 to secure victory.
Charlton beat Swede Susanna Kallur’s 2008 world record by one-hundredth of a second.
Placed between two-time world champion Williams and Nia Ali, a two-time indoor world champ, the Bahamian rocketed out of the blocks and led wire-to-wire.
Williams finished with a time of 7.79 for second place, while Tia Jones, whose personal best of 7.72 stood out in the field last week in Boston, also clocked 7.79 for third place. Ackera Nugent of Jamaica finished closely behind in fourth place with a time of 7.80, while the other Jamaican, Megan Tapper, secured seventh place in 7.98.
Forbes settled for second place in the women’s 60m, as Julien Alfred of St Lucia secured victory with a world-leading time of 6.99, her fourth-fastest indoor 60m, and an improvement of .05 from her previous season’s best.
Forbes finished with a time of 7.14, well behind Alfred. Destiny Smith-Barnett of the USA finished third in 7.16 while Briana Williams, the other Jamaican, was fourth in 7.25.
“Sometimes at the end of races, I tend to fall apart,” Alfred said. “I knew I got away quickly, but it didn’t feel like a sub-7.00 race at all to me. It does give me encouragement going into the Olympics and World Indoors.”
In the men’s 60m hurdles, Jamaica’s Damion Thomas claimed fifth place with a time of 7.64, while his compatriots Orlando Bennett (7.76) and Giano Roberts (7.80) finished seventh and eighth, respectively. The unheralded Dylan Beard produced one of the biggest upsets of the evening when he sped to victory in 7.44, with the USA taking the first four places. Beard, whose personal best before this year was 7.68, defeated world medallists Daniel Roberts (7.51) and Trey Cunningham (7.52). Cordell Tinch was a close fourth in 7.52.
In the men’s 60m, Ackeem Blake claimed third place with a time of 6.55, while his fellow Jamaican Ryiem Forde secured fourth place with 6.60. Christian Coleman won the race.
It was Coleman’s third straight Millrose 60m on his season opener. The world record-holder trailed Japan’s Hakim Sani Brown but thundered to the tape in 6.51. Sani Brown was second in 6.54, equalling his personal best.