Machel Cedenio smashed the national junior (under-20) 400 metres record in George Town, Grand Cayman, late on Wednesday, scorching the track in 45.23 seconds to win the Cayman International Invitational men’s one-lap event.
The 18-year-old Trinidad and Tobago athlete finished ahead of American Torrin Lawrence, the runner-up in 45.34, and Jamaican Dane Hyatt (45.70).
Cedenio’s winning time was more than a half-second faster than the previous T&T boys’ under-20 record—the 45.74 run produced by Renny Quow to earn gold at the 2006 World Junior Championships in Beijing, China.
Cedenio, winner of the 2013 and 2014 Carifta Games boys’ under-20 400m titles, is a big favourite for one-lap gold at the July 22-27 World Junior Championships, in Eugene, Oregon, USA. At the 2012 World Juniors in Barcelona, Spain, Cedenio finished fifth in the 400m final and helped T&T earn bronze in the 4x400m relay.
The 45.23 clocking is big improvement for Cedenio on his previous personal best of 45.93.
The young T&T quartermiler is the 2014 world junior leader, and enjoys a huge cushion on the two athletes who are joint-second on the performance list, Jamaican Nathon Allen and American Michael Cherry. Both Allen and Cherry have clocked 46.11 seconds this season.
Cedenio is also 13th on the overall 2014 world outdoor performance list. Reigning world champion LaShawn Merritt (44.44) of the United States, Grenada’s 2012 Olympic gold medallist Kirani James (44.60) and Dominican Republic’s 2012 Olympic silver medallist Luguelin Santos (44.72) are the top three, while T&T’s Deon Lendore is fourth at 44.90.
Another T&T athlete, Jamaal James returned a time of one minute, 49.75 seconds to seize silver in the Cayman International Invitational men’s 800m event.
James just missed out on gold, Jamaican Jowayne Hibbert earning the top spot with a 1:49.69 clocking. Third spot went to another Jamaican, Ricardo Cunningham (1:50.12).
T&T’s Keston Bledman secured bronze in the men’s 100m dash in 10.29 seconds. Evergreen St Kitts and Nevis sprinter Kim Collins topped the field in 10.22, forcing American Harry Adams (10.24) to settle for second spot.
Romona Modeste finished fifth in the women’s 400m, the T&T athlete getting home in 54.49 seconds.
Novlene Williams-Mills dominated the field with a 50.26 run, finishing well ahead of her fellow-Jamaican Bobby-Gaye Wilkins-Gooden, the silver medallist in 52.93. Canadian Jenna Martin (53.91) and Bahamian Lenece Clarke (54.06) were third and fourth, respectively.
At the Horizon League Outdoor Championships, in Ohio, USA, on Sunday, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student Durell Busby struck gold in the men’s 110m hurdles. The T&T athlete got to the line in 13.88 seconds.