media_artricles :: 2017
St Fort looks to repeat at Pan AmRachael Thomspon-King :: Trinidad Guardian :: 20.07.2017
T&T's Khalifa St Fort will be looking to repeat as the women's 100 metres champion at the Pan American Under-20 Championships which begins today in Trujullo, Peru and runs until Sunday.
St Fort headlines the biennial track and field meet and will renew her rivalry with American Candace Hill at the 19th edition of the event, which was previously called the Pan Am Junior Championships.
Both sprinters have already met at the last two global championships for their age group with Hill prevailing at both. This after becoming the first woman aged under 18 years to break the 11-second barrier in 100m two years ago. A month later, she claimed the world U-18 title in Cali, Colombia, where St Fort claimed silver.
Last year, the two met again at the World U-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Hill captured the 100m gold. St Fort joined her on the podium with the bronze medal.
St Fort, coached by 1997 world 200m champion and four-time Olympic medallist Ato Boldon, was part of T&T's senior relay team that won the 2015 World Championships bronze and finished fifth at the Rio Olympic Games. Earlier this season, the defending Pan Am U-20 champion she set a new Centro American and Caribbean U-20 record with 11.06, the fastest in the world for a U-20 athlete this year. Hill is the second fastest with 11.23, clocked during his winning weekend at the USA U-20 Championships.
St Fort, who will also face the starter in the 200m aiming to complete the double, brings along with her a well experienced local bunch including heptathlete Tyra Gittens, sprinters Jerod Elcock, Jalen Purcell, Akanni Hislop, quartermilers Jacob St Clair, Judah Taylor and field athlete Konnel Jacob.
Gittens, who broke her own national junior heptathlon record at the Pan American Combined Events Cup in Canada, will seek to dominate in Trujullo. Earlier this month in Ottawa, the reigning Carifta Games champion accumulated 5,490 points in the seven-discipline event to improve on the 5,337-point standard she had established in Texas, USA, last year.
Like St Fort, Elcock will also attempt to do the double as he will line up in both sprint events. Purcell will join him in the 100m while Hislop will also contest the 200m.
St Clair and Taylor will race in the men's 400m and the latter is part of the 4x400m team. Hislop, Elcock, Purcell and Tyrell Edwards make up the men's 4x100m relay team.
Jacob will represent this country in the men's discus and shot-put events.
Tyra Gittens (Abilene Wildcats) - long jump, high jump, heptathlon
Khalifa St Fort - 100m, 200m
Tyrell Edwards (Toco Titans) - 4x100m
Jerod Elcock (Abilene Wildcats) - 100m, 200m, 4x100m, 4x400m
Terry Frederick (Point Fortin New Jets) - 4x400m
Akanni Hislop (Zenith) - 4x100m
Konnel Jacob (Jaguars) - Discus
Elijah Martin (IG Fastlane) - 4x400m
Jalen Purcell (Simplex) - 100m, 4x100m
Joshua St Clair (Abilene Wildcats) - 400m
Judah Taylor (Abilene Wildcats) - 400m, 4x400m
Officials: Nadine Hamid (coach), Dawn Washington (manager), Ian Carter (coach), Reynold Porte Lee (coach), Anthony Walcott (massage therapist).
Khalifa St Fort