Big Performances of the Week

Seville Stuns Lyles

Rising Jamaican sprinter Oblique Seville upstaged the World 100m reigning champion, Noah Lyles of the USA, at the Racers Grand Prix meet in Kingston last night (June 1) by defeating him over 100m. Seville clocked a personal best 9.82secs, a world lead.

Drawn in lane three – beside his training partner Zharnel Hughes of Britain to his right – with Lyles two lanes over in lane five, Seville got out of the blocks with a cracking start ahead of the field, forcing Lyles to call on his usual top end speed and long strides that reel in those in front of him. But Seville held off Lyles who gained on him as he cut his speed with enough time to look across at Lyles as the crossed the line.

The American clocked 9.85 (+0.9 wind) for second, and Ferdinand Omanyala of Kenya snatched third in 10.02, edging out Kendal Williams of the USA (10.06), and Hughes of Britain (10.09).

Rounding out the field were: Josephus Lyles of the USA (10.14), Kadrian Goldson of Jamaica (10.18), and his compatriot Tyquendo Tracey (10.30).  

Lyles later complained that he was disappointed with how quickly the race was started “when half of us were’t set before the gun went off.” Lyles had the slowest reaction time (0.189) in the field. Seville was fourth with 0.163):

Alfred Impressive

In the women’s equivalent, St. Lucia’s Julian Alfred never looked better in a race as she did last night.

The running style of the 23-yr-old World Indoor 60m defending champion was less about her usual power-runner form and more about running tall and bouncing decisively. After transitioning from a somewhat ordinary start into her drive phase and mid-race acceleration, Alfred quickly separated herself and zoomed away to a world-leading 10.78 (+1.3 wind) and new personal best that equaled the meet record by Shericka Jackson.

Alfred was on familiar ground and felt at home in the environment she ran when she attended high school in Jamaica and was a sprints standout at the national high school championships (Champs).

She is familiar with the vuvuzela and flag-waving energy inside the National Stadium where fans blow and scream their support for athletes as they compete.

Jamaica’s Krystal Sloley was second in a new personal best and Olympic qualifying time 10.99; it was her third personal best in three weeks. Jamaica’s Sashalee Forbes, running her second race after returning from injury, registered 11.05 for third ahead of Jamaicans Tina Clayton (11.17); Remona Burchell (11.20); Alana Reid (11.25); Mikiah Brisco of the USA (11.31); and Kemba Nelson of Jamaica (11.35).

Alfred’s run showed that she is ready to challenge the best in Paris.

Hibbert Flies Again

And then there was Jaydon Hibbert, Jamaica’s teen-aged leading triple jumper. The favorite to win gold at the 2023 Budapest World Championships after winning every competition he entered just before and in college, Hibbert picked up an injury on the runway in Budapest and aborted his efforts.

That injury is behind Hibbert, and last night he jumped a massive 17.75 meters (-0.7 wind), the stadium record he owned, and a world-leading jump even, though he lost inches on the take-off board. Hibbert usually puts pressure on other jumpers early in the competition but was in second place at the end of the first-round jumps. The exuberant teenager used his second effort to secure the title unchallenged. He later said that had his coach been at the meet, he would have gotten it [his best effort] in his first round. He also noted that he was using the 14-step approach for the first time this season as opposed to eight steps.

The 19-yr-old did not hide his emotions after his last jump that took him beyond the 17-meter marker. He sent the crowd into a frenzy.

Hibbert’s personal best of 17.87 is the number two jump behind the Jamaica record of 19.92 by James Beckford.

He plans to do both long and triple jumps later this season. 

Trailing Hibbert were Jamaicans O’Brien Wasome (16.64); Jordan Scott (16.06); Bahamian Kaiwan Culmer (15.91): Chris Carter of the USA (15.68); and Damon Williams (15.31).