By Anthony Foster in Nassau, Bahamas
The Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational, returning to the track and field calendar for the first time, since 2013, provided six world-leading marks on Saturday night inside the Thomas A Robinson Stadium.
LaShawn Merritt, the USA's World Championships 400m silver medallist, destroyed a fairly good 200m field to highlight the night with a stunning 19.78secs run (+0.9m/s wind). The mark, which is the best of 2016, was made possible with an explosive final 100m. Merritt came in the straight with Aaron Brown of Canada right on his side, but exploded in the homestretch to cross the line well ahead of fellow Americans, Wallace Spearmon, 20.40 and Mike Rodgers, 20.42.
Grenadian, Kirani James’ 44.36, which saw him dismiss the field from the 250m mark, is also a world leading time. Tony McQuay, 45.34 and former World and Olympic champion, Jeremy Wariner, 45.55, both of USA, were 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The women’s 400m also produced the year’s best time, 49.69secs by Bahamian Shaunae Miller, the World Championships silver medal winner. Miller fought hard in the last 80 metres with Quanera Hayes of USA who got 2nd in 49.91.
Johnny Dutch, also of USA, topped the 400m hurdles field in a world leading, 48.36, to finish ahead of Javier Culson of Puerto Rico, 49.12 and homeboy Jeffery Gibson, 49.16.
Christian Taylor used his final jump to take the Triple event victory and the world leading mark of 17.11m. Guyanese, Troy Doris, who after the third round with 17.10M, finished 2nd while hometown hero, Leevan Sands was 3rd with 16.63m.
American, Tori Bowie, looked smooth in taking the women’s 200m in 22.26secs, the fastest time in the world this year. Natasha Hastings, 22.57 and Joanna Atkins, 22.68, both of USA, took the minor places.
In the women’s 100m, Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago won a very close race, 11.14secs, to edge out Murielle Ahoure of Ivory Coast 11.16, Jamaican Veronica Brown-Brown 11.17 and American Candyce McGrone 11.18, finishing in that order.
Justin Gatlin of USA won the men’s 100m (+2.3m/s wind) in 9.90 ahead of Femi Ogundoe of Qatar 9.94 and Adrian Griffith of Bahamas 10.03.
Americans dominated the sprint hurdles.
Queen Harrison led home a close American 1-2-3 in 12.64 over Sharika Nelvis, 12.66 and Jasmine Stowers, 12.74.
In the women’s B race, Americans Morgan Snow, 12.86, Tiffani McReynolds, 12.96 and Chelsea Carrier-Eades, 13.13, were the top three.
David Oliver, who was first across the line in the men’s 110m hurdles event, in 13.30, did so ahead of Aleec Harris, 13.32 and Jason Richardson, 13.33.
Jamaican Yanique Haye-Smith took the women’s 400m hurdles in 57.24 ahead of Great Britain’s, Ese Okoro, 57.80.
Bahamian Bianca Stuart won the women’s long jump with 6.69m over Chantel Malone of BVI 6.43m and USA’s Chelsea Hayes 6.38m.
2007 world champion Donald Thomas, also of Bahamas, won the men’s high jump with a clearance of 2.23m, over compatriots Trevor Barry, 2.20m and Jamal Wilson, 2.15m