Pullen steals spotlight
Former Kingston College athlete Clive Pullen stole the spotlight from the island's sprint mega stars on yesterday's opening day of the JAAA-Supreme Ventures Limited National Senior Championships at the National Stadium.
Pullen won the men's triple jump with a career best and Olympic qualifying mark of 16.90 metres. Second was Damon McLean with 16.46m, while Wilbert Walker was third with 16.42m.
Pullen, a junior at the University of Arkansas, was excited about his achievement.
"Glory to God I have been having a great season, a little up and down sometimes. It was a big disappointment for me at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, where I was favoured to win but I fouled on all my jumps and possibly it was divine intervention as it was all set for me to qualify before my home crowd," said Pullen.
The elite men's 100m sprinters brought the curtains down on the first day. World record holder Usain Bolt was very easy in winning his heat in 10.15 seconds ahead of Everton Clarke - 10.16; and Michael Frater - 10.31. In this, the fourth heat of the men's event, Julian Forte was disqualified after a false start.
Nickeal Ashmeade was the fastest qualifier. He won heat three in 10.07 ahead of Warren Weir 10.17. Jevaughn Minzie won heat one in 10.13, with Senoj-Jay Givans second in 10.15, and Asafa Powell third in 10.17.
Yohan Blake captured heat two in 10.26, the same time awarded to second-past-the-line Kemar Bailey- Cole in a very close finish. Tyquendo Tracy was third in 10.29.
University of Technology's Christania Williams was the fastest qualifier among the women after winning her heat in 11.20. Other heat winners were Simone Facey - 11.31; Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce - 11.38; and Elaine Thompson - 11.38 seconds.
The island's fastest female 400m hurdler, Janieve Russell, did not face the starter in her event. It is understood that she fell and hurt her knee earlier in the week during training and is expected to seek a medical exemption ahead of the Olympics.
Leah Nugent, competing for the first time at these championships, had the best time. She clocked 55.52 seconds to win heat one ahead of Nickita Tracey of MVP with 56.58.
Kaliese Spencer looked easy in winning heat two in 56.13 ahead of Sparkle McKnight of Trinidad, 57.01.
It was also smooth sailing for Ristananna Tracey, who won the final heat in 55.96, beating Rushelle Clayton, 55.96. Rhonda Whyte, who finished third in heat one with 56.79, and Renae McKenzie, 57.80, will also run in today's final at 8:10 p.m.
Defending champion Answert Whyte advanced from his heat of the men's 400m hurdles with a good 49.37. He came home ahead of Romel Lewis (49.66).
Roxroy Cato won heat two in 49.83, while Shawn Rowe was second in 50.27.
In a competitive heat two, Isa Phillips, 49.31, clipped junior star Jaheel Hyde, who was given the same time. Third went to Marvin Williams in 49.85. Ricardo Cunningham was fourth in 49.86.