GOLDEN RUN: Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Keston Bledman, left, wins the Arima Invitational Challenge men’s 100 metres dash, at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Arima, late on Saturday. Bledman clocked 10.08 seconds, while second-placed Brijesh Lawrence, right, of St Kitts and Nevis, got to the line in 10.16. Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK



T&T sprinter clocks 10.08 in Arima

By Kwame Laurence

Keston Bledman produced an impressive run to capture the Arima Invitational Challenge men’s 100 metres title, at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Arima, on Saturday night.

Bledman separated from the field, giving himself the luxury of shutting down at the end. The Trinidad and Tobago sprinter won the race in 10.08 seconds, leaving Brijesh Lawrence of St Kitts and Nevis and Barbadian Ramon Gittens to battle for the runner-up spot.

Lawrence clocked 10.16 to secure the silver, ahead of Gittens (10.19) and T&T’s former world junior champion Darrel Brown (10.35).

Lawrence did have the satisfaction, however, of striking gold. He won the 200m in 20.37 seconds, forcing Gittens to settle for silver in 20.44.

The men’s 400m showdown between Renny Quow and Machel Cedenio did not materialise. Still sore from his 45.23 seconds national junior record run in the Cayman Islands on Wednesday, 18-year-old Cedenio pulled out of the race.

Quow dominated the one-lap event with a 45.62 seconds run, finishing well ahead of Jamaicans Chumaine Fitten (46.55) and Oral Thompson (47.67).

American Jernail Hayes grabbed women’s 400m gold in 53.31 seconds, while T&T’s Romona Modeste clocked 54.99 to finish second.

Audrea Segree captured the women’s 100m title in 11.45 seconds, from American Jessica Young (11.58) and T&T’s Aaliyah Telesford (11.70).

Segree was back on the newly-laid track for the 200m, winning in 23.52.

A brave front-running effort from Kendis Bullard in the men’s 800m paid rich dividends, the T&T athlete earning the title in one minute, 50.76 seconds.

Bullard led at the bell, and with 200 metres to go he was still in front. Both Kenyan Silas Kisorio and T&T’s Kerime Morris tried to challenge the leader on the home straight, but to no avail. Bullard had enough gas left in the tank to stay ahead, even lengthening his lead.

Kisorio was forced to settle for the runner-up spot, in 1:51.52, while Morris completed his two laps of the track in 1:51.69 to finish third.

In the 1,500m, however, Kisorio was the class of the field, clocking 3:52.75 for a comfortable cushion on second-placed Cleveland Forde (3:54.87) of Guyana. T&T runners, George Smith (3:57.20) and Denny Gualbance (3:57.64) were third and fourth, respectively.

In the men’s 110m hurdles, Americans Andrew Bronson and Frederick Townsend finished one-two, clocking 13.62 and 13.81, respectively. T&T’s Ruebin Walters got to the line in 14.38 seconds to secure bronze.

Sirena Williams was dominant in the women’s 100m hurdles. The American got home in 13.53 seconds to finish well ahead of her closest rival, T&T’s Akila McShine (13.80).

There were sprint doubles for three athletes in the age-group events.

Akanni Hislop clocked 10.94 seconds for victory in the boys’ under-18 100m dash. And in the 200m, he beat his rivals with a 22.12 run.

Jenea Spinks topped the girls’ under-16 100m field in 12.11 seconds, and then returned to the track for victory in the 200m in 25.19.

In the boys’ under-14 Arima Primary Schools 100m, Daniel Philbert won in 12.98 seconds. The Arima Boys Government student also captured the half-lap title, getting to the line in 26.72.
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