RECORD RUN: Richard “Torpedo” Thompson, right, wins the NGC/Sagicor National Open Track & Field Championship men’s 100 metres final, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, yesterday. Thompson clocked 9.82 seconds – a new national record. Darrel Brown, second from right, finished third, while Marc Burns, left, and Emmanuel Callender, second from left, were fourth and sixth, respectively. Keston Bledman (not in photo) was second. —Photo: STEPHEN DOOBAY

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FLYING TORPEDO

Thompson thrills with 9.82 scorcher

By Kwame Laurence kwame.laurence@trinidadexpress.com

Richard “Torpedo” Thompson produced an absolute sizzler at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, yesterday.

The 29-year-old sprint star established a new national record, bolting to victory in the NGC/Sagicor National Open Track & Field Championship men’s 100 metres final in 9.82 seconds! The clocking was three-hundredths of a second faster than the 9.85 T&T standard established by the Torpedo back in 2011. 

“I’m thrilled with the performance,” Thompson told the Express. “I didn’t come in chasing any time. The national record was the furthest thing from my mind. I knew I had a quality field to deal with, people like Rondel Sorrillo, Darrel Brown, Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, the usual suspects.”

By midpoint in the race, Thompson looked a winner, the Louisiana-based track star motoring to the line ahead of defending champion Bledman, the silver medallist in 10 seconds flat. There was a welcome return to form for Brown, the former world junior champion earning bronze in 10.05. Burns (10.21) and Sorrillo (10.23) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Thompson's 9.82 run is the fastest time in the world this year.

Michelle-Lee Ahye was on fire at the Crawford Stadium, seizing gold in the women’s 100m dash in a fast 10.88 seconds. Ahye darted to the front, and then opened up a huge gap on her rivals, Kai Selvon finishing a distant second in 11.32.

Ahye was even faster in the semi-final round. The 22-year-old sprinter had a personal best of 11.04 seconds ahead of the semis. At the end of the second heat, that clocking was a distant memory, Ahye winning in 10.85 seconds to shoot to the top of the 2014 world performance list. The time was just two-hundredths of a second slower than the 10.83 T&T record established by Kelly-Ann Baptiste at the 2013 National Championships.

“It was unexpected,” said Ahye. “For the semis I was like wow. I was shocked. I was very excited.”

Janeil Bellille erased a 16-year-old national record from the books. The Texas A&M University student won the women’s 400m final in 51.83 seconds, bettering the 51.96 standard established by Beverly Pierre way back in 1998.

Renny Quow won the men’s 400m title, edging Lalonde Gordon into second spot. Both quartermilers clocked 45.08 seconds, but Quow had the edge in the photo finish, beating his rival by four-thousandths of a second. Jarrin Solomon bagged bronze in 45.59.

At the top of the home straight, Gordon was in front, but Quow reeled in the Olympic bronze medallist close to the end, before outleaning him at the line.

Wayne Davis II was superb in the men’s 110m hurdles, securing gold with a 13.21 seconds run—a new Championship record. Mikel Thomas picked up silver in 13.45, while bronze went to Durell Busby (13.64).

And Akeem Stewart threw the iron ball 17.76m to retain his men’s shot put title. Stewart and Hezekiel Romeo exchanged the lead throughout the six-round competition, Stewart eventually claiming gold with his final throw. Romeo finished second with a 17.55m effort.

The Championships continue from 2.30 this afternoon at the Crawford Stadium.

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