Jackson leads J’cans into Diamond League opener
Led by Tokyo Olympic 100m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson, nine Jamaicans will begin their Diamond League season at the Ooredoo Doha Meet, in Doha, Qatar, on Friday.
Jackson will open her 200m campaign at the meet, facing reigning 200m World champion Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain, and Olympic 200m bronze medallist Gabby Thomas of the United States at 12:36 p.m. Jamaica time. Jackson finished second in last season's Diamond League final, setting a personal best of 21.81 seconds in the process.
Olympic 100m hurdles bronze medallist Megan Tapper will also be in action as well as her national teammate Britany Anderson in the women's 100m hurdles at 12:02 p.m. Tapper opened her season at the Velocity Fest 11 last month, clocking 12.80, while Anderson clocked a season's best of 12.68 last month. Both will be facing Olympic and World Athletics Championships silver medallist Kendra Harrison of the United States.
Stephanie Ann McPherson, the 2016 Diamond League 400m champion, and Olympic 4x400m relay bronze medallist Candice McCleod will line up with two-time Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of The Bahamas at 11:04 a.m., while Olympian Jaheel Hyde will run his first 400m hurdles race of the season at 11:35 a.m., facing Olympic silver medallist Rai Benjamin of the United States and World Championship bronze medallist Abderrahman Samba of Qatar.
In the field, World Championship triple jump silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts will make her start to her international campaign in the triple jump event at 10:23 a.m., with her national teammate Kimberly Williams. Meanwhile, World Championship silver medallist Danniel Thomas-Dodd will begin her international season in the shot put after opening her outdoor season with two events in the United States. She has a season's best of 18.92m which she threw in her outdoor season opener on April 16.
Among the other events on the track are the Men's 200m at 12:12 p.m., which will be a battle between Olympic champion Andre De Grasse of Canada, World Champion Noah Lyles, and Olympic 100m silver medallist Fred Kerley, both of the United States.