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Athletics: Dwyer edges Weir for Jamaican 200m title

Rasheed Dwyer won the men's 200m at the Jamaican athletics championships on Sunday, holding off season-leader Warren Weir as four new names nabbed titles on the final day of the meeting.

KINGSTON: Rasheed Dwyer won the men's 200m at the Jamaican athletics championships on Sunday, holding off season-leader Warren Weir as four new names nabbed titles on the final day of the meeting.

Dwyer, the former World University Games champion, produced a personal best 20.04 seconds to upset Weir, who settled for second in 20.17.

Jason Livermore was third in 20.25 seconds.

Dwyer, who also won the Jamaican Invitational in May, said he was "more confident this year and it is paying off".

Although he didn't retain his national title, Weir said he had stuck to his race plan and achieved his aim of qualifying for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, July 23-August 3.

"I just came out to make the team to the Commonwealth Games," said Olympic 200m bronze medalist Weir. "It's a long season and I have a lot of races to come."

Anneisha McLaughlin, who was injured in the semi-finals of the World Championships last year, was delighted with her first national title in the women's 200m, despite a modest time of 22.79sec.

"It is great to be the national champion of Jamaica, we have so many great runners, I am very happy," she said.

Schillonie Calvert, who was third in the 100m on Friday, was second in 22.88 with Samantha Henry-Robinson third in 23.15.

Sherone Simpson, competing pending the outcome of her doping ban appeal, was fourth -- after failing to make it to the 100m final.

Akheem Gauntlett won the men's 400m for his first national title, producing a personal best 45.00 seconds to be the joint fastest Jamaican man this season with Javon Francis.

Rusheen McDonald was second in 45.25 and Hugh Graham third in 45.43.

Monique Morgan posted a personal best of 12.94sec in the 100m hurdles semi-finals, then went on to win the final in 12.96 for her first Jamaican title.

But it wasn't all new names atop the podium.

Novlene Williams-Mills won her eighth women's 400m title in a time of 50.05sec, signalling her intentions for Glasgow with the triumph over a strong field that included 10 of the fastest Jamaicans ever in the event.

Williams-Mills who won a bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2006, held off a fast finishing Christine Day who ran a personal best 50.16 seconds.

World Championships finalist Stephenie-Ann McPherson, who is battling injuries and said she was "only about 80 per cent fit," was third in 50.50.

Williams-Mills who was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly before the 2012 London Olympics -- where she earned 4 x 400m relay bronze -- said she had lessened her work load in training and the rest had helped her to run fast consistently this season.

"Every day is a blessing for me," she said. "I am finally starting to feel like myself again."

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