Nery Brenes of Costa Rica wins his 400m heat in Beijing 2008 (Getty Images) © Copyright
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Martina completes dash double as Brenes runs 44.84 at the CAC Games

Churandy Martina completed his sprint double and Nery Brenes ran a personal best of 44.84 to give Costa Rica its first gold as three more records fell in the athletics tournament of the 21st Central American and Caribbean Games in this Puerto Rican city on Tuesday.

Two days after renewing his 100m crown, the 2008 Olympic finalist ran his second fastest 200m of the season in 20.25 to give the Netherland Antilles its second gold at the Games. Jamaica’s Rasheed Dwyer posted a personal best of 20.49 to claim silver. Trinidad and Tobago’s Rondell Sorrillo edged out Antigua and Barbuda’s 2007 Pan American Games champion Brendan Christian for bronze in the photo-finish. Both were timed 20.59.

At 32, 2008 Olympic finalist Cydonie Mothersill made history as she won Cayman Island’s first athletics gold in the 86-year old history of the world’s oldest regional games. In the process, she erased the CAC Games with 22.69 in the semi-finals, before sealing victory in 22.91 hours later.

Puerto Rico’s Carol Rodriguez (23.37) and Colombia’s Darlenis Obregón (23.76) joined he ron the pódium.

Neres takes first-ever gold for Costa Rica

History was also made in the men’s 400m when Nery Brenes ran the best 400m of his life to give Costa Rica its first athletics gold ever in the history of the Games.

“My mum called me (the morning of the final) and said she loved me, but it was about time to break the 45-second barrier. She gave me the order and I fulfilled it. But I am not totally satisfied with the time as I want to go under 44 seconds and I am going to train for it,” said the two-time World Indoor Championships fourth placer, who improved his national record of 44.94 from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

World Championships finalist Tabarie Henry of the US Virgin Islands came second in a season’s best of 45.07 while Jamaica’s Allodin Fothergill ran a lifetime best of 45.24 for bronze. Seven finalists broke the 46-second barrier. Trinidad and Tobago’s 2009 World Championships bronze medallist Rennie Quow did not finish.

The women’s victory went to Bahamas’ two-time World Indoor Championships medallist Christine Amertil in 52.16.

Tyrone Smith posted another first ever for Bermuda as he improved his national record to 8.22m to take the Long Jump gold.

Jamaica's Green upsets Culson and Sanchez in 400m Hurdles

The much anticipated duel between local idol and World Championships silver medallist Javier Culson and two-time former world champion and 2004 Olympic gold medallist Felix Sanchez was upset by Jamaica’s Leford Green, who ran a personal best and Games record of 48.47 to win gold.

Javier Culson was content with his silver (48.58) but admitted he felt nervous with all the crowd behind him.  “I saw the Jamaican coming closer in the last hurdle and desperation betrayed me,” he said.

Roxroy Cato completed the gold-bronze for Jamaica in 49.62, ahead of Sanchez, who hit the sixth hurdle and finished fourth in 50.08.

The women’s race went to Jamaica’s Nickiesha Wilson (55.40), closely followed by Zudikey Rodriguez in a personal best of 55.54.

Mexico’s Giovanni Lanaro soared to a Games record of 5.60 in the Pole Vault. Other winners in the field events were Jamaica’s Kimberly Williams in the Triple Jump (14.23m, PB), Jason Morgan in the Discus (59.43m) and Kateema Riettie in the Javelin (53.77m). 45-year old Lavern Eve finished fourth (51.02m) in her last CAC Games.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Cleopatra Borel-Brown took the Shot Put with 18.76m and Saint Lucia’s Lavern Spencer improved from her bronze in 2006 to gold in the High Jump (1.94m). Jamaica’s Peaches Roach ran 13.53 in the 100m Hurdles, cleared 1.87m in the High Jump and ran 23.87 in the 200m en route to the Heptathlon gold in a personal best of 5780.

After a rest day on Wednesday, the athletics tournament resumes on Thursday with nine finals: men’s and women’s 800m and 4x100m relay. Men will also contest the 3000m steeplechase, Triple Jump, and 50km walk. Women will run the 5000m as well.

The athletics competition will end on Friday.

Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF

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