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Champs triumph

Sherrylyn A. Toppin

Champs triumph

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Barbados’ three Olympic hurdlers finished in exactly the same order last night as they did one year ago in the National Championships in Track and Field at the National Stadium.
They were all faster, though.
Ryan Brathwaite, who has the third fastest time in the world in the men’s 110 metres hurdles this year, crossed the line first in 13.25 seconds, down from 13.39 last year. Greggmar Swift was second for the second year, this time in a personal best 13.48 seconds and Shane Brathwaite, who had fallen in the heats, was third in 13.50 seconds, running into a slight headwind.
Shane, who did 13.63 last year, and Swift had the better starts in the six-man field, but Ryan’s speed showed from the third hurdle where he overtook them and went on to win for the fifth straight year. Ryan also set a new meet record of 13.23 seconds in the preliminaries down from the 13.39 he did in 2009.
Swift, who did 13.52 last year to qualify for the London Olympic Games, overtook Shane on the seventh hurdle.
The women’s race lacked any fireworks. Kierre Beckles won the 100 metres hurdles in 13.34 seconds after setting a new championship record of 13.32 seconds in the preliminaries, erasing Andrea Blackett’s 13.53 set back in 2005. Shakera Hall was second in 13.96 and Sada Williams won the Under-18 girls’ event in 15.48 seconds.
Michael Nicholls clocked 14.15 seconds to take the under-18 boys’ event from Juwan Augustin-Mayers (14.81), while Shervid Sandiford won the Under-20 event in 14.68.
One event which had the National Stadium rocking was the men’s long jump where 21-year-old Lutalo Boyce, who came in from the United States on Thursday night, won the event with a leap of 7.76 metres.
Charles Greaves was crowned national champ with 7.45 metres and UWI’s Kirk Austin was third with 7.21m.
Joshua Hunte of Elite Distance won the men’s 1 500 metres in 4 minutes 04.95 seconds from Raheem Skinner of Coleridge and Parry (4:06.94) and Rashid Blackman of Freedom Striders (4:08.15). Up to Press time, the 400 metres and 100 metres were still to be run.
Earlier, the 100 metres for the younger age groups were completed in some very strong cross winds.
Timeka Jordan of Rising Stars blew away the field to win the Under-13 girls’ race in 12.38 seconds from teammate Toriann Alleyne (13.09) while Josiah Atkins of the High Performance Programme won the boys’ timed final in 11.81 from Foundation’s Shashamani Kellman who did 11.88 and Tramaine Smith, who was third in 11.89.
Combermere’s Ashley Lowe handed Akayla Morris one of the few defeats she has suffered this year, clocking 12.97 to Morris’ 13.17 in the Under-13 girls’ 100 metres, while Pacers’ Raheem Taitt-Best (12.95) powered away from Rising Stars’ Ajani Haddock (13.34) for the  boys’ event.
Ashley Williams of Rising Stars won the Under-18 girls’ shot put with 13.93 metres and Leah Bannister of Elite Distance took the women’s title with 10.92 metres.
Jenila Atherley won the women’s javelin title for the fourth straight year with 40.47 metres.
The meet continues at 4 p.m. today.