Nassau, The BahamasFour more meet records fell and a world season lead fell on the second day of the ColinaImperial Central American and Caribbean Senior Championships yesterday (Sun 10). Cuba stayed on top the medals table, but athletes from the Bahamas continued to put on a good show for the home fans at Nassau’s Thomas A Robinson Stadium.
Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica kept Cuba from monopolizing the top of the medal rostrum. Other countries getting gold medals included El Salvador, Mexico, Haiti, Mexico and St Lucia.
200m heats provide intrigue
Although just in the preliminary stages, the 200m contests are already proving very interesting. Hometown boy Dominic Demeritte ran 20.54 seconds on Sunday, the fastest time in qualifying, and his fastest this year. Demeritte won Heat 3, with Jamaica’s Dewayne Barrett (20.75) and Cuba’s Michael Herrera (21.04) also advancing.
Representing Trinidad & Tobago, Julieon Raeburn ran 20.56 to win Heat 2. Also in Heat 2 was Barbados veteran Obadele Thompson (20.73) who advanced as well. In Heat 1, another Trinidadian, Aaron Armstrong, has the third fastest qualifying time (20.67) going into the final on Monday.
Also in Heat 1 was Jamaica’s World Youth and World Junior champion and World Junior Record holder Usain Bolt. The 18-year-old has had massive expectations placed on his shoulders, and he must surely better his qualifying time of 20.69 to make a bid for CAC gold. Churandy Martina (AHO) clocked 21.12 for the last final spot.
Cayman Islands national record in women’s 200m heats
Two-time defending champion Cydonie Mothersill-Modibo posted a Cayman Islands national record run of 22.39 seconds to top women’s qualifying. Mothersill beat Jamaica’s Sheri-Ann Brooks (23.17) and US Virgin Islands’ Laverne Jones (23.23) in Heat 1. But the two-time Olympic veteran has work yet to do.
Holding off Christine Amertil will be quite a task. The Bahamas native ran a personal record time of 22.58 seconds to win her semi-final, with a negligible negative wind (-0.2 metres per second). Cuba’s Roxana Diaz (23.32) took the other automatic spot in the final, but with the slowest time of the eight finalists.
In Heat 3, Jamaica’s Peta-Gaye Dowdie took advantage of a 2.7 m/s tailwind wind to run 22.87, her first time under 23 seconds for the season. Virgil Hodge of St Kitts-Nevis was second in that heat, running 23.05 seconds. Taking third in 23.26 and making the Monday final was Venezuela’s Wilmarys Alvarez.
Darling is the Bahamas’ darling
Not that there was ever any doubt, but Tonique Williams-Darling demonstrated once again that she the region’s top 400m runner, winning with a solid 50.97 in front of her home crowd. The Olympic champion easily kept St Kitts-Nevis’ Tiandra Ponteen (51.41) and Cuba’s Libania Grenot (51.53) at bay.
Lansford Spence won the men’s one lap in 45.29 seconds, the Jamaican 23-year-old just holding off Trinidad & Tobago veteran Ato Modibo (45.46) for gold. Spence ran out of Lane 1. Christopher Brown (45.57) was the bronze medalist for the Bahamas.
Haiti and Cuba win sprint hurdles
Haiti won the women’s 100m hurdles through Nadine Faustin, who ran her best time this year (12.83) to hold off Andrea Bliss (12.86) of Jamaica. With a wind of 1.5 m/s, they were followed across the line by Cuba’s Yaumara Neyra, whose 13.09 is also the best time she’s posted this season.
The men’s 110m Hurdles provided three of the fastest times in the region this year, but with an illegal wind of 2.6 m/s. Cuba went 1-2; regional leader Yoel Hernández won in 13.32, with 19-year-old Dayron Robles (13.41) hot on his heels. Grenada’s Alleyne Lett (13.49) was third, a fine result for the young decathlete.
Trinidad on top of the sprint relay world
A lot has been said about Trinidad & Tobago’s 4x100m relay potential. Sunday night the quartet of Aaron Armstong, CAC 100m silver medallist Marc Burns, Jacey Harper and 100m champion Darrel Brown passed their way to a national and meet record 38.47 seconds, the fastest time on the planet this year.
In the preliminaries, Kevon Pierre took Armstrong's place and the Trinidadians ran 39.04 seconds, which would also have been a meet record. But their time in the final was the fastest in three months, supplanting the 38.48 put up by HSI's John Capel, Leonard Scott, Kaaron Conwright and Maurice Greene in early April.
Finishing in second place with 100m bronze medallist Churandy Martina on anchor, the Netherlands Antilles passed to a national record of their own, clocking 38.92 with Geronimo Goeloe, Rafaela Charlton and Jairo Duzant. The Bahamas (39.08) were third with Jamail Rolle, Demeritte, Grafton Ifill and Derek Atkins.
For the women, Danielle Browning passed to Sheri-Ann Brooks, Beverly McDonald and Peta-Gaye Dowdie, who crossed the line in 43.21, Jamaica’s fastest time this year. Tamika Clarke, Philip Willie, Sevatheda Fynes and 100m champion Chandra Sturrup combined for 43.48, giving the Bahamas silver. Cuba was third in 45.07.
Spencer hits new heights
Resetting her national record as well as the meet record, 21-year-old Levern Spencer won the women’s High Jump for St Lucia with a clearance of 1.94m, the best height in the region this year. Spencer cleared on her first attempts at 1.80, 1.85 and 1.88, by which time she was the only athlete still in contention.
At 1.91. Spencer went over on her first try again, but at 1.94, she needed two bites of the cherry, and 1.96 was beyond her reach on this occasion. The previous Championship record was 1.88m, established by Cuba’s Silvia Costa all of 20 years ago. Spencer first cleared 1.88m last year.
Taking silver behind the region’s top jumper were Juana Rosario Arrendel of the Dominican Republic and Karen Beautle of Jamaica. Both ladies had clean sheets up until 1.88m, missing all three tries at that height. Arrundel started jumping at 1.70, as compared to 1.75 for her Dominican counterpart.
Home team sweeps Long Jump
Going into the CAC meet, much would have been anticipated from Leevan Sands, the Bahamas’ best jumper. Having cleared a personal best mark of 8.05m earlier this year, the 23-year-old former NCAA champion and Commonwealth Games bronze medalist carried his country’s hopes in the men’s Long Jump.
Sands lived up to the hopes of his countrymen, going over 8m just once, but going over with a mark of 8.13m (wind 1.7 m/s), good enough for gold and matching the 20-year-old record set by Cuba’s Jaime Jefferson. With that mark, Sands has also achieved the B standard for next month’s World Championships.
Second to Sands was another Bahamaian, Osbourne Moxey, who cleared 8.03m, but with a trailing wind of 3.5 m/s. Third was Cuban 23-year-old Ibrahim Camejo, who was nowhere close to the 8.20 he cleared in February. Camejo had a best effort of 7.88m (wind 1.3 m/s) on this occasion, coming up trump on his last jump.
Scott in throws of joy
Jamaica’s Dorian Scott is now the only man to have gone over 20m in the men’s Shot Put at this meet. Jamaica’s national record holder and the CAC leader for this event, the 23-year-old broke a record that is older than he, his 20.21m erasing Luis Delis’ mark of 19.36m from 1981.
Scott has now achieved the World Championships B standard. The CAC all-time record holder, Alexis Paumier, was second on Sunday, with 19.06m, one of two Cubans to join the Jamaican on the medal rostrum. The other, Yioser Toledo, pushed the metal ball out to a distance of 18.28m to take bronze.
In men’s Hammer Throw, Cuba’s Iosvany Suarez launched he implement 69.47m, beating countryman and CAC leader Erik Jimenez (68.42m) into second place. Santos Vega climbed into fifth on the CAC rankings for 2005, getting a bronze meal for Puerto Rico with his 64.53m mark.
Laverne Eve repeated as women’s Javelin Throw champion, flinging the spear 61.11m, her best mark this year. The 40-year-old Bahamian captured her third consecutive CAC title. Jamaica’s Olivia McKoy set a new national record of 61.10m on her last throw, whilst Cuba’s Nora Aida Bicet (59.05m) was third.
Bernard completes Decathlon win
Jamaica’s Claston Bernard won the men’s Decathlon in straightforward fashion, after holding off challenges from Cuba’s Alberto Juanorena Jr and Alexis Chivas. Bernard came into the second day with a slight lead over Juanorena, and he opened the lead with a 14.55-second winning performance in the 110m Hurdles.
Chivas temporarily climbed into second place with a strong showing in the Discus Throw, but whilst none of the leaders was outstanding in Pole Vault, Juanorena’s 4.40m was best of the three. Chivas posted a mark of 61.89m in Javelin Throw, and looked as though he might at least finish second.
But whereas Bernard, who finished on 7877, was beyond the reach of either Cuban, Chivas was well within Juanorena’s grasp. Running the 1500m in 4:45.09, he picked up 649 points to end with 7672. Chivas could only post a disappointing 4:54.85, ending on 7624.
The women got their combined events off to a start on Sunday. Juana Castillo leads the Heptathlon for Puerto Rico, with 3420 points after Day 1. The Cuban duo of Yasmiany Pedroso and Cheilyn Povea is trailing her going into Monday’s final day of competition, on 3369 and 3282 points respectively.
Castillo has established personal records in every event so far. She won the 100m Hurdles in 14.17 seconds, with a trailing wind of 1.1 m/s. Pedroso was second in 14.21, with Povea, at 14.32, a little off the pace. But Pedroso made up by winning High Jump, her 1.75m three centimetres better than her rivals.
Castillo also won Shot Put with a fine throw of 13.01m, then she placed second (25..30) in the 200m dash, behind Povea (24.29), with a wind of 2.2 m/s. Fellow Puerto Rican Coralys Ortiz, who is currently in fourth position with a Day 1 personal record 3126, was third in the Shot Put and 200m dash.
Cubans sweep ‘metric mile’
The women’s 1500m run produced two Cuban medallists, champion Yadira Vataille (4:26.43) and bronze medalist Yudisleisis Castillo (4:30.83), with Bermuda’s Ashley Couper (4:26.91) splitting the pair. Cuba’s Maury Castillo (3:47.89) led Puerto Rico’s David Freeman (3:48.01) and Luis Soto (3:52.60) in the men’s race.
Trinidad & Tobago’s defending men’s two-lap champion Sherridan Kirk cruised into Monday’s 800m final. His time of 1:51.53 made him the fastest qualifier. In the women's 800 semifinals, Grenada's defending champion Neisha Bernard-Thomas (2:04.39) and Jamaica's NCAA champion Aneita Denton (2:04.39) finished behind Cuba's Yusneysi Santiusti (2:04.37) in Heat 1.
Juan Luis Barrios won the men’s 5000m run for Mexico, in 14:22.57, with compatriot Juan Carlos Romero (14:36.18) second and Cuba’s Livan Luque (14:38.02) third. Just two women contested the women’s 3000m Steeplechase, Mardrea Hyman (9:54.01) finishing ahead of fellow Jamaican Korene Hines (9:58).
Cristina Lopez established a new El Salvador national record for the women’s 10000m Walk, completing the distance in 45:52.32, but the 22-year-old missed out on the meet record by less than six minutes. Evelyn Nunez (47:23.58) had her season’s best performance for Guatemala, with Cuba’s Yarelis Sanchez (50:57.73) third.
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