Leaping forward - Brown to debut as pro at Monaco Diamond League

July 04, 2019
Jamaica’s Janeek Brown (left), representing the University of Arkansas, edges out Louisiana State University’s Tonea Marshall (centre) and Southern California’s Chanel Brissett (right) to win the women’s 100 hurdles during the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, June 8.
Jamaica’s Janeek Brown (left), representing the University of Arkansas, edges out Louisiana State University’s Tonea Marshall (centre) and Southern California’s Chanel Brissett (right) to win the women’s 100 hurdles during the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, June 8.

Janeek Brown, the fastest 100m hurdler in the world, will open a new chapter in her track and field career next Friday. Brown will run her first race as a professional at the Monaco leg of the IAAF Diamond League on July 11. Brown, who has lowered the Jamaican record to 12.40 seconds, will face a crack field, including the last two Olympic champions, and world record holder Kendra Harrison.

Brown cut the Jamaica record from 12.45 at the NCAA Championships running for the University of Arkansas. The in-form hurdler has also logged times of 12.53, 12.55 and 12.57 seconds this year. In a Monaco race that has the feel of an Olympic or World final, the 21-year-old will match spikes with Harrison, 2012 Olympic champion Sally Pearson of Australia, and the 2016 winner Brianna McNeal.

Also listed in Monaco is Jamaica's 2015 World Champion Danielle Williams, the winner of the Doha Diamond League 100m hurdles race, and Germany's Pamela Dutkiewicz, the 2017 World Championship bronze medallist.

Harrison set the record at 12.20 seconds in 2016 and this year, was the fastest hurdler in the world with her run of 12.47 in Baie Mahault, Guadeloupe on May 18.

McNeal was also World champion in 2013 and has a personal best of 12.26 seconds.

Brown's ISSA Awards

As a schoolgirl, Brown won gold medals in the Class Two and Three sprint hurdles at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships for Wolmer's Girls School. She broke the 13-second barrier in 2018, her first at the University of Arkansas, clocking a season's best of 12.80 seconds. She dislodged the 2003 mark of 12.45 by Brigitte Foster-Hylton on June 8 to win the NCAA Division 1 title in Austin, Texas.

Other Jamaicans down to start in Monaco are Rushell Clayton, Janieve Russell, Natoya Goule and Elaine Thompson. Clayton and Russell go in the 400m hurdles after the former's breakthrough win at last month's JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Athletics Championships, with Goule running the 800m and Thompson, the Olympic 100 and 200m champion facing Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas in the 200m.

Triple jumpers Shanieka Ricketts and Kimberly Williams will also be in action at the event, however, their participation will be on July 11.

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