Olympic champion Steve Gardiner turned in a quality performance to open his outdoor season after clocking a world-leading 44.22 seconds at the LSU Alumni Gold meet on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Gardiner continued to build momentum from a series of impressive indoor performances earlier this season, where he competed in the 200m.  On Saturday, the Bahamian beat back a challenge from the USA’s Vernon Norwood, who ran 44.59 for second place.  The time was the fourth-fastest of Norwood's career.

Great Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith finished third in 44.61 seconds and the USA’s Tyler Terry was fourth in 45.00.  The time was Gardiner’s fastest ever 400m season opener and seems to set him in good stead to defend his world title at the Eugene 2022 World Championships later this summer.  Gardiner’s time bettered the earlier mark of 44.28 seconds, set by the USA’s Michael Cherry last weekend.

Elsewhere, Jamaica’s LSU hurdles star Damion Thomas finished third in the men’s 110 metres hurdles.  Thomas’ time of 13.79 saw him finish just behind Canada’s Joey Daniels who clocked 13.78 for second, while the event was won by LSU’s Eric Edwards Jr who took top spot in a time of 13.34.

Reigning World and Olympic champion, Steve Gardiner, registered the fastest time ever recorded indoors over 300m, after clocking a blistering 31.56 at the South Carolina Invitational, in Colombia, on Friday.

The Bahamian looked in splendid form in just his second race of the season, having set a national record of 32.06 over the distance three weeks ago.  The new time obliterated the previous best of 31.87 set by the USA’s Noah Lyles in 2017.

Jamaica’s Nathon Allen finished behind Gardiner in 32.54.  The result was a personal best for Allen who left the Jamaica-based MVP track club late last year to join Gardiner at Empire Athletics in Florida. 

Trinidad and Tobago’s Asa Guevara won heat two in 33.49, ahead of another Bahamian Kinard Rolle who was second in 34.49.  Another Jamaica, Ronald Sayles, was second in heat 3 with a time of 34.31.  The event was won by Chance Arinze (33.42).

Puerto Rican Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn won the women’s event, in the process clocking 36.52 and breaking her own national record set two weeks ago.

In other events, Guyana’s Aliyah Abraham also recorded a new personal best in the women’s 400m after clocking 52.05 to win the event ahead of Diamond League champion Quanera Hayes who was second in 52.31.

 

  Women’s 4x400 Metres

 Cuba and Jamaica both advanced to the final.

The Cuban team of Zurian Hechevarria, Rose Mary Almanza, Sahily Diago and Lisneidy Veitia ran 3:24.04 to finish second in heat 1.

Junelle Bromfield, Roniesha McGregor, Janieve Russell and Stacey Ann Williams formed the Jamaican quartet that finished second in heat 2 to advance with 3:21.95.

The Bahamas quartet of Doneisha Anderson

Megan Moss, Brianne Bethel and Anthonique Strachan also competed in heat 1 but did not finish the race.

 Men’s 400 Metres

The Caribbean secured two more medals in the men’s 400 metres.

Bahamian Steven Gardiner won gold in a time of 43.85 and Grenada’s Kirani James secured bronze in 44.19.

 This is Gardiner’s second straight global gold medal after winning at the 2019 Doha World Championships.

James has now won 400 metres medals at the last three Olympics after winning gold in London in 2012 and silver in Rio 2016.

Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor was also in the final and finished sixth in a new personal best 44.79.

The British Virgin Islands Chantel Malone and Trinidad and Tobago’s Tyra Gittens will represent the Caribbean in the women’s long jump final after finishing 5th and 9th in qualifying on Saturday.

The other regional athletes in competition, Jamaicans Chanice Porter and Tissanna Hickling finished 24th and 25th respectively in qualifying with distances of 6.22 and 6.19.

Elsewhere, Trinidad & Tobago’s Portious Warren could not manage to get among the medals after finishing 10th in the final of the women’s shot put.

Men's 400m 

Nine Caribbean men advanced to the next round of the men’s 400 metres.  Heat 1 of the event saw Grenada’s 2012 Olympic Champion, Kirani James, finish second in 45.09 to advance.

Demish Gaye of Jamaica and Alonzo Russell of the Bahamas also advanced to the semi-finals from heat 1 as two of the six fastest losers, after finishing 4th and 5th in 45.49 and 45.51 respectively.

The third heat also saw three Caribbean men advance to the semi-finals as Jonathan Jones of Barbados, Christopher Taylor of Jamaica and Dwight St. Hillaire of Trinidad & Tobago all made it through.

Jones and Taylor finished second and third with times of 45.04 and 45.20 to advance automatically and St. Hillaire finished fourth in 45.41 to advance as a fastest loser.

Steven Gardiner, the reigning world champion, easily won heat 5 in 45.05 to advance to the semi-finals.

Trinidadian Deon Lendore also advanced from heat 5 after finishing second behind Gardiner in 45.14.

Jamaica’s Nathon Allen was also in heat 5 but failed to advance after finishing fourth in 46.12.

Machel Cedenio, the Trinidadian who narrowly missed out on a medal five years ago in Rio, also advanced to the semi-finals after finishing third in the 6th and final heat in 45.56.

Men's Lomg Jump

Earlier, Tajay Gayle qualified for the final of the men’s long jump, despite picking up an apparent left knee injury.

The Jamaican fouled his first attempt and picked up the injury while jumping 6.72 in his second attempt.  He jumped out to 8.14 in his third, with heavy strapping around his left knee.

Juan Miguel Echevarria of Cuba had the longest jump in qualifying after leaping out to 8.50 in his first attempt.

The men’s long jump final will get underway at 8:20pm today.

Natoya Goule won her semi-final to advance to the final of the women’s 800 metres.

Goule took the lead early and never looked back, running 1:59.57 to get to her first Olympic final.

Jamaica’s Chad Wright, in the meantime, finished ninth in the men’s discus final with a throw of 62.56.

Elsewhere, the Dominican Republic mixed 4x400m team of Andres Feliz, Marileidy Paulino, Anabel Medina, and Alexander Ogando ran 3:10.21 to finish second in the final and secure the silver medal.

Sean Bailey, Stacy Ann-Williams, Tovea Jenkins, and Karayme Bartley ran for Jamaica and finished 7th in 3:14.95.

 

 

 The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) has confirmed that it will not send a team to World Athletic Relays, set to take place in Chorzow, Poland, next month.

According to reports, the association like many has been affected adversely by the COVID-19 pandemic and was forced to give up on having a team at the event due to a lack of athletes able to participate.

Bahamian superstars Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Steven Gardiner, through their representatives, indicated that they would not be willing to travel outside of the United States due to ongoing coronavirus pandemic and travel protocols.

“We didn’t have athletes who are available to compete,” President of the BAAA Drumeco Archer told The Bahamas Tribune.

“Shaunae (Miller-Uibo) and Steven (Gardiner) camp indicated that they have decided not to travel outside of the US because of COVID-19,” he added.

“And a lot of our elite athletes are still in university and college, who are not going to be released from their duties. So, we thought it would be prudent for us not just to take a team for the team’s sake. If we’re going to take a team, we will take a team that will have an impact.”

Earlier this week, another top Caribbean sprint nation, Jamaica, announced that it would not participate in the event due to the difficulty of travel and COVID-19 restrictions.

The Bahamas were hosts to the first three editions of the tournament.

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