Athletics: Athletics-Injury scare for Tajay Gayle in long jump

KINGSTON, Jamaica (Reuters) – Reigning world championship long jump gold medallist Tajay Gayle suffered an injury scare to his left knee while attempting to win his third national title on day three of the Jamaican trials.

After fouling his first two jumps and struggling to get up to 8 metres on his third and fourth attempts, Gayle landed badly on his fifth jump.

He walked away from the sand pit, before being taken to the medical area via wheelchair to be assessed. Gayle later walked back to the warm-up area on his own.

“His ligaments are intact, but we will continue to evaluate for the next 48 hours,” a member of Gayle’s management team told Reuters.

The injury scare for Gayle, who has a wildcard entry to defend his world title, comes three weeks ahead of the start of the World Championships in Oregon on July 15.

Gayle, who retired injured at last summer’s Tokyo Olympic final with an injury to the same knee, has not registered a mark close to his career best of 8.69 metres that won the world title in Doha, Qatar, in 2019.

His effort of 7.97 metres for second place on Saturday was his best jump of the season.

NCAA champion Wayne Pinnock won with 8.14 metres on his first jump before retiring.

Earlier on Saturday, 2019 silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts produced a below par 14.27 metres to win her fourth triple jump title.

On the track, Jamaica’s top 200 metres sprinters and sprint hurdlers, who are expected to challenge for medals at the world championships, all made easy progress to Sunday’s finals.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was fastest in qualifying for the final of the half lap event with a time of 22.54 seconds.

Olympic Champion Elaine Thompson-Herah won semi-final one in 22.68 seconds, while 100 metres champion Shericka Jackson easily took semi-final two in 22.85 seconds.

Yohan Blake, fresh from his 9.85 seconds time in his 100 metres win on Friday, cruised to 20.24 seconds to win his 200 metres semi-final and remained on course for the sprint double.

In the 110 metres hurdles, Olympic champion Hansle Parchment looked the most impressive in qualifying for Sunday’s final, stopping the clock at 13.24 seconds.

Olympic finalist Britany Anderson led all qualifiers for the 100 metres hurdles championship decider with a season best of 12.45 seconds, while Tokyo bronze medallist Megan Tapper won the first semi-final in a season best 12.60 seconds.

(Reporting by Kayon Raynor in Kingston; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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