FAST RUN: Keston Bledman

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Bledman, Baptiste run scorchers in Florida

By Kwame Laurence kwame.laurence@trinidadexpress.com

Keston Bledman and Kelly-Ann Baptiste sizzled at the National Training Center (NTC) in Clermont, Florida, USA, yesterday, the Trinidad and Tobago sprint stars recording windy wins at the NTC Last Chance meet.

Bledman stopped the clock at 9.85 seconds—his fastest run ever—to top the men's 100 metres field. The following wind, however, was 3.6 metres per second--well above the 2.0 legal limit. American sprinter Travis Padgett secured second spot in 9.88, ahead of Jamaican Ramone McKenzie (10.05).

Another T&T sprinter, Aaron Armstrong, finished fourth in 10.06 seconds.

In the preliminary round, Bledman won heat one in a wind-assisted 10.11, while Armstrong clocked 10.14 for the top spot in heat four.

Baptiste produced the fastest half-lap clocking of her career, 22.23 seconds, to emerge victorious in the women's 200m. She was aided, though, by an illegal 3.8 metres per second following wind. Italian Libania Grenot (22.45) finished second.

T&T's Josanne Lucas clocked 57.32 seconds to snap up silver in the women's 400m hurdles, behind American Dominique Darden (56.90) and ahead of Jamaican Nickiesha Wilson (58.87).

Aleesha Barber finished fourth in section two and 11th overall in 13.15 seconds in the women's 100m hurdles finals. In the preliminary round, the T&T hurdler clocked a windy 13.42.

Lalonde Gordon was in dominant mood at the Road to London Twilight Series meet, in New York, on Friday. The T&T athlete won the men's 400m in a personal best 45.33 seconds, finishing well ahead of second-placed Brycen Spratling (45.93) of the United States.

At the Prefontaine Classic Samsung Diamond League meet, in Oregon, yesterday, T&T's Rondel Sorrillo got to the line in 20.81 seconds to cop fourth spot in the men's 200m. Fifth-placed Jaysuma Saidy Ndure, of Norway, was also credited with a 20.81 clocking.

Two other T&T sprinters, Emmanuel Callender and Richard "Torpedo" Thompson, finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Callender clocked 20.97 and Thompson 21.30.

American Wallace Spearmon was the class of the field, winning in 20.27 seconds, from Netherlands sprinter Churandy Martina (20.49) and Jamaica's Marvin Anderson (20.74). The 2004 Olympic half-lap champion, American Shawn Crawford (21.39), was eighth.

Callender finished eighth in the 100m dash in 10.14 seconds. American Justin Gatlin continued his fine run of form, the 2004 Olympic gold medallist winning in 9.90. Jamaican Nickel Ashmeade was second in a personal best 9.93, while third spot went to another American, Trell Kimmons (10.04).

At the Meeting Elite de Marseille, in France, on Thursday, T&T quarter-miler Jarrin Solomon produced a 46.28 seconds run to finish fourth in the men's 400m. Belgian Jonathan Borlee (45.30), France's Teddy Venel (45.62) and South African Ofentse Mogawane (45.97) were first, second and third, respectively.

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