KINGSTON, Jamaica – Former world record holder Asafa Powell gave Jamaicans something to cheer about with another commanding display as he easily advanced to the 100m semi-final, clocking 9.98 seconds, at the Supreme Ventures Jamaica National Senior Championship at the National Stadium Thursday night.
Powell, 32, drawn in lane five with Yohan Blake in lane seven, in what was supposed to be a close encounter, turned into an easy stroll for Powell, looking very much a renewed man on a mission.
He led from gun to tape and was never challenged as he registered another sub-10 clocking.
Blake, in just his third race since returning from an 11-month injury, was adjudged to be second in 10.24 seconds, the same time as Kemarley Brown of University of Technology (UTech), who was third.
With Usain Bolt withdrawing from the championship at the last minute, it was a pleasing sight for Jamaicans as they try to identify someone to challenge the high-riding American Justin Gatlin at the World Championship.
Meanwhile, Nesta Carter of MVP won heat two in 10.12 seconds, easing down ahead of Sheldon Mitchell of Swept Track Club in 10.13. UTech’s Tyquendo Tracey was third with 10.14 seconds and advanced to the semi-finals.
Commonwealth Games champion, Kemar Bailey-Cole of Racers took heat three in 10.05 seconds, the same as second-placed Andrew Fisher of UTech with the fast finishing Jason Livermore of Akan third in 10.06 seconds. Veteran Michael Frater of Racers was fourth in 10.14 and advanced as one of the fastest losers.
Nickel Ashmeade won the final quarter-final heat in 10.12 seconds ahead of former World Youth and World Junior champion Dexter Lee of Akan in 10.18 seconds. Jevaughn Minzie of Racers was third in 10.18 seconds.
The Women’s 100m quarter-finals was cancelled because of insufficient entries and will be run as semi-finals on Friday 7:00 pm with the final set for 9:00 pm.