Rain hampers standard at National Champs…

RAIN may have affected the quality of the performances on day two of the NGC/NAAATT National Open Championships at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo yesterday, but most of the favourites were still on top of their game including Michelle-Lee Ahye and Keston Bledman, who retained their men’s and women’s 100m titles respectively.

Ahye of Rebirth claimed the women’s crown in 11.18 seconds, Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Zenith took silver in 11.22 and Kamaria Durant of Simplex grabbed bronze in 11.30.

Discussing her effort Ahye said, “Okay I guess. The weather kind of threw me off a little bit because when the track is wet it is not as fast as it is when it is dry, but I am pretty happy with my performance.”

Ahye said she is anticipating the Pan Am Games in Peru next week, followed by the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in September.

In the men’s 100m, Bledman of Simplex won in a time of 10.20, followed by Jereem Richards of Abilene Wildcats in 10.22 and Rondell Sorillo of La Brea took bronze in 10.23.

“Wonderful, a win is a win don’t matter what the time is. I came here to win so I feel great,” Bledman said.

Bledman was glad that there were some youngsters in the final. “Kyle (Greaux) and the young ones (came out today). We have fresh legs and that is real good because from 2008 to 2015 it was the same...Richard (Thompson), (Emmanuel) Callender, Aaron (Armstrong), Marc (Burns), Sorillo and myself. It has been like that for years, so these young ones coming up that is real good.” Jonathan Farinha, Akanni Hislop and Jerod Elcock who came fifth, sixth and seventh respectively are all in their early 20s.

Machel Cedenio and Rae-Ann Serville won the men’s and women’s 400m titles respectively. In the men’s 400m, Cedenio was in control from start to finish and won easily in 44.52 seconds. Dwight St Hillaire of Kaizen Panthers was second in 46.08 and Darren Alfred also of Panthers ended third in 46.63. Asa Guevara of Abilene Wildcats, who was part of the quartet that won gold at the IAAF World Relays in Japan in May, had to settle for fourth place in 46.70.

In the women’s 400m finals, Serville claimed the title in 53.57. Serville, who is still a junior athlete at 17 years old, finished ahead of Samantha Dirks of Belize who clocked 53.88. Barbadian Sade Sealy took home bronze in 55.29.

In the men’s javelin, two-time Olympic medallist Keshorn Walcott representing Rebirth was unfortunately disqualified. Walcott recorded a top throw of 79.98m on his second attempt which would have been enough for him to win gold, but his disqualification allowed Shakeil Waithe of Zenith to claim gold with an effort of 78.97m on his fourth attempt. Waithe’s team-mate Tyriq Horsford took silver with an effort of 71.67m also on his fourth attempt.

National record holder Andwuelle Wright won the men’s long jump as he leaped 7.70m on his fifth attempt. The weather would have affected the Kaizen Panthers athlete as that distance was far from his best of 8.25m. Che Richards of Oasics ended second with a distance of 7.60m and Kelsey Daniel of Panthers was third after disturbing the sand at the 7.37m mark.

In the men’s shot put, Akeem Stewart of Tobago Falcons took gold with an effort of 18.95m, Hezekiel Romeo of Rebirth earned silver (16.98m) and Akeel Antoine of Neon Wolves (13.97m) ended third.

Ruebin Walters of Memphis Pioneers was the first national athlete to finish the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.96, but it was only fast enough for silver as Barbadian Greemar Swift took gold in 13.86. Aaron Lewis of Panthers ended third after stopping the clock in 14.22.