SAN SALVADOR – Jamaica’s Chrisann Gordon was among six record breakers on Saturday’s second day of the 9th North Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Under 23 Championships, which concludes Sunday at the Jorge “Magico” Gonzalez stadium in the Salvadoran capital.
Chrisann Gordon, named to the Jamaican 4x400m team for the Olympic Games in Rio, ran 51.02 second in 400m to erase the record of 51.13 set in 2012. Gordon’s teammate Sonikqua Walker picked up bronze in 52.69 while Jaide Stepter of United States, 52.51 got silver.
Her countryman Nathan Allen, also named to the 4x400m relay squad for Rio, took the men’s title in 45.39. Michael Cherry of United States, 45.50 and Warren Hazel of St. Kitts & Nevis, 45.81 were the other medal winners.
William Barnes edged out USA’s Freddie Crittenden in the closest final ever at the championships, with one thousandth of a second separating gold and silver. Both were time 13.53. In another photo finish, USA’s Aaron Malett prevailed over Jamaica’s Tyler Mason as they both ran 13.67.
Sprint hurdlers Jasmine Camacho- Quinn and William Barnes produced a historic day for Puerto Rico as they won their country’s first tiles in the 16-year history of the championships. Both will represent the Island at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
After a fast semifinal (12.84), Camacho- Quinn won a close 100m hurdles final in 12.78 seconds, faster than the 12.82 mark set in 2008. Rio-bound Pedrya Seymour of the Bahamas came a close second in 12.83.
Mexico’s Diego A del Real successfully defended his title in the hammer throw and improved the meet record three times, including his winning effort of 74.55m. USA’s Rudy Winkler also bettered the previous record to 73.00m for second. They will both compete in Rio de Janeiro.
USA’S Raven Saunders was impressive in the shot put. She improved the meet record three times as well, including her winning 18.49m toss, over a metre better than the previous record of 17.43m, set in 2010.
Her countrywoman Chelsea Blaase also improved the championships record in 10000m with 35:30.87, while Megan Clark equalled the pole vault record with 4.40m.
Robin Reynolds, 100m runner-up Shayla Sanders, Deanna Hill and Ebony Morrison led the US to another in the 4x100m relay in 42.93 seconds, one tenth of a second faster than the previous mark set by another American team in 2010.
Other winners on Saturday were Canada’s Regan Yee in 3000m steeplechase, Curtis Thompson in the men’s javelin and the USA quartet in the men’s 4x100m with 38.63 seconds.
Eighteen finals will be contested on Sunday on the last day of the NACAC Under 23 Championships, which draws around 300 athletes from 28 nations.
For the first time in recent history, an international athletics competition is broadcast live by local TV in El Salvador (Canal 4). You can follow the broadcast live starting at 16h30 ET at http://www.esmitv.com/