IMPRESSIVE RUN: Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Michelle-Lee Ahye, left, competes next to American English Gardner in the women’s 100 metres dash, at the Athletissima IAAF Diamond League meet, in Lausanne, Switzerland, yesterday. Ahye won the race in 10.98 seconds, while Gardner clocked 11.19 to finish third. —Photo: AP

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GOLDEN DEBUT

Ahye wins at first Diamond League meet

By \\\\\ Kwame Laurence kwame.laurence@trinidadexpress.com

Michelle-Lee Ahye struck gold on her IAAF Diamond League debut, in Lausanne, Switzerland, yesterday. The Trinidad and Tobago sprinter topped the Athletissima women’s 100 metres field in an impressive 10.98 seconds.

Running into a 0.3 metres per second headwind, Ahye recovered from an ordinary start to just get the better of Murielle Ahoure, the Ivory Coast athlete also clocking 10.98 to pick up silver. American English Gardner was a distant third in 11.19, while Nigerian Blessing Okagbare was a non-finisher.

“Tonight I felt really good and very pleased to have won my first Diamond League event,” said Ahye, in an interview on the IAAF website (www.iaaf.org). “The time was good and I’m happy to go under 11 seconds. I know that if I can get the first 20-30 metres right, I can run a good race.”

Two Saturdays ago, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Ahye captured the NGC/Sagicor National Open Track & Field Championship women’s 100m title with a 10.88 seconds bolt. The 22-year-old athlete was even faster in the semi-final round, winning her heat in a personal best and world-leading 10.85.

Yesterday, in Lausanne, Ahye proved that her sub-11 form at Nationals was no fluke.

T&T’s Cleopatra Borel finished fourth in the Athletissima women’s shot put with an 18.88 metres throw.

New Zealand’s Olympic and world champion Valerie Adams threw the iron ball 20.42m for an easy victory, beating Gong Lijiao (19.65m) of China and American Michelle Carter (19.38m) into second and third, respectively.

Reigning world champion Jehue Gordon was sixth in the men’s 400m hurdles, the T&T athlete getting home in 49.29 seconds.

Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson (48.32), American Michael Tinsley (48.40) and South Africa’s Cornel Fredericks (49.00) earned gold, silver and bronze, respectively, while fourth spot went to Dominican Republic’s two-time Olympic gold medallist Felix Sanchez (49.08).

T&T’s Lalonde Gordon clocked 48.38 seconds for eighth spot in the men’s 400m.

Olympic champion Kirani James was on fire in the one-lap race, the Grenadian stopping the clock at a personal best 43.74 to grab gold, ahead of world champion LaShawn Merritt (43.92) of the United States, Saudi Arabia’s Youssef Al-Masrahi (44.43) and Bahamian veteran Chris Brown (44.59).

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