JONNIE PEACOCK overcame illness to win in the Great North CityGames on Gateshead quayside, on a day when World Athletics Championship medallist Dina Asher Smith shone on her victory lap at the free to spectate athletics event.
Peacock had to delay his travel to the North-East after becoming ill, but arrived in time to record a victory in the men’s Para Athletics T44 100m on the pop-up track in NewcastleGateshead.
Peacock’s attentions now switch to Strictly Come Dancing and the popular para athlete said: “In the two races since the world championships - Birmingham and here - In the week leading up to both of them, I’ve been sick. It was not fun.
“Just coming out here, it’s so enjoyable, it’s one of the best meets of the year and you really look forward to it.
“The support that you get is amazing.
“And the Great CityGames, since 2013, have been fully behind para sport. They’ve had an event in every single competition so there’s a lot to be said for that. No other meet in the world has done that.”
There was a rare occurrence in the women’s long jump after the top three all recorded the same distance – 6.46.
Lorraine Ugen took the win on countback with her second best hump of 6.43 superior to that of Kseninja Balta and Jazmin Sawyers who finished second and third respectively.
Ugen said: “I’ve never seen that before, with everyone jumping the same distance. I kind of like these because they’re quite fun, you just get to bring the crowd in and have a fun competition.
“I wasn’t expecting everyone to jump the same distance! I think it makes it a bit more exciting when it’s like ooh what’s going to happen.”
Desiree Henry got the afternoon off to a fine start with victory in the women’s 100m, finishing four hundredths of a second ahead of 4x100m relay teammate Asha Philip, Henry clocking 11.61 for the win. South Africa’s Carina Horn was third with 11.78.
Henry said: “This 2017 season has absolutely been amazing for me. Just to come away with a win on my last race of the season.
“Just having the fans here and being so close made it feel so special.
“So I’m so glad to be able to come out here - I’ve had a lot of fun.”
In the first mile of the day, Jordan Williamsz won in 4.05.88, the Australian ahead of Brit Elliot Giles in 4.0617 and Marcin Lewandowski in 4.06.67.
Williamsz said: “It’s my first time here. I wasn’t too sure what to expect - I thought it was more built around the half marathon but that was awesome, such a good atmosphere the whole way around, there’s nothing like it, it was nothing like I’ve ever run. It certainly blew the expectations I had out of the window.”
With Aries Merritt pulling out of the men’s 110m hurdles in midweek, the path was cleared for Petr Svoboda to win in 13.62, with American Jarret Eaton second in 13.69 and Koen Smet third in 13.80.
Perri Shakes-Drayton earned a surprise victory in the women’s 500m, clocking 1.06.69 ahead of Anyika Onuora in 1.06.70 with Lisanne De Witte third with 1.07.19.
Shakes-Drayton said: “This wasn’t in my plan in terms of being here, because usually after my championships I’m done. I’ve never done Gateshead before, it’s my first time. Today to get the win, I’m in a good place.”
Nijel Amos won the men’s 500m in 59.26 from Guy Learmouth in 1.00.73 and Dwayne Cowan third in 1.01.01.
Melissa Courtney held off the threat of Kenya’s Winny Chebet to win the women’s mile in 4.33.83, with Chebet second in 4.34.42 and Rosie Clarke third in 4.34.42.
It was then the turn of the 150m where Asher-Smith and Bianca Williams, both of the silver medal-winning women’s 4x100m team from the World Championships in London this summer, were head to head over the rarely-raced distance.
Asher-Smith continued her remarkable recovery from a broken foot to win in 16.70 from Williams in 17.00 while Dutchwoman Naomi Sedney was third in 17.40.
Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, the anchor in the 4x100m men’s relay team who won the gold at the World Championships, was denied victory in the men’s 150m with the 23-year-old finishing second to Ameer Webb who clocked 15.24. Mitchell-Blake finished in 15.26 ahead of Harry Aikines-Aryeetey who clocked 15.38.
In the men’s pole vault, Urho Kujanpaa took victory with 5.45, the Finn finishing ahead of France’s Stanley Joseph and Finland’s Tomas Wecksten with 5.30 apiece.