Things are certainly heating-up as we approach the final four weeks to Berlin. Caribbean athletes have been stepping up the pace over the last two weeks and things were no different at the 25th Vardinoyannia in Rethymno, Greece yesterday (July 20), where the region’s English- and Spanish-speaking athletes registered several excellent performances.
The Bahamas’s Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie won the second heat of the women’s 200m in a world leading 22.34 secs. (+0.3m/s). USA’s Lashauntae Moore was 2nd in 22.66 while The Virgin Island’s LaVern Jones-Ferrete was 3rd in 22.88. The 33-yr-old Ferguson-McKenzie, who won the 200m at the 2009 Bahamas National Trials in 22.83 and the 150m in the rain at the Manchester street race in England this year, has had a lifetime best of 22.19 since 1999.
Jamaica’s Simone Facey was the winner of heat 1 of the 200m in 22.90 secs. (+0.90) ahead of countrywoman Aleen Bailey (22.93) and Cayman’s Cydonie Mothersill-Modibo (23.19). Anastacia LeRoy of Jamaica was 4th with her season’s best of 23.21.
Perhaps the race of the day, however, was the men’s 200m heat 2 won by 19-yr-old Central American Edward Alonso of Panama, who held on to win in a personal best 20.00 secs. (+1.30), just holding off Jamaica’s Steve Mullings (20.01) and the USA’s LaShawn Merritt in (20.29). Alonso’s time is a new Panamanian record. Mullings’s time of 20.01 is his personal best.
Trinidad & Tobago’s Emmanuel Callender was 2nd in the first 200m in 20.72 secs. to American Willie Kelly (20.50).
Cuba’s Dayron Robles won the men’s 110m in a close finish in 13.17 secs. ahead of USA’s Dexter Faulk in 13.18. Barbados's Ryan Braithwaite was 3rd in 13.26. Robles, the epitome of consistency and flawless hurdling technique, has not lost a race this season.
There was a Caribbean 1-2-3 sweep in the women’s triple jump where the Cuban duo of Yargelis Savigne (14.80m) and Mabel Gay (14.44m) took the two top spots followed by Jamaica’s Tricia Smith (14.26) in 3rd.
Other notable performances came from Jamaica’s Danny McFarlane, 2nd in heat 2 of 400m in 48.77 secs, behind the USA’s Bershawn Jackson (48.55), while Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic also finished 2nd in heat 1 with 48.96 behind Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson (48.46).
Jamaica’s Shereefa Lloyd finished 4th in the women’s 400m in 51.54 secs. Great Britain’s Nicola Sanders (51.21) took this event.