World Indoor and outdoor Triple Jump champion Yargelis Savigne leapt to a world season leading 14.97m, while Olympic 110m Hurdles champion Dayron Robles ran a windy 13.18sec on the opening day (3) of the 22nd Central American and Caribbean Athletics Championships at Havana’s Estadio Panamericano.
Of the other highlights, Trinidad and Tobago’s Emmanuel Callender and the British Virgin Islands' 2008 World Indoor bronze medallist Tahesia Harrigan took the two 100m finals on the new Mondo track.
Over 420 athletes from 29 out of the 35 CACAC member nations are attending the Championships. Among the notable VIP guests are IAAF President Lamine Diack, NACAC chairman and IAAF Council Member Neville McCook, and CACAC President Victor Lopez.
Robles - First race in Cuba for 2 years
In his first race in front of his home crowd since becoming Olympic champion and World record holder, Robles cruised to a comfortable win in the 110m Hurdles with 13.18, aided by a 2.5 m/s tail wind, which prevented him from registering a new mark in the CAC Champs record book.
“This is my first race here in two years. Running under 13.10 gives me a good sign and I am particularly pleased to run in front of my mum and other friends. It’s a good track and I am happy to see my namesake running well,” said Robles, second at the 2005 CAC Champs.
“I am in good shape. I felt a bit tired after the semi-final as it was delayed, but I am happy with the time and I expect good things in Berlin,” added the 22-year old star, who will resume his European tour in Lausanne on Tuesday (7).
Barbados´ 2007 World Youth Octathlon champion Ryan Brathwaite came second in 13.31, ahead of Dayron Capetillo (13.39). An hour earlier, Brathwaite had set a new championships record f 13.43 in the first semi-final.
Things on course for Berlin
In the field, Savigne achieved her best jump on home soil with a 14,97m effort on the second round, very close to the first legal 15m of the season.
“I expected this result. I already jumped a windy 15m in Europe. It feels special to compete at home. I am training hard and things are on course to a good performance in Berlin”, stated Savigne, who will defend her World title in the German capital.
“I am patient. I want facts rather than words to dictate my Berlin goals,” she added.
Defending champion Mabel Gay was second with 14.48 as Jamaica’s Kimberly Williams (13.78) secured the bronze medal in the last round.
Savigne opened with 14.31, followed by 14.97, a foul and 14.66, before passing the last two rounds.
Callender now looks for 200 defence
Back to the track, Emmanuel Callender edged Jamaica’s Lerone Clarke to keep his country’s dominance in the 100m at the CAC Champs. Both clocked a personal best of 10.08. Callender succeeded his compatriot and 2003 world silver medallist Darrel Brown, who had claimed the title in 2005 and 2008.
Barbados´Andrew Hinds completed the podium with 10.12.
“It feels good. I want to give gold every time I race. I didn’t use much force out of the blocks. I believe I had a clean race, fighting at the end with the Jamaican. It is great to be in Cuba. I hope to come out and put on a good show for the people here and do my best,” said Callender.
Callender, 25, a member of the 4x100m Olympic silver medal squad, will now try to defend his CAC 200m crown which he won in 2008.
Second in 2005, Tahesia Harrigan sped this time to 11.21 to become the first athlete of the British Virgin Islands to clinch a CAC title ever. Her countryman Dion Crabbe took the CAC Games 100m gold in 2002.
“It is a great feeling. I was second in 2005 and I came here to win the gold and I had good competitors against. The weather is hot, but it’s fantastic, the conditions are so great. I still have to work on my start. If I continue to work on it, I think I have a great chance in Berlin this year”, said Harrigan.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Semoy Hackett (11.35) and Carol Rodríguez (11.38) followed her home.
Other notable winners were Olympic silver medallist Yarelis Barrios in the Discus Throw (62.10), Carlos Véliz in the Shot Put (20.10), Indira Terrero in the 400m (51.64), ahead of Colombia’s South American champion Norma Gonzalez (51.90), and William Collazo, who became the fourth Cuban to break the 45-second barrier in the one-lap race (44.96).
Saturday’s programme (4) includes the women’s 10km and men’s 20km Race Walks, as well as Dominican Republic’s Felix Sanchez´ CAC Champs debut in the 400m Hurdles and the conclusion of the Decathlon, led by Cuban Yunior Diaz (4354), followed by his compatriot and 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Leonel Suarez (4325).
Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF
Click here for RESULTS
1. Tahesia HARRIGAN IVB 11.21
2. Semoy HACKETT TRI 11.35
3. Carol RODRÍGUEZ PUR 11.38
1. Indira TERRERO CUB 51.64
2. Norma GONZÁLEZ COL 51.90
3. Daysurami BONNE CUB 52.31
1. Yudisleivis CASTILLO CUB 33:50.68 CR
2. Dailín BELMONTE CUB 36:40.32
100m Hurdles (1.0)
1. Anay TEJEDA CUB 12.95
2. Aleesha BARBER TRI 13.12
3. Toni DOYLEY JAM 13.13
1. Yarisley SILVA CUB 4.40 CR
2. Daylis CABALLERO CUB 4.10
1. Yargelis SAVIGNE CUB 14.97 -0.5 CR
2. Mabel GAY CUB 14.48 0.0
3. Kimberly WILLIAMS JAM 10 13.78 1.2
1. Yarelis BARRIOS CUB 62.10
2. Yanisley COLLADO CUB 61.33
3. María CUBILLÁN VEN 55.57
1. Emmanuel CALLENDER TRI 10.08
2. Lerone CLARKE JAM 10.08
3. Andrew HINDS BAR 10.12
1. William COLLAZO CUB 5 44.96
2. Dane HYATT JAM 45.57
3. Arismendy PEGUERO DOM 45.62
1. Liván LUQUE CUB 29:55.16
2. Henry JAENS CUB 30:08.76
3. Teodoro VEGA MEX 30:13.21
110m H (2.5)
1. Dayron ROBLES CUB 13.18w
2. Ryan BRATHWAITE BAR 13.31 (13.43 SF-CR)
3. Dayron CAPETILLO CUB 13.39
1. Carlos VÉLIZ CUB 20.10
2. Reinaldo PROENZA CUB 5 18.81
3. Yoger MEDINA VEN 17.05
1. Jorge FERNÁNDEZ CUB 61.79
2. Yunior LASTRE CUB 59.80
3. Jason MORGAN JAM 57.47
1. Yunior DÍAZ CUB 4354
2. Leonel SUÁREZ CUB 4325
3. Claston BERNARD JAM 3992