Richard Thompson, 29-year-old Trinidad & Tobago national resident in the United States, would have been as non-plussed as all others seeing Portugal gain a last-gasp equalising goal in their Football World Cup finals match against the United States yesterday – a 2-all draw – but his joy at establishing a new Trinidad and Tobago 100-metre record and the fastest time in the event in the world this year remains more than comforting.
Saturday night, second night of the Trinidad and Tobago Senior Open Track and Field Championships at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain, Thompson sprinted to victory in the men’s 100-metre final timed at 9.82 seconds, erasing his 9.85 national record set in the August 2011 championships and moving from third to first on the world list for fastest man at this distance outdoors in 2014.
American Justin Gatlin, unbeaten in nine 100-metre races this year, drooped to second with his June 17th 9.86 season’s best and Jamaican Kemarley Brown now third with his May 17th 9.93 posting. Thompson was previously third with a 9.95-second achievement on June 8 in the Netherlands.
Upstaged last year by winner Keston Bledman, Thompson gained revenge as Bledman finished second this time in 10 seconds flat, a time that upped him to 8th fastest in the world this year.
Darrel Brown with a 10.05 clocking was third with Mark Burns (10.21), fourth and Rondell Sorrillo (10.23) fifth.
Also producing a world-beating run was Michelle-Lee Ahye who achieved two fastest women 100 metre times of the year with a world leading 10.85 seconds in the semifinals and a 10.88 posting in her triumph in the final.
Lee Ahye, second to Kelly Ann Baptiste last year, did not have Baptiste in contention this year – Baptiste’s whereabouts not known as she awaits a case hearing by the National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago for a doping allegation that surfaced since Ausgust last year.
Second to Lee Ahye was Kai Selvon in 11.32 seconds and third Reyare Thomas in 11.38 seconds.
Lee Ahye also won the 200-metres final in 22.95 seconds with Thomas second in 23.17 and Kayelle Clarke third (23.44 seconds).
Lalonde Gordon was 200-metre men’s race winner in 20.38 seconds with Renny Quow second (20.41) and Kyle Greaux thid (20.59).
Quow and Gordon featured in a stride for stride finish in the 400 metres final with both timed at 45.08 seconds but Quow got the nod by four-thousandth of a second. Third was Jarrin Solomon in 45.59 seconds.
Janeil Belillle set a new national record for the women at the distance winning in 51.83 seconds, erasing the 16-year-old national record of 51.96 logged by Beverly Pierre back in 1998.
Another woman athlete in feature was shot putter Cleopatra Borel-Brown who won gold with an 18.63-metre heave of the shot ahead of Cubans Yaniuvis Lopez (17.37 m) and Sahily Viart (15.67).
Wayne Davis Jr.’s 13.21-second time in winning the 110-metres hurdles was a championship record and a dethroning of Mikel Thomas who was second this year in 13.45 while remaining national record-holder with his 13.19 mark.
Davis also broke the Trinidad and Tobago all-comers’ record, set by Roger Kingdom back in 1985.
And Emmanuel Mayers (49.57 seconds) upset world 400-metres hurdles champion compatriot Jehue Gordon (49.69) into second place in the final with Cuban Jose Luis Gaspar third in 51.06.
In the absence of injured Keshorn Walcott, the Olympic javelin throw champion, Shaquille Waithe won with a Commonwealth Games qualifying mark of 72.75 metres.