National sprinters Jereem Richards and Semoy Hackett will race for gold on Friday in the finals of their respective 200 metres events at the Pan American Games after Thursday's qualifying races at the Athletics Stadium in the National Sporting Village in Lima Peru.

In cold conditions, Richards qualified as one of the fastest losers after placing third with 20.48 seconds in the first of three heats. The national 200m champion had the third-fastest time of the qualifiers and will run for the title at 5.30 pm (T&T time)

T&T's other sprinter in the event, Kyle Greaux, who was behind the leaders, appeared to pull up lame some 10m out, holding on to his left hamstring as he crossed the finish line in sixth place in 22.71 seconds.

Checks with national athletics manager George Commissiong revealed that the sprinter was being assessed by the medical team.

In the women's version of the race, Hackett ran a season's best 23.31 seconds to book a spot in the medal race. The T&T National Championships bronze medallist over the same distance recorded the sixth quickest time of the eight qualifiers. Her race is set for 5.15 pm

Another local sprinter, Mauricia Prieto also lined up in the first heat and crossed fourth with 23.66 seconds in a race won by Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (22.90). She was 10th overall.

The Men's 4x100 relay semifinals which were scheduled to run last evening were scratched and is a straight to final set for Friday.

Tyra Gittens dropped out of contention of the women's heptathlon after placing last in the long jump and javelin disciplines and she did not finish the event, opting out of the final discipline, the 800m race.

After six disciplines she was in sixth place with a score of 4,971 points. She seemed to enter day two with an injury as her right thigh was heavily bandaged. In the long jump event, her best distance of 5.44 metres, earned her 683 points and in the javelin, her distance of 32.41 metres got her 522 points.

Gittens had closed day one as the leader with 3,766 points after she earned 963 in the 200m; in the high jump 1,016; in the shot put, 756 and in the 100m hurdles 1,031.

Late Wednesday, in the men's shot put event, Akeem Stewart placed 12th of the 13 participants with his best toss, measuring 18.25 metres. The national champion got to the mark on his first attempt. He registered 17.86m and 17.87m in his other two throws respectively.

IN SWIMMING

Dylan Carter qualified for the final of the Men's 100m backstroke, winning the third and final heat in 54.95 seconds, the fourth-fastest time of the eight finalists.

He will be looking to make amends for just missing out on a medal after placing fourth in the men's 200m freestyle final on Wednesday night.

The national swimmer, racing in lane six, touched the wall in 1:47.78 seconds, just some .07 seconds behind bronze medallist USA's Drew Kibler (1:47.71) in a race dominated by Brazilian duo Fernando Muhlenberg (1:46.68) and Breno Martins (1:47.47).

Jada Chatoor was up next in the Women's 800m freestyle timed final. Competing in lane two, the local distance swimmer placed fourth in final in 9:22.79 seconds.

In the Women's 100m freestyle, Giselle Gursoy finished seventh in heat four with a time of 59.34 seconds and placed 22nd overall. She failed to qualify for the B final.

In the Women's 100m backstroke, Gabriela Donahue's time of 1:04.74 metres which saw her place fifth and 11th overall. The performance was good enough to get into the B final.

Also on Wednesday night, Gursoy placed sixth with 2:06.98 in the women's 200m freestyle B final while in the men's 100m butterfly B final, Kael Yorke was seventh with a 55.90-clocking.

IN HOCKEY

Three goals in the second half saw the Glenn "Fido" Francis-coached T&T hockey men earn the right to play for fifth place after downing Mexico, 3-0.

"Today (yesterday) was a pretty good day for us because we got our first win of the tournament," said Francis.

"The difference was we scored on our scoring opportunities still I'm not pleased, we should have scored more but I think today is a good day still.

"The game wasn't the best game we played for the tournament but again our main objective was to win."

And that they did thanks to goals from Teague and Tariq Marcano, who came alive in the last two quarters with the former netting a double in an evenly balanced match-up in the opening quarters.

The match remained goalless for the opening periods with Mexico's Alejandro Mendez missing the lone penalty corner in the first quarter. In the second stanza, T&T suffered a similar fate with veteran Kwandwane Browne going wide of the target and Shaquille David's field goal being saved by Mexican goalkeeper Jose Hernandez.

Early in the third session, T&T's Daniel Byer had his attempt blocked by the opposing keeper but it was Teague, who finally got one past Hernandez in the 43.00 minutes, giving the national hockey men a 1-0, heading into the final quarter.

He returned some three minutes later to score another field goal (46.09). The Mexicans were caught with their guard down because with seconds of goal number two that Tariq (46.28)sealed the first win for T&T in the hockey competition.

Francis said: "We were tactically better than the Mexicans by far. We got a lot of opportunities to dominate the game. In all departments we played well, our goal-keeper did well, the defenders did well, the forwards did well so that's a plus for us."

On Saturday, the local team will meet Cuba, who in the match before crushed Peru, 7-0. The fifth-place match will start at 12.45 pm (T&T time).
Francis said, "Moving forward we know the Cubans beat us in our first game (3-1) so we going to prepare for them. So far no injuries everything is going good for us."

IN GOLF

T&T golfer Ysabelle Lawrence will have work to do today in the women's competition after finishing tied in 30th spot after Thursday's first round.

She shot 80 on the day to be tied with Barbados' Emily Odwin, who both were nine over par.on a par 71 course.

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