"When I saw 20.1, I was like, okay, 19 is right there. I could do it."
Thrilled with his superb run in yesterday's Sagicor National Open Track and Field Championship men's 200 metres final, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, in Port of Spain, Rondel Sorrillo is now firmly focused on becoming only the second Trinidad and Tobago sprinter to join the sub-20 club.
Sorrillo secured half-lap gold in 20.16 seconds, a new Championship record. The clocking is also a new personal best.
Sorrillo is now third on the all-time T&T list, behind Ato Boldon, the national record holder at 19.77, and Aaron Armstrong (20.08).
Sorrillo told the Express his clocking was a big surprise.
"I wasn't expecting it. I just got out there and ran. I was kind of tired during the heats, but I just sucked it up and ran."
Coming off the turn, Sorrillo was a couple strides ahead of his closest challenger. He widened the gap on the straight, romping to an impressive victory.
"I had been trying to run under 20.4 (this season), but it just wasn't working out. Through the grace of God and hard work, it worked (today)."
Sorrillo is now sixth on the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) 2011 world performance list.
He hopes to join the sub-20 club at the August 27-September 4 World Championships, in Daegu, Korea.
Eighteen-year-old Moriba Morain clocked a personal best 20.80 seconds to earn silver in the half-lap final, while bronze was bagged by Lalonde Gordon in 21.03.
Jehue Gordon retained his men's 400m hurdles title in emphatic fashion, the 2010 world junior champion winning in a Championship record 48.75 seconds. The clocking is Gordon's fastest time this season.
There were no challengers for the 19-year-old track star, second-placed Jamele Mason, of Puerto Rico, getting home in 50.19.
"It doesn't really matter to me if you run by yourself or if you run with people. It's always great to come out here and give my best in front of the home crowd. I'm satisfied, giving God praise and thanks after such a hard start to the season. Things are falling into place at the right time."
Quincy Wilson broke a national record in the day's opening event, the men's discus. Though he was the lone entrant, Wilson was highly motivated, producing a 59.60 metres heave to improve on his own T&T standard. The throw is also a Championship record.
Kai Selvon cruised to victory in the women's 200m, the 19-year-old sprinter getting to the line in 23.27 seconds. Reyare Thomas (23.52) and St Kitts & Nevis sprinter Virgil Hodge (24.09) earned silver and bronze, respectively.
The T&T combination of Rondel Sorrillo, Darrel Brown, Lalonde Gordon and Emmanuel Callender won the men's 4x100m relay in 39.71 seconds. Puerto Rico finished second in 39.97.
Teenager Mark London finished strong to capture the men's 800m title. London returned a time of one minute, 54.23 seconds.
Denzel Ramirez clocked 15:19.97 to win the men's 5,000m. Matthew Hagley copped the runner-up spot in 16:10.02. And Dwight Yearwood received a standing ovation from the 5,000-plus crowd as he headed for the finish line, the disabled runner bagging bronze in 28:30.36.
Annie Alexander made light work of the field in the women's shot put. She struck gold with a 16.53m effort. Second-placed Gwendolyn Smith threw the iron ball 12.34m. On Saturday, Alexander struck gold in the discus.
Yesterday, Chris Hercules earned the men's triple jump title with a 15.75m effort.
And Barbadian Thorrold Murray cleared the bar at a Championship record height of 2.15m for top spot in the men's high jump.
DAY 2 RESULTS
Men's 200m (wind: +1.6)
1 Rondel Sorrillo (La Brea AC) 20.16
2 Moriba Morain (Simplex) 20.80
3 Lalonde Gordon (Tigers) 21.03
Women's 200m (wind: -1.9)
1 Kai Selvon (unattached) 23.27
2 Reyare Thomas (Neon Trackers) 23.52
3 Virgil Hodge (St Kitts & Nevis) 24.09
Men's invitational 200m (wind: +0.5)
1 Harold Houston (Bermuda) 21.20
2 Geronimo Goeloe (Aruba) 21.23
3 David Hamil (Cayman Islands) 21.39
1 Mark London (Zenith) 1:54.23
2 Sterlen Paul (Neon Trackers) 1:55.06
3 Denny Gualbance (Quantum) 1:55.40
1 Dawnel Collymore (Memphis) 2:17.37
2 Kervelle Baird (Petrotrin Palo Seco) 2:34.60
1 Denzel Ramirez (Defence Force) 15:19.97
2 Matthew Hagley (Defence Force) 16:10.02
3 Dwight Yearwood (UTT Fast Track) 28:30.36
Men's 400m hurdles
1 Jehue Gordon (Memphis) 48.75
2 Jamele Mason (Puerto Rico) 50.19
3 Emmanuel Mayers (Rebirth) 50.43
Women's 400m hurdles
1 Janeil Bellille (Neon Trackers) 59.25
2 Romona Modeste (Neon Trackers) 1:03.67
Men's high jump
1 Thorrold Murray (Barbados) 2.15m
2 Rodney Liverpool (Defence Force) 1.85m
3 Kevin Roberts (Point Fortin New Jets) 1.85m
Women's long jump
1 Essence Mayers (Rebirth) 5.96m (wind: +2.6)
2 Seantal Brereton (Warriors AC) 5.33m (wind: +2.5)
3 Josanne Joseph (Morvant Jets) 5.01m (wind: -2.6)
Men's triple jump
1 Chris Hercules (Memphis) 15.75m (wind: +0.1)
2 Kyle Preudhomme (unattached) 14.25m (wind: +1.2)
3 Kevin Roberts (Point Fortin New Jets) 13.91m (wind: +0.4)
Women's shot put
1 Annie Alexander (Burnley) 16.53m
2 Gwendolyn Smith (Petrotrin Palo Seco) 12.34m
3 Shaunna Downey (Burnley) 11.00m
1 Quincy Wilson (Health Olympians) 59.60m
1 Gwendolyn Smith (Petrotrin Palo Seco) 40.75m
2 Nakita Frederick (Morvant Jets) 34.80m
3 Sandra Greenidge (Eastonians) 26.03m
1 Trinidad & Tobago (Rondel Sorrillo, Darrel Brown, Lalonde Gordon, Emmanuel Callender) 39.71
2 Puerto Rico (Hector Cotto, Carlos Rodriguez, Sean Holston, Miguel Lopez) 39.97
3 Simplex (Jesse Berkley, Justin Maloney, Joel Dillon, Moriba Morain) 40.49
1 St Kitts & Nevis (Davanna Claxton, Tameka Williams, Tanika Liburd, Virgil Hodge) 44.88
2 Zenith (Hajaar Smith, Zakiya Denoon, Britney Williams, Tiffany Hackett) 54.88