Keston Bledman is the new national men’s 100m champion taking the title with a personal best clocking of 9.86 at the Sagicor/NGC National Open Track and Field Championships at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, last night. Bledman (Simplex) defeated the three-time reigning winner and national recorder Richard Thompson (Rebirth). The 2005 World Youth bronze medallist got revenge on Thompson after losing out in last year’s race when Thompson sped to a new national record of 9.85. Bledman’s time is the second faster ever by a local sprinter equaling Ato’s Boldon’s mark. Rondell Sorillo (La Brea) raced to the line in third in personal best of 10.03 with former winner Marc Burns (Rebirth) fourth (10.06-sb) ahead of Emmanuel Callendar of Memphis (10.12).
Bledman took command of the race in the first 40 metres and pulled away to score a comfortable victory even glancing over Thompson’s side. Nineteen year old Jamol James (Memphis) was fifth in 10.17 (pb) ahead of another former winner Darryl Brown (Rebirth) 10.27. Commonwealth bronze medallist Aaron Armstrong was eighth (10.51). The top five dipped under the Olympic A standard of 10.18. Bledman came into event as the favourite after his 9.89 and 9.93 clocking earlier in the year but Thompson was not to be discounted as he was going for his fourth straight title.
After his blazing national record in 2011 the reigning Olympic silver medallist proved he is one to deliver on the big occasions but Bledman laid down the charge in the semis cruising to the fastest time of 10.04 to beat Sorillo (10.11) in heat two. Sorillo clocked a then personal best improving his 10.17 set in last year’s finals. Thompson was the third fastest (10.13) in topping heat 3 ahead of James. Callender was first to the line in heat 1 (10.18) with Armstrong (10.21) following him home. Brown was fifth in the same heat (10.25) got into the top eight as only local runners contested the A finals. Shermund Allsop (Concorde) took the B finals in 10.29, equaling his pb set in the semis. World Championships bronze medallist Kelly Ann Baptiste took her sixth national ladies crown in 10.98 seconds with her Zenith club-mate Semoy Hackett taking second (11.14) for the third time in four years. Kai Selvon (Air Bon Sonics) was third (11.24). Michelle Lee Ahye (Unattached) 11.29 rounded off the top four as all attained the Olympic A standard of 11.29 once again in 2012. In the semis earlier Hackett was the fastest qualifier (11.32) taking heat one with Baptiste next in 11.37 in winning the second heat. Lee-Ahye also clocked 11.37 behind Hackett with Thomas (11.41) and Selvon (11.45).
Lalonde Gordon produced a strong run to take the men’s 400m in 45.40 (Olympic B standard). The Tigers athlete made his move with less than 100m to storm past World Championships bronze medallist Renny Quow (45.60) and Olympic qualifier Deon Lendore (45.74). The US-based athlete was just short of his pb of 45.33 set earlier this year and Olympic A standard of 45.30. Lendore (Abilene Wildcats) had taken the earlier lead pass Quow (Zenith) on his outside with just over 100m into the race but Quow responded at the 200m mark and came into the home stretch ahead.
The two battled for the lead with Quow surging ahead Lendore began to struggle after his early effort. It was then that Gordon surged ahead and snatched the gold. Jarrin Solomon clocked a season’s best of 45.88 to take fifth while 17 year old Machel Cedenio blazed to a pb of 46.04 to take fifth. Ade Alleyne Forte (Southern Athletic) was sixth in 46.13 (pb). The Memphis duo of Jovon Toppin (47.73) and Stan Waithe (47.80) were seventh and eighth respectively. In the semis earlier Quow as second fastest (46.47) in capturing heat five behind Arturio Ramirez (Venezuela) who clocked 46.35 but contested the B finals as the A race was reserved for local runners. Lendore was next fastest (46.48) in landing heat two and Cedenio took heat four in his first pb of the day (46.50).
World Championships bronze medallist Josanne Lucas dipped below the Olympic standard in the women’s 100m hurdles winning in 13.07 (standard-13.15).
The Tobago Falcons athlete improved on her season’s best of 13.10. Aleesha Barber (Rebirth) was second in 13.30. National record holder Wayne Davis 11 took men’s 110m hurdles finals in 13.62 ahead of Durrel Busby (Tobago Jaguars) 13.81 with Mikel Thomas (Rebirth) in third 13.99. Davis was short of his national mark of 13.37 set earlier this year. Ashlee Smith (D’Abadie Progressive) took the first gold medal day securing the women’s hammer throw finals in the morning session with a throw of 45.48m. Her lone competitor Sandra Greenidge of Eastonians was second (15.14). Sukraj Roodal (Humming Bird) took the men’s title in one man competition with a throw of 14.48m. Olympic triple jump qualifier Ayanna Alexander defended her women’s title with a leap of 14.04, a championship best and just short of her Olympic B standard mark of 14.15. Carisa Leacock(QRC) was second (12.18). Jeanelle Ovid (QRC) women’s high jump 1.65m, Geraldine George (Petrotrin P/Seco) women’s javelin-40.62, NCAA triple jump bronze medallist Kyron Blaise (Toco TAFAC) men’s long jump -7.63, Akeem Stewart (Tobago Falcons) men’s shot put-16.95, Annie Alexander (Burnley) women’s discus-56.54, Pilar Mc Shine (Unattached) women’s 1500m-4:24.91, Garvin Nero (Memphis) men’s 1500m-3:55.16. The action continues with the men’s 200m prelims in the morning and the semis and finals later in the day. The women’s 200m(semis and finals)as well as the 800m, 400m hurdles and relays events are also on the schedule. The women’s long jump, shot put and men’s javelin and high jump will also be contested.