By Kayon Raynor
KINGSTON (Reuters) - Former world record holder Asafa Powell surged to the 100 meters title at the Jamaican national trials on Friday in a time of 9.84 seconds, while 2011 world champion Yohan Blake failed to make it out of his semi-final.
In the women's final, double Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce scorched home in 10.79 seconds, the best in the world this year, to lay down a marker ahead of her 100m title defense at August's world championships in Beijing.
In the absence of Usain Bolt, whose decision not to run in raised fresh concerns about his fitness, Powell pulled away from the field in the last 20m to equal his season best.
"I'm still in hard training as we're really focusing on the world championships, so this was just me coming off some hard work and running very fast so I'm feeling very confident," he told Reuters.
Nickel Ashmeade leaned at the tape to take second in 9.91 while Commonwealth champion Kemar Bailey-Cole was third in 9.97.
Nesta Carter, who won bronze in Moscow, also dipped below 10 seconds with 9.98 but will have to settle for relay duties in Beijing.
Blake, the 2012 Olympic 100 and 200m silver medalist, placed sixth in Powell's semi-final in a time of 10.36.
Fraser-Pryce executed her trademark rocket start before powering away to win the women's final by 24 hundredths of a second and told Reuters that the way she ran was more important than actually winning.
"It was more about executing a very good race and the fact that I missed a couple races because of my hamstring niggles, I just wanted to come out here and put a solid race together," Fraser-Pryce said, noting that she will now turn her attention to the 200m.
"Physically I'm good ... I'm just looking forward to the rest of the championship and also just try to execute some races and get my fitness going," she added.
With Elaine Thompson opting to compete only in the 200m, Fraser-Pryce's other training partner Natasha Morrison took second in 11.03 ahead 2007 world champion Veronica Campbell-Brown in 11.06.
Annsert Whyte captured the 400m men's hurdles title, taking control with 100m to go and pulling away to win in 48.90 ahead of Roxroy Cato (49.09) and Leford Green (49.91).
Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Janieve Russell produced a late burst over the last two flights to win the women's race in 55.10 ahead of Shevon Stoddart (55.29) and Ristananna Tracey (55.45).
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)