• Deji's Doodles #10: Oblique Seville runs fastest time by a Jamaican since Bolt in 2016, and it's a make or mar race for Sha'Carri Richardson in Eugene

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    Deji Ogeyingbo

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    Another fantastic week of track & field as we build to the US Champs (June 23-26) and World Champs (July 14-25). Deji Ogeyingbo, our man in Nigeria, wrote his tenth Deji Doodle's column. I don't know about you, but I love seeing these on Friday afternoons. Great way to begin the weekend!

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    Obique Seville, from You Tube

    Oblique Seville runs the fastest time by a Jamaican since Bolt in 2016, and it's a make or mar race for Sha'Carri Richardson in Eugene this weekend.



    Another one week of track and field action gave us lots of subplots to cherish. From Dina Asher-Smith's win in Birmingham to Oblique Seville blazing the track in Kingston, here are some of the bests talking points from the last seven days plus Eugune is set to buzz the athletics world.

    Oblique Seville's 9.86 win at the Jubilee Series in Jamaica changes the dynamics of the men's 100m, but is it enough for him to get a medal in Oregon?


    Jamaica is known as one of the top sprinting nations in athletics for over three decades now. Their dominance is unprecedented as they are the only ones who seem to consistently challenge the Americans on the top stage. Asafa Powell, Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake...these guys basically redefined what sprinting was at the top level and their numbers speak for themselves.

    oblique seville .jpeg

    Oblique Seville, from You Tube


    It felt rather strange that since Bolt's retirement in 2017, no Jamaican male sprinter has run inside 9.90s. That's almost half a decade. Cue in Oblique Seville. Just over the weekend at the Jubilee Series in Kingston, the 21-year-Old blazed to a new Personal Best of 9.86s to win the men's 100.


    The time automatically moved him up to as the sixth fastest man in Jamaica, behind Bolt (9.58), Blake (9.69), Powell (9.72), Nester Carter (9.78), and Steve Mullings (9.80). Superficially, it surely is s huge accomplishment for Seville considering the sort of careers the men above him had.


    After reaching the Tokyo Olympics semis, and with his previous best at 10.00, this massive improvement puts him as the second-fastest man in the World this year just behind Kenya's Ferdinand Omanyala. Certainly, he gets into the conversation as one of the leading contenders ahead of the World Championships in Oregon. The question is it just a one-off or he can replicate it on a consistent level. We wait and see.

    Hansle Parchment crisp win in Birmingham puts makes him a front runner for the World title



    Hansel Parchment has been around for a while now. The Jamaican won the Bronze at the 2012 Olympics and has a PB of 12.94 for almost eight years now, but more importantly, his resilience and consistency are admired by many athletes.


    After his win at the Tokyo Olympics last year, it seemed he was just getting the reward for his patience and it provided a springboard for him to maintain his status as one of the top sprint hurdlers in the world.

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    Hansle Parchment battles Omar McLeod, Birmingham 2022, photo by Martin Bateman


    In Birmingham, he went head-to-head with his Jamaican compatriot and fellow Olympic gold medallist Omar McLeod. McLeod naturally is the better sprinter, so he shot into the lead in the first four hurdles. But here's where the brilliance of Parchment came into the fray. In a similar fashion in which he reeled Grant Holloway to pip him to Gold in Tokyo last year, the Jamaican held his nerve and he effortlessly jumped past McLeod to take the win in a world lead of 13.09 (0.2m/s), with Rio Olympics winner McLeod second in 13.17.


    He still hasn't run inside 13 seconds in over seven years, a time which is expected from one of the best Sprint-hurdlers to win a global championship. But like we have come to realize, especially with Parchment, winning goes beyond time. His gracefulness when he steps on the track see, to be on another level at the moment, and it will take something special to stop him.

    Marcell Jacobs' latest absence in Eugene raises questions about his chances of winning his first World title



    At what point do you get to race against the best if you are an Olympic Champion? Well, the world would have to wait for Marcell Jacobs before we get to see him up against some of the best sprinters outdoors after he tweeted on Wednesday that he would be missing the Eugene Diamond League after an MRI showed a distraction-elongation of the first degree and he won't be able to run for the next 10 days.
    This is not the first time he would be missing in action in a high-caliber field of sprinters. An intestinal problem forced him to withdraw from the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Nairobi earlier this year. But this was what the world was looking forward to.

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    Marcel Jacobs, photo by KIP KEINO CLASSIC


    A meeting against Treyvon Bromell, the fastest man in 2021, the Olympic 100m Silver medallist in Fred Kerley, the Olympic 200m Gold medallist in Andre De Grasse, and the defending World champion in Christian Coleman. It was a race for the ages, a prelude to the World Championship that would take place at this same stadium (Hayward field).


    Sadly, we would have to wait for the champs themselves in July before these guys go up against each other. Jacobs opened his season with a 10.04s clocking at the World Athletics Continental Tour Challenger meeting in Italy last week, but he didn't look in pristine form as he struggled to the line.


    So, what does this means for Jacobs? Is he avoiding races or is he truly not well? Either way, it doesn't bode well for him if he's injured this close to a major championship. Despite him proving himself with his 60m win at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, there still seems to be a cloud hanging on his head about his ability to replicate his Olympic 100m win when racing against the top guys. Missing out on Eugene doesn't help allay those fears.

    It's a make-or-mar race for Sha'Carri Richardson in Eugene!


    Exactly one year since she last raced against some of the big guns over the 100m, Sha'Carri Richardson will be back to the Prefontaine Classic this weekend as she squares up against Elaine-Thompson Herah, Shericka Jackson, and Dina Asher-Smith.


    Since her breathtaking 10.64 wind-aided times at the US trials, Richardson wasn't able to compete at the Olympics after she tested positive for cannabis at the same trials and was banned for three months. Seeking redemption will be top of her list especially since she flopped at the last Prefontaine classic, clocking 11.14, a race Thompson-Herah ran a world lead of 10.54 (the second-fastest time in history).

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    Sha' Carri Richardson, photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto


    Richardson's 100m times since she was brought down to earth by the Jamaicans reads, 11.19, 11.27, and 11.37. That's not even up to collegiate standard. For context, she's the 37th fastest female athlete in the US this year with Cambrea Sturgis topping the list on 10.87.
    It's a make-or-mar race for her the stubby athlete, one that might just define her career.
     
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