Leaping for bronze: Trinidad and Tobago’s Ayanna Alexander competes in the final of the women’s triple jump at Hampden Park during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland yesterday. —Photo: AFP

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Michael Alexander secures boxing medal

By Kwame Laurence in Glasgow

Trinidad and Tobago boxer Michael Alexander is guaranteed at least a bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games men’s lightweight division.

Alexander outpointed Barbadian Cobia Breedy at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), here in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday to advance to the semi-final round. He will next meet Northern Ireland’s Joe Fitzpatrick for a spot in the final and the opportunity to go for gold. The two losing semi-finalists will be awarded bronze medals.

In a unanimous decision, all three judges scored yesterday’s quarter-final bout 30-27 in favour of Alexander.

At the Tollcross Swimming Centre, George Bovell finished fifth in the men’s 50 metres freestyle final. The T&T swimmer touched the wall in 22.31 seconds. England’s Benjamin Proud clocked 21.92 to take the gold, forcing Australians Cameron McEvoy (22.00) and James Magnussen (22.10) to settle for silver and bronze, respectively.

In athletics, T&T will have full representation in today’s men’s 400m final. Renny Quow will run in lane two, next to Lalonde Gordon, in three, while Jarrin Solomon has been drawn in lane seven.

In yesterday’s semi-final round, at Hampden Park, Gordon produced a strong run on the home straight to win heat three in 45.37 seconds. Solomon clocked 45.49 for second spot in the opening heat, and also advanced automatically. Quow earned his lane as a “fastest loser” after finishing third in heat two in 45.47.

T&T’s Tonya Nero completed her 25 laps of the track in 35 minutes, 48.63 seconds to finish 12th in the women’s 10,000m. Joyce Chepkirui took gold in 32:09.35, getting the better of her Kenya teammate Florence Kiplagat (32:09.48) in a close finish. Another Kenyan, Emily Chebet (32:10.82) bagged bronze. 

Competing in cold conditions during yesterday’s opening session, T&T athletes struggled.

Janeil Bellille and Josanne Lucas exited the women’s 400m hurdles, but for different reasons.

Bellille was fourth in heat three in 57.51 seconds. With only the top two in each heat progressing automatically to the eight-woman final, Bellille’s only chance was to get in as a “fastest loser”. Her clocking, however, was not fast enough, the T&T athlete finishing ninth overall.

Lucas was drawn in the opening heat, but was disqualified for a false start. She now switches her attention to the 100m hurdles. The opening round will be contested tomorrow, and the final on Friday.

“Looking forward to it,” Lucas told the Express. “Everything is leading up to the 100-metre hurdles.”

Mikel Thomas finished 10th overall in the qualifying round of the men’s 110m hurdles, missing out on a berth in the final. The T&T hurdler was fourth in heat one in 13.86 seconds—too slow for a “fastest loser” berth.

Thomas’ T&T teammates, Durell Busby and Wayne Davis were non-starters in the sprint hurdles. Team manager George Comissiong told the Express that both athletes are injured. He said an MRI confirmed Davis’ injury ahead of the event, while Busby felt pain while warming up and opted not to face the starter.

Sixteen half-milers qualified for the semifinal round of the men’s 800m. T&T’s Kendis Bullard and Jamaal James were not among them, neither athlete coping well with cold Glasgow.

Running in heat two, Bullard could only manage sixth spot, returning a time of one minute, 51.57 seconds. James enjoyed a better finish in heat four, getting home fourth, but was slower than Bullard, clocking 1:51.62. Both times, however, were too slow for “fastest loser” qualification.

And in the men’s long jump qualifying event, Kyron Blaise fouled all three attempts and was eliminated.

A first half hat-trick from Kwandwane Browne set up a 4-2 victory for T&T’s hockey men in their pool B clash with Malaysia, at the National Hockey Centre. Browne’s three goals all came from penalty corners, the star player scoring in the 12th, 16th and 35th minutes. Mickell Pierre was also on target for T&T, opening the account in the eighth minute.

T&T were 4-1 ahead at the interval. The second half, however, was scoreless up until the final minute of the game, the Malaysians reducing the deficit with seconds left on the clock. 

At the SSE Hydro, T&T gymnast William Albert totalled 75.682 to finish 23rd in men’s all-around qualification, earning a spot in the 24-man final. He is the second reserve for the rings final after finishing 11th in qualifying with a score of 14.200.

In table tennis, T&T players Dexter St Louis, Curtis Humphreys, Rheann Chung and Aleena Edwards have qualified for the knockout phase of the singles events.

St Louis won twice, including a 4-2 triumph over Barbadian Kevin Farley to top his preliminary round men’s singles group. Humphreys also recorded two victories to join St Louis in the round of 64.

In the women’s singles, Chung was victorious twice to advance to the round of 64. Edwards, meanwhile, lost to Barbadian Krystle Harvey. However, Edwards beat Jersey’s Kelsey le Maistre, and le Maistre defeated Harvey. With all three players getting a victory, Edwards’ superior record in the group matches earned her a passage to the knockout stage.

At the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), the T&T netballers were crushed 70-24 by England. Joanne Harten singlehandedly outscored T&T, the England goal shoot sinking 35 goals from 43 attempts. For T&T, goal attack Joelisa Cooper shot 81 percent--13 goals from 16 attempts.

At the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre, in Carnoustie, T&T shooters Michael Perez and Norris Gomez finished 26th and 33rd, respectively, in the Queen’s Prize individual event.

And in squash, there were defeats for all the T&T doubles pairs on show at Scotstoun Campus. Colin Ramasra and Kale Wilson lost to a Scottish pair in men’s doubles. Charlotte Knaggs and Kerrie Sample went under to Wales in women’s doubles. And in mixed doubles, Ramasra/Sample and Wilson/Knaggs were beaten by England combinations.

Team T&T Today

(All TT times)

4.30 a.m. – Table tennis, doubles

5.05 a.m. – Athletics, Ayanna Alexander, women’s long jump qualifying

5.09 a.m. – Athletics, Rondel Sorrillo, men’s 200 heats

5.16 a.m. – Athletics, Jereem Richards, men’s 200 heats

6.05 a.m. – Athletics, Deandra Daniel, women’s high jump qualifying

6.05 a.m. – Athletics, Kyle Greaux, men’s 200 heats

6.30 a.m. – Athletics, Jehue Gordon, men’s 400 hurdles heats

6.42 a.m. – Athletics, Emanuel Mayers, men’s 400 hurdles heats

7.00 a.m. – Squash, doubles

7.06 a.m. – Athletics, Alena Brooks, women’s 800 heats

7.56 a.m. – Gymnastics, William Albert, men’s all-around final

12.40 p.m. – Table tennis, women’s singles

After 1.30 p.m. - Boxing, Aaron Prince, men’s middleweight quarterfinal

3.30 p.m. - Athletics, Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Renny Quow, men’s 400 final

3.40 p.m. – Athletics, Cleopatra Borel, Annie Alexander, women’s shot put final

4.21 p.m. – Athletics, Reyare Thomas, women’s 200 heats

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