Saturday, February 24, 2018


Victory also for Thompson in Ponce


Michelle-Lee Ahye

Donstan Bonn


BLAZING A TRAIL: Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson, centre, powers to the finish en route to winning the women’s Invitational 100 metres event at the 2014 Hampton International Games at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on Saturday. Trinidad and Tobago’s Kamaria Durant, right, was second and Alexis Love of the USA, left, third. —Photo: AYANNA KINSALE

Mark Fraser

Michelle-Lee Ahye struck gold in a new personal best at the Ponce Grand Prix IAAF World Challenge meet, in Ponce, Puerto Rico, late on Saturday.

Ahye stopped the clock at 11.04 seconds for a commanding victory in the women’s 100 metres dash. The Trinidad and Tobago sprinter was unchallenged for the top spot, finishing well ahead of second-placed Alexandria Anderson (11.24) of the United States.

Jamaica’s Carrie Russell (11.32), and Americans Barbara Pierre (11.35) and Shalonda Solomon (11.36) were third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Anderson, Russell, Pierre and Solomon are all sub-11 sprinters.

But Ahye’s run was impressive not only because of the quality of the field. She also had to contend with a 0.9 metres per second headwind.

Saturday’s 11.04 sizzler has moved Ahye into second spot on the 2014 world outdoor performance list, behind Jamaican Samantha Henry-Robinson (11.00) and ahead of Ivory Coast sprinter Murielle Ahoure (11.06).

Ahye’s previous personal best was 11.06 seconds, while her fastest legal run this season before the Ponce dash was 11.17.

The 22-year-old athlete has been enjoying a fine run of form in 2014. She was a 60m finalist at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, and is unbeaten in the 100m dash.

Another T&T sprinter, Richard “Torpedo” Thompson secured the men’s 100m title in Ponce.

Thompson clocked 10.21 seconds, forcing his countryman Keston Bledman to settle for the runner-up spot in 10.24. Antoine Adams (10.27), of St Kitts and Nevis, was third.

Thompson also competed in the 200m, finishing sixth in 21.08 seconds. Panama’s Alonso Edward (20.23) topped the field.

T&T’s Renny Quow got home in 45.36 seconds to earn fourth spot in a fast men’s 400m race.

American LaShawn Merritt, the reigning world champion, produced the fastest time in the world this year, 44.14 seconds, to grab gold, ahead of Dominican Republic’s Luguelin Santos (44.53) and American David Verburg (45.03).

Quow’s PR (personal record) is 44.53 seconds. The 2009 World Championship bronze medallist, however, has not run 44-point since 2011.

Two Saturdays ago, Quow won at the Arima Invitational Challenge in 45.62 seconds, and followed up with the 45.36 run in Ponce--a promising sign as he bids to return to sub-45 form.

At yesterday’s Shanghai Diamond League meeting, in China, T&T’s 2013 World Championship gold medallist Jehue Gordon finished sixth in the men’s 400m hurdles in 49.56 seconds.

American Michael Tinsley, the man who finished second to Gordon at last year’s IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, won in 48.77, from Senegal’s Mamadou Kasse Hanne (48.86) and former world champion Bershawn Jackson (48.92) of the United States.

T&T’s reigning Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott produced an 81.09 metres effort to secure seventh spot in the men’s javelin.

Egypt’s Abd Ihab El Rahman won with a big world-leading throw of 89.21m. Sweden’s Kim Amb (84.14m) was a distant second, while Czech Republic athlete Vitezslav Vesely (83.80m) finished third.

Walcott’s 81.09m throw—produced in the fourth round—was his best this season.