Running against a tough field at the 40th edition of the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea, the Italian leg of the Wanda Diamond League, at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, Italy, Bahamian female sprinter Anthonique Strachan had to settle for a ninth place finish overall in the women’s 100 meters (m).
Strachan, who is known more for the 200m, lined up against some of the world’s top sprinting stars in the 100m including her training partner and friend Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica. The double sprint Olympic Champion took the tape in Rome in a world-leading time of 10.85 seconds. American Aleia Hobbs, a former National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Champion, finished a distant second in a season’s best time of 11.12 seconds, and world championships double sprint silver medalist Marie-Josée Ta Lou, of the Ivory Coast, finished third in a season’s best time of 11.14 seconds.
In her first meet out of Jamaica this season, Strachan ran a season’s best time of 11.42 seconds, but had to settle for ninth overall. Her previous best this season was 11.46 seconds. Strachan, 27, has achieved marginal success in the 200m this season, running a couple sub-23 second races. Clocking 22.67 and 22.72 in Jamaica, she produced her fastest times in over five years.
As for the shorter sprint in Rome, Thompson-Herah said she was super-excited with the result. It was the third time in her career winning the women’s 100m on the Olympic
“This tells me where I am at, at the end of this season, and tells me how I can prepare for next year,” she said. “This year required me adjusting, and the goal was to push back and motivate myself. I am the double Olympic Champion and I want to be in top form next season.”
The highlight of the meet was a new world record in the men’s pole vault as Armand Duplantis, of Sweden, erased Ukranian Sergey Bubka’s 26-year-old mark of 6.14m (20’ 1-3/4”). He set the new record at 6.15m (20’ 2-1/4”).
As for the Olympics, that has been pushed to next year, due to the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now set for July 23 to August 8, still in Tokyo, Japan.
The Rome Diamond League Meet was held last Thursday and is the penultimate Diamond League Meet of the season. Strachan will also compete in the finale, the Wanda Doha Diamond League Meet, set for this Friday at the Doha’s Qatar Sports Club in Doha, Qatar, where she will face pretty much the same competition.
Competing in Doha, the former double sprint world junior champion returns to the site of the world championships from a year ago, where she suffered a grade two hamstring tear in the semifinals of the women’s 200m. She has bounced back strongly this season and is looking to finish the season on a positive note.