Keston Bledman won his first senior national sprint title in style, bolting to victory in a personal best 9.86 seconds at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, late yesterday.
At the halfway mark, "Blazing Bledman" was in charge, motoring to the line for a commanding victory in the NAAA Sagicor/NGC National Open Track and Field Championship men's 100 metres final.
Richard "Torpedo" Thompson did not achieve his beaver-trick goal, but had the satisfaction of getting home in an impressive 9.96 seconds to seize silver.
Rondel Sorrillo clocked a new personal record (PR), 10.03, to claim bronze, ahead of Marc Burns (10.06), Emmanuel Callender (10.12), Jamol James (10.17), Darrel Brown (10.27) and Aaron Armstrong (10.51).
Bledman had sounded a warning ahead of the final with a speedy victory in the second semifinal, clocking 10.04 seconds to beat Sorrillo (10.11) into second spot.
After the championship race, Bledman told the Sunday Express he is extremely satisfied with his performance.
"I'm just thanking the Lord for coming out injury free. I'm very, very, very happy with the time. My fans came so I had to give them a show.
"No disrespect to (Usain) Bolt, (Yohan) Blake, my training Tyson Gay, but when I go to the Olympics, I'm going to win. I ain't going there to play around. I have at least 9.7 in me."
Bledman is now joint-second on the all-time Trinidad and Tobago performance list, with quadruple Olympic medallist Ato Boldon. Thompson is in the number one spot with his 9.85 seconds national record.
Kelly-Ann Baptiste whipped the T&T young brigade in the women's 100m final.
The World Championship bronze medallist separated herself from the field early in the race, and by the halfway stage was in full control. Baptiste went on to win in 10.98 seconds, finishing well ahead of Semoy Hackett, the silver medallist in 11.14, Kai Selvon (11.24) and Michelle-Lee Ahye (11.29).
A strong finish from Lalonde Gordon earned the 23-year-old athlete gold in the men's 400m. Gordon clocked 45.40 seconds to grab the title from Renny Quow, the 2011 champion finishing second in 45.60. Third spot went to 19-year-old Deon Lendore (45.74).
Jarrin Solomon (45.88) copped fourth spot, and 17-year-old Machel Cedenio finished fifth in a personal best 46.02 seconds--a new national youth (under-18) record.
Lendore, in lane three, made the early running in the one-lap final, quickly making up the stagger on Quow, in four. But Quow stepped up a gear in the second half of the race, catching Lendore about 60 metres from home.
Gordon, though, was strongest in the dying stages, surging past the pair and thrusting an arm in the air to celebrate his first national title.
Sparkle McKnight produced a superb run in the women's 400m final, winning in a Championship record 52.44 seconds, from Shawna Fermin (53.39) and Alena Brooks (54.27).
The first champion crowned on the track yesterday was Josanne Lucas. The Tobago athlete stormed to victory in the women's 100m hurdles, stopping the clock at 13.07 seconds to beat Aleesha Barber (13.30) into second spot.
Lucas' clocking equalled the Championship record established by Barber in 2008.
Wayne Davis II emerged as men's 110m hurdles champion, the American-born T&T athlete getting to the line in 13.62 seconds.
Ayanna Alexander captured her seventh straight women's triple jump title with a 14.04 metres effort--a new Championship record.
There was also a Championship record for Annie Alexander. She won her eighth women's discus title with a big 56.54m throw.
The Championships continue from 10 a.m. today with men's 200m heats. The second session starts at 2.30 p.m.
DAY 1 RESULTS
Men's 100m (wind: +1.4)
1 Keston Bledman (Simplex) 9.86
2 Richard Thompson (Rebirth) 9.96
3 Rondel Sorrillo (La Brea Athletics) 10.03
Women's 100m (wind: +0.6)
1 Kelly-Ann Baptiste (Zenith) 10.98
2 Semoy Hackett (Zenith) 11.14
3 Kai Selvon (Air Bon Sonics) 11.24
Men's 100m "B" race (wind: +0.9)
1 Shermund Allsop (Concorde) 10.29
2 Jason Rogers (St Kitts & Nevis) 10.41
3 Moriba Morain (Simplex) 10.45
Women's 100m "B" race (wind: +0.5)
1 Virgil Hodge (St Kitts & Nevis) 11.46
2 Janelle Redhead (Grenada) 11.55
3 Shun-Shauna Mason (Concorde) 11.62
1 Lalonde Gordon (Tigers) 45.40
2 Renny Quow (Zenith) 45.60
3 Deon Lendore (Abilene) 45.74
1 Sparkle McKnight (Neon Trackers) 52.44 CR
2 Shauna Fermin (Memphis) 53.39
3 Alena Brooks (Memphis) 54.27
Men's 400m "B" race
1 Bralon Taplin (Grenada) 46.37
2 Winston George (Guyana) 46.51
3 Omar Longart (Venezuela) 46.63
Women's 400m "B" race
1 Kanika Beckles (Grenada) 53.13
2 Kineke Alexander (St Vincent) 53.26
3 Neisa Allen (Guyana) 55.46
1 Gavyn Nero (Memphis) 3:55.16
2 Cleveland Thomas (Health Olympians) 3:56.14
3 Matthew Hagley (Defence Force) 3:56.78
1 Pilar McShine (unattached) 4:24.91
2 Dawnel Collymore (Memphis) 4:53.86
Men's 3,000m steeplechase
1 Carl Stones (USA) 8:51.30
2 Adrie Dannemiller (USA) 8:54.27
3 Loren Ahonen (USA) 8:59.26
Women's 100m hurdles (wind: +1.1)
1 Josanne Lucas (Tobago Falcons) 13.07 =CR
2 Aleesha Barber (Rebirth) 13.30
Men's 110m hurdles (wind: +1.0)
1 Wayne Davis II (unattached) 13.62
2 Durell Busby (Jaguars Tobago) 13.81
3 Mikel Thomas (Rebirth) 13.99
Women's high jump
1 Jeanelle Ovid (QRC) 1.65m
2 Deandra Daniel (Dovers) 1.65m
Men's long jump
1 Kyron Blaise (Toco TAFAC) 7.63m (wind: +1.4)
2 Leon Hunt (US Virgin Islands) 7.53m (wind: +1.1)
3 Georni Jaramillo (Venezuela) 7.44m (wind: +0.9)
Women's triple jump
1 Ayanna Alexander (unattached) 14.04m (wind: -0.3) CR
2 Carisa Leacock (QRC) 12.18m (wind: +1.3)
Men's shot put
1 Akeem Stewart (Tobago Falcons) 16.95m
2 Hezekiel Romeo (Memphis) 16.72m
3 Kesean Phillips (UWI) 15.96m
1 Annie Alexander (Burnley) 56.54m CR
2 Hilenn James (George Clarke Striders) 53.50m
3 Ashlee Smith (D'Abadie) 48.02m
Men's hammer throw
1 Sukraj Roodal (Humming Bird) 14.48m
Women's hammer throw
1 Ashlee Smith (D'Abadie) 45.48m
2 Sandra Greenidge (Eastonians) 15.14m
1 Geraldine George (Petrotrin Palo Seco) 40.62m
2 Gwendolyn Smith (Petrotrin Palo Seco) 38.32m
3 Akidah Briggs (Toco TAFAC) 36.00m
CR – Championship Record