National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago

naaatt :: media_artricles :: 2019


Ahye, Baptiste, Bledman in sprint finals

Rachael Thomspon-King ::
Trinidad Guardian :: 07.08.2019

Reigning national women's sprint champion Michelle-Lee Ahye stormed into the final of the women's 100 metres at the Pan American Games at the Athletics Stadium in the National Sports Village in Lima, Peru on Tuesday.

The Commonwealth sprint champion was one of three the T&T sprinters progressing to compete for a medal on Wednesday.

Ahye got out well and cruised to the line to be an automatic qualifier in the first semifinal heat, crossing first in 11.37 seconds, to advance with a second-fastest qualifying time.

Joining her in the medal race is Kelly-Ann Baptiste, who placed third in the second heat in 11.49, moving on as one of the fastest losers. The former national champion and this year's silver medallist at the National Championships had the fifth-fastest qualifying time.

Ahye and Baptiste will face a tough field which includes Olympic sprint champion and fastest qualifier Elaine Thompson of Jamaica with 11.36.

The other finalists include Jamaican Natasha Morrison (11.59), Brazil's Victoria Rosa (11.40), Canadian Crystal Emmanuel (11.48), Angela Tenorio of Ecuador (11.49) and American Twanisha Terry (11.59).

Among the men, Keston Bledman was lone runner reaching the finale. He also progressed as one of the fastest losers in the men's version of the race.

The current national champion finished third in the heat on with a time of 10.40 and nabbed the final spot as he was the eight quickest qualifiers.

T&T's other entrant in the men's dash, Akanni Hislop, was a sixth-place finisher in the third heat in 10.60 and did not advance.

Bledman will race against Brazilian duo Rodrigo Pereira (10.27) and Pablo De Oli (10.29), Americans Michael Rodgers (10.29) and Cravon Gillespie (10.32), Cejhae Greene of Antigua and Barbuda (10.31), Jamaica's Rasheed Dwyer (10.32) and St Kitts and Nevis' Jason Rogers (10.36).

Alena Brooks made a late run to book a spot in the women's 800m final with a 2:03.79-clocking.

After the first 400m, Brooks was in sixth place maintaining a good pace but within 200m she made her move and came into fourth place with 100m to go. She sprinted the final metres, edging Canadian Lindsey Butterworth at the line and crossed third to be an automatic qualifier.

Earlier, Sparkle Mc Knight did not advance to the finals in the women's 400m hurdles. She was a fifth-place finisher in a time of 57.04 in the second semifinal heat, placing 11th overall.

In the Women's 10,000m final, Tonya Nero placed 10th with a time of 34:15.36.

In Swimming

T&T had no swimmers qualifying for the A final from the heats in the three events that they raced in this afternoon on day one of swimming. Only Giselle Gursoy reached the B final in the women's 400m freestyle heats.

Gursoy, swimming in lane one, placed seventh and last in 4:28.63 in the first of two heats in the Women's 400m freestyle. Her time placed her 13th overall of the 14 swimmers and she was to race in the B final last night after press time.

Graham Chatoor, swimming in lane four in heat one of the Men's 400m freestyle clocked 4:07.58 and placed 17th overall just missing out on qualifying for the B final.

In the Men's 200m butterfly, Kael Yorke placed 17th overall in 2:06.61, also just missing out on qualifying for the B final

In hockey

The national hockey team will now chase the fifth spot after losing to Canada, 5-1, in the quarterfinals.

This after the Glenn "Fido" Francis-coached T&T team did well to restrict the Canadians for much of their quarterfinal match but it fell apart late into the intense affair and T&T sank to a 5-1 defeat.

"It's pretty disappointing for us because we have been playing pretty," said coach Francis. "We have played some of the toughest teams in the competition, we were pretty good but the scoreline didn't show that."

The local "Stickmen" will meet Mexico in the classification 5th-8th semifinals on Thursday at 3.45 pm. Mexico was beaten by Chile, 2-0 in its quarterfinal match.

"Now we meet Mexico which we know is always going to be a tough fight like the Cuba game but we are looking to finish among the top five," said the former national goal-keeper.

The Canadians drew first blood with Iain Smythe's goal (1.34) within the first two minutes of the match.

The Marcus James-led T&T unit didn't stay down for long though and equalised off a penalty corner from veteran player Kwandwane Browne in 5.40. Moments later, T&T had a chance to take the lead but Teague Marcano's attempt was saved by Canada's keeper David Carter

The Canadians did get the go-ahead goal just before the close of the first period from Mark Pearson in 9.48.

In the second period, Browne had an opportunity to level the scores but his penalty corner effort was saved by the keeper. The teams battled on but neither could find the back of the net. Similarly in the third quarter as the scored remained unchanged heading into the final session.

However, this is where it all fell apart for T&T as the Canadians added three goals thanks to one from Brenden Bissett in the 46.51 and a double from Scott Tupper in the 48.20 and 55.54.

"Today (yesterday) we took a rest day, and then prepare for the Mexico game. We want to win that game because we're desperate to win right now. Get the guys smiling again.

"The team is now coming together, we are now putting our good performances together," said Francis. "If we had these games to get this out of the way, for the guys to make their mistake, also getting the match tempo, just trying to execute. If we had them games before, not saying it would have changed the results, but it would have made a big difference."


Ahye, Baptiste, Bledman in sprint finals
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Michelle-Lee Ahye of T&T prepares for a women's 100m heat during the athletics at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, on Tuesday. Ahye finished first and qualified for Wednesday's final. (AP) Fernando Llano

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