Jerod Elcock established himself as the favourite for NGC/NAAATT National Open Championship men's 100 metres gold with a solid run in the preliminary round at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, in Port of Spain, yesterday.
Elcock topped heat five in 10.28 seconds to emerge as the fastest of the Trinidad and Tobago sprinters on show. The Abilene Wildcats athlete was second fastest overall, behind Emmanuel Matadi, the Liberian stopping the clock at 9.98 in heat four to establish a new national record. Devin Augustine of Point Fortin New Jets finished second to Matadi in 10.45.
UTT's Nathan Farinha got home first in the opening heat in 10.54 seconds. Another T&T sprinter, Marcus Purcell of Memphis Pioneers emerged victorious in heat three in 10.60.
Though Elcock is the early favourite to claim the men's 100m title, the list of contenders does not end at Farinha, Purcell and Augustine. Eric Harrison, Kion Benjamin, Revell Webster, Ako Hislop, Akanni Hislop and Kyle Greaux were all seeded straight into today's semis. Elcock, Farinha and Augustine were also offered first round byes, but opted to run.
Harrison was granted an exemption for the 200m. Quartermiler Machel Cedenio, sprint hurdler Ruebin Walters, and throwers Portious Warren and Akeem Stewart were also given exemptions. Cedenio, Walters, Warren and Stewart will not compete this weekend, but are still eligible for selection for both the World Athletics Championships and the Commonwealth Games.
Asa Guevara was the best of the local quartermilers on show, the Abilene athlete topping the opening men's 400m heat in 46.74 seconds. His clubmate, Shakeem McKay clocked a personal best 46.88 to top heat two. Another Abilene runner, Che Lara won heat four in 46.92. Point Fortin's Kashief King emerged victorious in the third heat in 47.47.
Rae-Anne Serville is tipped for top honours in today's women's 400m final. With just eight athletes confirming entry, no heats were required.
One A Week's Nicholas Landeau returned a time of one minute, 55.59 seconds to win the first of two men's 800m heats. The second heat went to Genesis Joseph of Health Olympians in 1:56.52.
Masters athlete Kelvin Johnson won the men's 10,000m in 35 minutes, 06.96 seconds. UTT's Jamaal Alexander produced a 34.61 metres effort to strike gold in the men's hammer throw.
Jereem "The Dream" Richards was among the sprinters on show after press time, last night, in the men's 200m preliminaries. Richards, Greaux, Elcock, McKay, St Hillaire, Akanni Hislop, Ako Hislop and Augustine were offered byes into tomorrow's half-lap semis. Richards, Greaux and Augustine, however, chose to face the starter.
Keshorn Walcott is in the spotlight today in the men's javelin. The 2012 Olympic champion begins his quest for gold at 5pm. Andwuelle Wright will be on show in the men's long jump, which is scheduled to start at 4.30.
The men's 100m final takes place at 6.05pm. Michelle-Lee Ahye is expected to be on the track 15 minutes later for the women's 100m championship race.
The opening ceremony starts at 3pm.
1 Kelvin Johnson (Masters) 35:06.96
2 Keron Ali (Defence Force) 37:50.16
3 Guswill George (Road Runners) 38:04.14
Men's hammer throw
1 Jamaal Alexander (UTT) 34.61m
2 Ryan Samuel (Eastonians) 25.94m
3 Anthony Clement (Toco TAFAC) 13.59m