Sharif Webb succssfully defended his men's 800 metres Southern Games title when he produced a determined run over the two-lap event at Guaracara Park, yesterday.
The American took the running from Air Bon Sonics' Christian Benn after the first 200 metres and held the lead until teammate Robert Novak blew past him on the backstretch about 250 metres from home. Webb maintained his composure to put in a challenge over the final 100 metres to reclaim the lead and his title.
He stopped the clock in one minute, 51.58 seconds to better last year's 1.52:10, while Novak held second in 1.51:98 with a fast finishing Clifton Sylvester of Defence Force grabbing third from a fading Jehue Gordon in 1.54:53.
Another athlete who defended his title was Barnabas Kirui of Kenya.
Kirui, fellow Kenyan Silas Kisorio and Saheed Frankie-Khan of Canada turned the men's 5,000 metres into a three-man show as they opened a 40-metre gap on Guyana's Cleveland Forde at the halfway stage, with Matthew Hagley another 40 metres adrift in fifth position
The front three increased the pace to extend their advantage over their nearest rival to about 200 metres with three laps to go. At this point the Kenyans gradually began to pull away from Frankie Khan as Kisorio lengthened his strides with Kirui in close attendance.
Kirui would bide his time and deliver his challenge entering the homestraight to sprint away from his compatriot and claim victory in 15 minutes, 10:13 seconds. Kisorio held second in 15.12:72 with Frankie-Khan third in 15.12:94.
T&T's premier female distance runner Tonya Nero was one of several double crown winners at the the two-day track and field extravaganza. Nero lapped her rivals in her pillar to post romp in the women's 3,000 metres event to add to her facile win the women;s 1,500 metres on Saturday.
The Atheletic Central athlete covered the trip in ten minutes, 23:30 seconds with Donicia Antione of Toco Titans second in 12.13:60 and Petrotrin Palo Seco's Josanne Rojas third in 12.21:46.
Moriba Morain gave T&T something to cheer about when he won the men's 200 metres in a decent 21.40 seconds. Barbados' Shakeim Greaves looked good coming off the bend but Morain delivered a well-timed challenge on the home-straight to come home from Greaves (21.65) and Kyle Greaux of Abilene Wildcats (22.00)
In the women's version, Simplex's Kamaria Durant followed up on her 100m win on Saturday with victory in a time of 24.50 seconds. Durant came home unchallenged from Kayelle Clarke of Petrotrin Palo Seco, 25.17, and Neon Trackers' Ayoka Cummings, 27.36.
And in the 200 metres invitational events, Jamaica's Sheldon Mitchell won the men's version while Kinike Alexander of St Kitts took the women's. Mitchell got out the blocks well but had to run down 100m victor Antoine Adams of St Kitts to claim victory in 21.14 seconds with Adams second in 21.47 and Brandon Christian of Antigua and Barbuda third in 21.75.
Alexander claim a victory similar to Mitchell as she gradually wore down Jamaica's Patricia Hall in the home-straight to win in 23.53 seconds. Hall, 23.85, and Michaylin Golladay of the USA, 25.77, filled the minor placings.
Memphis Poineers' Dawnell Collymore made light work of her two opponents in the women's 800 metres to score a pillar to post victory in a time of two minutes, 19.55 seconds. Burnley's Ishawn Francis was a distance second in 2.26:73 with Kervelle Baird of Petrotrin Palo Seco third in 2.37:27
In action away from the track, Dovers'Dwaine Herbert won the men's long jump when he produced a huge 7.32 metres effort on his fourth jump. UTT Fast Track took second and third places as Kevin Roberts and Atiba Wright had best efforts of 6.87m and 6.82m, respectively.
And Petrotrin Palo Seco's field athlete Geraldine George followed up on her third place in the women's shot put on Saturday with victory in the women's javelin. George's best effort of 39.95 metres was good enough to get the better of Darlene Lewis of UWI St Augustine (39.42m) and the best of 39.36m produced by her clubmate Gwendolyn Smith.
T&T's Varun Maharajh brought the Guaracara Park crowd alive when he came home a gutsy winner of the Elimination event for international cyclists.
Jamaica's Marloe Rodman, Manuel Tunjano of Colombia and Maharajh were the three riders still standing with one more elimination left. Maharajh and Rodman would leave the Colombian for dead to battle out the top two positions, however, it was Maharajh who would get first run and go on to gamely hold off Rodman's determined challenge to claim his first victory after claiming three second place finishes on Saturday.
To add the icing on the cake, Maharajh would later return to clinch victory in the 3000 meters event.
And former national cyclist Michael Phillip had a podium finish on his return to competitive riding. Phillip, riding for his own club Mike's Bike, held his own to take third place behind Warren McKay of Team Trek and Marc Codrington in the 500 metres event for Elite 1&2 riders.