Rohan Watson, Jonielle Smith win 100m in Italy Loop Jamaica

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Rohan Watson (left) from MVP Track Club races to win the men’s 100m final on the second day of the National Senior and Junior Championships at the National Stadium on Friday, July 7, 2023. (PHOTO: Marlon Reid).

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Jamaicans Rohan Watson and Jonielle Smith emerged as winners at Friday’s International Meeting of Athletics Solidarity Sport in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy, a World Athletics Continental Tour Challenger meet.

Watson, who surprised many track and field enthusiasts with a personal best time of 9.91 seconds to secure the 100m title at the Jamaican Championships in Kingston last week, clocked 10.11 seconds to claim first place. He outpaced Liberia’s Emmanuel Matadi (10.17 seconds) and Cuba’s Yenns Fernandez (10.20 seconds).

In the women’s equivalent, Jonielle Smith led a Jamaican sweep by recording a time of 11.19 seconds. Natasha Morrison, who had finished second at the Jamaican Championships, secured second place with a time of 11.25 seconds, while Krystal Sloley achieved a personal best time of 11.41 seconds to finish third.

Sada Williams of Barbados, the Commonwealth Champion in the 400m, set a meet record and achieved a season’s best time of 50.80 seconds to triumph in the event. Jamaican Charokee Young finished second with a time of 51.13 seconds, followed by the USA’s Kaylin Whitley with a time of 52.01 seconds.

Rusheen McDonald, Jamaica’s national record holder in the 400m, ran a season’s best time of 44.83 seconds, securing second place in the event. He was bested by Botswanan sensation Letsile Tebogo, who achieved a personal best time of 44.75 seconds to claim victory. South African athlete Lythe Pillay finished third with a time of 45.57 seconds.

In the high jump discipline, Jamaican athlete Christoff Bryan cleared a height of 2.19 m, earning him third place. He was preceded by Italy’s Manuel Lando (2.25m) and Marco Fassinotti (2.22m).

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