OUTSTANDING: Trinidad and Tobago’s Ayanna Alexander competes in the qualifying round of the women’s triple jump athletics event at Hampden Park during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday. —Photo: AP

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Alexander, Bovell bid for precious metal

By Kwame Laurence in Glasgow

Ayanna Alexander looks a genuine medal contender in today’s Commonwealth Games women’s triple jump final, at Hampden Park, here in Glasgow, Scotland. The Trinidad and Tobago athlete earned silver in the event at the 2010 Games in India, and would be keen to make another trip to the podium.

In yesterday’s qualifying competition, Alexander finished second, producing a 13.78 metres effort on her very first attempt—way beyond the 13.40m automatic qualifying mark. Jamaican Kimberly Williams topped the field with a 13.94m jump.

T&T quartermilers Jarrin Solomon, Renny Quow and Lalonde Gordon all advanced to the semifinal round of the men’s 400m.

In heat one, Solomon was in front coming off the final turn, and stayed there, securing victory in 45.69 seconds. Quow won the second heat in 45.86. And Gordon clocked 45.84 for the runner-up spot in the seventh and final heat. The Olympic bronze medallist moved from third to second on the home straight, finishing behind England’s Martyn Rooney (45.57).

Gordon is confident of success in today’s semifinal round. And in tomorrow’s final, he expects to run very fast.

“Hopefully a new personal best,” Gordon declared.

If he can better his 44.52 seconds PR (personal record), Gordon will surely be a strong contender for precious metal.

Solomon has also set his sights on a Commonwealth Games medal.

“It’s always my goal,” he told the Express. “Come out here, get a medal, and represent Trinidad and Tobago to the fullest.”

Quow is keen to regain his 2009 form here in Glasgow. At the IAAF World Championships that year, he bagged 400m bronze, clocking a personal best 44.53 seconds in the semis.

“That’s what I’ve been working so hard for. I’m in that shape. I have the talent, I have the experience, so it’s just to come out here and prove what I could do.”

Shawna Fermin and Domonique Williams bowed out of the women’s 400m event. Fermin finished seventh in semifinal heat number two in 53.83 seconds, while Williams was eighth in heat three in 54.63.

Kai Selvon and Kamaria Durant were eliminated at the semifinal stage of the women’s 100m. Selvon clocked 11.59 seconds to finish sixth in heat three, while Durant was eighth in heat two in 11.70.

In the final, Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare produced a Games record time of 10.85 seconds for a commanding victory. Jamaicans Veronica Campbell-Brown (11.03) and Kerron Stewart (11.07) earned silver and bronze, respectively.

At the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre, in Carnoustie, T&T’s Roger Daniel finished seventh in the men’s 50 metres pistol final. Gold went to India’s Jitu Rai with a score of 194.1. Daniel was the second man to be eliminated in the eight-man final, finishing with a score of 90.5.

In the qualifying round, earlier in the day, Daniel totalled 545 to advance to the final with the third highest score. His T&T teammate, Rhodney Allen was 18th with a score of 501.

Both Daniel and Allen opted out of the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol.

In the men’s 50m rifle prone qualification event, T&T’s Marlon Moses totalled 599.5 to finish 31st. The top eight shooters contested the final.

And going into the third and final day of the Queen’s Prize individual event, T&T shooters Norris Gomez and Michael Perez are 28th and 29th, respectively.

George Bovell will challenge for precious metal in today’s men’s 50m freestyle final, at the Tollcross Swimming Centre.

In yesterday’s semifinal round, the T&T swim star touched the wall in 22.22 seconds to finish third in heat two and fourth overall. In the opening round, he was fifth fastest in 22.37. 

At the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), T&T boxer Aaron Prince outclassed his Bahamian opponent, Godfrey Strachan in their men’s middleweight round of 16 bout.

Prince was always in control, skilfully accumulating points throughout to earn a unanimous decision. He also displayed a solid defence, and at the very end of the fight, showed the crowed he could exchange as well, going toe to toe with Strachan as the Bahamian made a desperate bid to snatch victory.

“Oh yeah, I could do that,” said Prince of his late-fight aggression. “But that’s not what it’s about. My style is not to stand and slug it out with nobody punch for punch. Hit and don’t get hit, that’s the principle.

“I want the gold,” he continued, “so I have to push myself to the limit and get there. Reach out and grab it.”

At the SSE Hydro, T&T gymnast William Albert was  15th after the first day of men’s all-around qualification with a score of 39.633. His best performance was on the rings, scoring 14.200 for 11th spot.

At the SECC, goal attack Joelisa Cooper scored 15 goals from 24 attempts in T&T’s 69-34 defeat at the hands of Australia in the netball competition. Goal shoot Kalifa McCollin chipped in with 10 goals from 15 attempts.

And at the National Hockey Centre, the T&T women went under 14-0 to India.

Team T&T Today

(All TT times)

4.30 a.m. – Netball vs England

4.30 a.m. – Table tennis, men’s & women’s singles

5.05 a.m. – Athletics, Kyron Blaise, men’s long jump qualifying

5.55 a.m. – Athletics, Mikel Thomas, men’s 110 hurdles heats

5.58 a.m. – Gymnastics, William Albert, men’s individual qualifying

6.00 a.m. - Hockey, Men vs Malaysia

6.01 a.m. – Athletics, Durell Busby, men’s 110 hurdles heats

6.07 a.m. – Athletics, Wayne Davis, men’s 110 hurdles heats

7.15 a.m. – Athletics, Josanne Lucas, women’s 400 hurdles heats

7.29 a.m. – Athletics, Janeil Bellille, women’s 400 hurdles heats

7.30 a.m. – Squash, men’s, women’s & mixed doubles

7.57 a.m. – Athletics, Kendis Bullard, men’s 800 heats

8.11 a.m. – Athletics, Jamaal James, men’s 800 heats

After 1.30 p.m. - Boxing, Michael Alexander, men’s lightweight quarterfinal

1.40 p.m. – Athletics, Ayanna Alexander, women’s triple jump final

2.07 p.m. – Athletics, Tonya Nero, women’s 10,000 final

2.16 p.m. – Swimming, George Bovell, men’s 50 free final

3.05 p.m. - Athletics, Jarrin Solomon, men’s 400 semis, heat 1

3.11 p.m. - Athletics, Renny Quow, men’s 400 semis, heat 2

3.18 p.m. - Athletics, Lalonde Gordon, men’s 400 semis, heat 3

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