Jamaica’s Andrew Fisher and St Kitts and Nevis’ Antoine Adams produced fast sprint times but it was the host country Mexico that dominated the 24th Central American & Caribbean Championships over the weekend in Morelia (5-7).
Taking advantage of the city’s high altitude, almost 2000m, 21-year old Fisher improved his 100m personal best by over two-tenths-of-a second with a fast 10.07 in the heats. He later confirmed his fine form by taking the final in 10.14.
On the last day of the championships, 2011 World Championships 4x100m relay bronze medallist Antoine Adams improved his 200m best by three-tenths and reduced Kim Collins’ national record by 0.07 to 20.13.
Trinidad and Tobago’s London 2012 Olympic Games 400m bronze m medallist Lalonde Gordon finished second in 20.28. Jamaica’s Jason Livermore was third in 20.29 while Dominican Republic’s London 400m silver medallist Luguelin Santos improved his national record to 20.55.
Not surprisingly, the relays also produced fast times, especially in the men’s 4x400m.
Without Gordon but with 400m winner Jarrin Solomon, Trinidad and Tobago took gold in 3:02.19 in a close three-way battle with Bahamas, second in 3:02.66, while Dominican Republic were third with 3:02.82, the latter having two-time Olympic Games 400m Hurdles champion Felix Sanchez and Santos running legs three and four.
The Trinidadian women also took their 4x400m in 3:30.64.
Solomon had earlier taken the individual 400m title in 45.54, an event which marked the return of Costa Rica’s 2012 World indoor champion Nery Brenes after a surgery. Brenes finished fourth in 46.22.
Adrian Griffith, Jamial Rolle, Trevorvano Mackey, Shavez Hart combined their efforts to break Bahamas’ 4x100m national record twice, first in the heats with 38.92, and then in the final with 38.77.
Jamaica was second in 38.86, and Trinidad and Tobago rounded out the podium in 39.26.
London Olympians Aleen Bailey and Sheri-Ann Brooks led Jamaica to the women’s 4x100m gold in 43.58, with Elaine Thompson and Nadine Palmer completing the quartet in the final. Trinidad and Tobago was second in 43.67 and Bahamas, who featured the 37-year-old 2000 Olympic Games Relay champion Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, were third in 44.08.
Brooks took the top honours in 100m with 11.21.
In the field, there were several outstanding performances as well.
Jamaica’s 2011 World University Games gold medallist O´Dayne Richards successfully defended his 2011 title with a massive 60cm improvement in the Shot Put. The Jamaican reached 20.97m to smash his countryman Dorian Scott’s championship record of 20.31m set in 2005.
St Lucia’s two-time Olympian Levern Spencer achieved a season’s best of 1.95m to clinch her sixth regional victory in the High Jump since 2001. She also improved her own championship record of 1.94m, set in 2005.
Encouraged by the performance of her compatriot, fellow Saint Lucian Jeannelle Scheper set a national junior record and world-leading junior mark of 1.92m to claim the silver medal.
With the home crowd support, Mexico bagged a record 17 gold medals, plus 19 silver and 11 bronze. Jamaica (11-6-4) and Trinidad and Tobago (5-4-4) were the host’s closest rivals and 19 countries won at least one medal.
Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF