ST. GEORGES, Grenada – Bralon Taplin, Andre Clarke and Yanique Haye-Smith, were winners at Saturday’s Grenada Invitational track Meet, held at the Kirani James Athletics Stadium, in Grenada, West Indies.
The April 21st Meet, saw Taplin who was running his first race on home soil, give the local fans something to cheer about when he won the men’s 400m in 45.29 secs.
“I am glad to have gotten the win, Taplin said, but the time could have been better.”
“I wanted to give the crowd a 44-low, but it didn’t happened today, so I will keep on working hard,” he added.
Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic, was second in 45.66 and Nery Brenes third, in 45.73.
Clarke, who put together the best race of his life so far, crossed the line in 49.09 to take the men’s 400m hurdles over Quincy Downing of the USA 49.96.
Haye-Smith of Trucks and Caicos was the winner of the one lap obstacle event in 56.38 secs.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Sparkle McKinght, 56.59 and Jamaican Kaliese Spencer’s 56.99, were second and third respectively.
World champion Justin Gatlin launched his 2018 100m campaign with a 10.05 secs race, over fellow Americans Isiah Young 10.11 and Mike Rodgers 10.17.
“It was good,” Gatlin said of the race. “I wasn’t able to run last year because of an injury, so I was determined to come back this year.”
2017 World 100m Champion Tori Bowie got her 2018 season off to a winning start, with a 22.75secs victory over the half lap event.
Mariely Sanchez of the Dominican Republic was the next best in 23.60.
“I don’t think the time will tell what kind of shape I’m in” she said, “but to get the win is always good. I think technically my race was much better than normal, so I am going to take it and roll with it.”
Hannah Cunliffe, also of the USA, clocked 11.42 secs, (+0.5m/s) to take the women’s 100m ahead of fellow Americans Jeneba Tarmoh, 11.44 and Destiny Carter, 11.51
Former World and Olympic Games 400m champion LaShawn Merritt, topped the 200m event in 20.57 (-0.2).
Kori Carter, another former world champion, who made it to Grenada, topped the 100m hurdles (which she stated is her event for the 2018 season) in 12.79 over Nigerian Commonwealth Games champion Tobi Amusan 12.92.
Serbian Milan Ristic in 13.53, was the men’s 110m hurdles winner over Jeff Julmis of Haiti 13.68 and Cayman Islands Ronald Forbes, 13.97.
Shamier Little of the USA dominated the women’s 400m race, to cross the line in 51.45 ahead of Jamaican Christine Day, 52.48.
In the field, American Mike Hartfield 8.02m took the long jump, while Karla Guerra of Cuba cleared 1.83m, the same height as second place winner Daniel Atkinson-Grier in the women’s high jump.
Cuba’s Liadagmis Povea 14.04m, topped the women´s triple jump.
Meet organizer Michael Bascombe was very pleased with this year’s staging.
“I am very happy, despite some challenges” he said, “the Grenada Invitational was able to see an outpouring of support, not only by the locals, but also by the caliber of athletes who attended and participated.”