Regional and local athletes share limelight with some of the bestPOSTED: 05/7/12 9:47 PM
SANDY GROUND – The international track and field event hosted by the Speedy Plus Club which was held at the Alberic Richards Stadium in Sandy Ground last Saturday received high praise from Collectivité President Alain Richardson and Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams.
For the very first time, the athletes from both sides of the island came together as one to compete against the foreign invasion in the junior category from Antigua, St Kitts/Nevis, Anguilla and Martinique.
But with the London Olympics right around the corner, the athletes that came from the USA, Canada, Italy, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Great Britain, the Bahamas and Trinidad& Tobago capitalized on the outdoor event in an attempt to record faster times in their respective events.
“I am very proud of the outcome of the track meet and already we are planning to have it again in 2013. Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams and President Richardson are one hundred percent behind us. But every year, we will have to do it better, that is another way to put our island on the map,” Calvin Bryan said during an interview with the Today Sports Desk.
“We as a country are extremely proud that our athletes have the opportunity to participate along with some of the best. But at the end of the day, I am sure that with the winners and those that have not won, the memories of St Martin will remain on their minds and the French and Dutch would have learned from this event,” said Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams.
The Prime Minister made a long term commitment when she said that the next time, the event will not only going to be bigger, but with the support of the government it will also be better.
Sports Minister Rhoda Arrindell commended the organizers for staging an event of that magnitude and thanked them for allowing the athletes from the Dutch side of the island to participate.
“We see this event as a dream come true for the island to be represented as one,” Arrindell pointed out. And one athlete in question from the Dutch side was able to make an impression on his first international outing.
Mike Destin, who was running under the ‘Speedy Plus’ umbrella body was able to establish his personal best time of 10,73,00 in the 100 meter heats, and qualified for the finals. Destin, who is a member of the Dynamics Track Club which is headed by Abdule Wathey and the tallest in the four man field was able to beat Meddy Damas, from the Athletic Club De Saint Anne into the second place in 10,94,00 followed by Olivier–Yann Delin, from ASC Zenith in 11,09,00.
In the 200 meter finals, Destin who clocked 21,88,00, had to settle for the second spot behind Arnaud Remy from the Athletic Club De Sainte Anne who had a better time of 21,35,00.
“I felt great after getting some motivation from an old friend of mine. I was really nervous at first because this was my first international event and my first win,” Destin said after his first win.
Among the other creditable performances by local athletes was Sheldon Wilson from Dynamics who was first in the 400m in 50,58,00. Leshawn Brown from Lab Sports, who was second in the 100m in his age bracket. Pedro Rombley, also from Lab Sports was third in the 100m.
Jovan Springnet, also from Lab Sports who was second in the 100m heats bounced back to win the 200m finals in 22,58,00. From the French side of the island, Derisha Jeffers, from Speedy Plus lived up to expectations when she clinched the 200m victory in 24,57,00. Jeffers who is enjoying a good season beat Laetitia Mirabel from ASC Zenith in 25,22,00 into the second position followed by Renika Daniel from Nevis in 25,78,00.
Ironically, the most spectacular thing that happen during the meet was when Kellie Wells of the USA established a new record in the 110m hurdles with a time of 12,55,00. Wells, the 2011 indoor champion with (7,79,00) and outdoor champion (12,50,00) did not have to consider a wind factor when she beat the field of international athletes.
In the 110m hurdles, Lashaunte Moore, who had to settle for the second place behind her country woman Carmelita Jetter at the championships in Daego, stomped her authority here and won comfortably.
Jenna Martin, who represented Canada in 2009 the World Championships in the 4×400 relay who also runs the 200 had a good day. Martin cross the line in 23,69,00 ahead of Katarina Romain from Speedy Plus in 24,00,00 in the second spot followed by Ajoke Odumosu from Nigeria in 24,02,00.
In the 400m, Martin who was in the outside lane was able to make up enough ground and crossed the line in 52,39,00 ahead of Carol Rodriguez from Puerto Rico in 52,44,00 in second and Moushaumi Robinson from the USA in third with 52,87,00.
LaShawn Meritt, the fifth fastest man in the 400m from the USA with a personal best time of 43,75,00, who was suspended for 21 months in October of 2010 after failing a doping test showed that he is on the comeback trail when he clocked 20,16,00 in the 200m event.
Meritt beat Ainsley Waugh from Jamaica in 20,56,00 into the second position followed by Lestrod Roland from St Kitts in 21,29,00.
Avard Moncur from the Bahamas who won a Gold medal in the 400m and the 4x400m relay at the 2001 World Championships showed that he still has what it takes to be a champion when he stopped the clock in 46,11,00 in the 400m, beating Claudio Licciardello from Italy in 46,22,00 in second and Vincent Michalet from ASC Zenith in 47,88,00.
Keshia Baker, who won a ticket to World Outdoor Championships in Daego in the 400m pool demonstrated why she is a strong contender in that event when ran the event in 51,37,00, beating Libania Grenot from Italy in 51,42,00 and Shana Cox, from Great Britain in 51,97,00.