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CAME UP SHORT: Team TTO's Kelsey Daniel competes in the men's long jump qualifying during the athletics segment in the Alexander Stadium, at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, yesterday. --Photo: AP


Ahye, Elcock through to 100m semis Carter in 50m free final...

Go Back : Express : Ian Prescott : 03.08.2022

TEAM TTO's DYLAN CARTER advanced to today's final in the men's 50 metres freestyle as the 2022 Commonwealth Games continued in Birmingham, England, yesterday.

There was also success for sprinters Michelle-Lee Ahye, Kion Benjamin, Eric Harrison, Jerod Elcock as well as long jumper Andwuelle Wright, as the athletics segment at the XXII edition of the multi-sport event commenced yesterday.

Carter had a successful splash in the pool, clocking 22.35 seconds while finishing in second in semi-final one, thus advancing to the final eight. Carter trailed Australian Thomas Nowakowski (:22.20) but will be hoping to reverse the placing in the medals race.

The University of Southern California (USC) student posted a better time than Nowakowski in June, when finishing 19th at the 2022 World Aquatics Championships, in Turkey, in the corresponding event, when both failed to reach the semi-finals.

Yesterday, Carter was fifth overall in qualifying, behind the quartet of England's Ben Proud (:21.63), Canadian Joshua Liendo (:21.92), another Englishman Lewis Edward Burras (:21.92) and Nowakowski. In an earlier heat yesterday morning, Carter advanced to the semis phase when clocking :22.48 in finishing second in heat nine, behind Burras (:22.09).

Meanwhile, another T&T swimmer Graham Chatoor finished last of five in heat two of the men's 1,500m and was not among the eight men advancing to the final. Chatoor clocked 16:10.96 and was listed as a reserve and will only swim again in the event if one of the finalists chose not to compete.

Switching to athletics, T&T's premier female sprinter and Commonwealth women's 100m defending champion Michelle-Lee Ahye easily moved into the women's semi-finals after finishing first in her heat. But there was no semi-final spot for Kalifa St Fort who clocked 11.49 seconds when fourth in heat two, which was won handily by England's Daryll Neita in 11.02.

Ahye, 30, clocked 11.14 in winning heat five. Slowly away out of lane two, the Carenage native was a class above her competition and coasted to an easy win. Bahamian Tynia Gaithers (11.19) placed second ahead of Nigerian Joy Chinenye Udo Gabriel (11.43 SB) in third.

Overall, Ayhe was the sixth fastest among the qualifiers through to the next round, with Nigerian Grace Nwokochia and Jamaica's double Olympic gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah both clocking 10.99. Other noteworthy performances came from Nigeria's Rosemary Chukwuma (11.02) and New Zealand's Zoe Hobbs (11.09) among the fastest qualifiers.

Team TTO had three men; Kion Benjamin, Eric Harrison Jr. and Jerod Elcock, progressing to today's 100m semi-finals. Elcock was fastest of the T&T qualifiers, clocking 10.26 in winning heat 10. Benjamin (10.34), meanwhile, copped second in heat six, behind Sri Lankan Yupun Abeykoon (10.06). And Harrison (10.37) was third in heat eight, won Jamaican Conroy Jones (10.28).

It must be noted that the Trinidadians came out a couple of the day's slowest heats with Elcock only 13th-fastest of the semi-final qualifiers. Apart from Sri Lankan Abeykoon, Nigeria's trio of Favour Oghene Tejiri Ashe, Raymond Ekevwo and Godson Oghenebrume, have all qualified for the semi-finals.

South African and defending 100m champion Akani Simbini (10.10) and Jamaican Kemar Bailey-Cole (10.15) also eased into the next round.

T&T's Andwuelle Wright is also into the final of the men's long jump. Competing in Group A, Wright leapt 7.58 metres to earn a place among the 12 best performers advancing to the final. But while Kelsey Daniel leapt to a season's best (SB) 7.49 metres, competing in Group B, it was not enough to progress to the final.

Today, T&T's women netballers will hope for a better showing against Malawi, after three straight losses in the competition thus far. Coached by former player Kemba Duncan, a depleted Calypso Girls outfit -- missing Samantha Wallace, Kalifa McCollin and Daystar Swift, all overseas professionals-- put up another dismal showing when outclassed 80-24 by New Zealand, yesterday, having suffered earlier defeats to England (74-22) and Uganda (62-28).

The Calypso Girls struggled to put passes together and scored no more than seven goals in any quarter against the Kiwis. They were led in scoring by veteran Joelisa Cooper with 13 goals (15 attempts), while goal-shoot Afeisha Noel had 11 goals from 12 tries.

In judo, Jelani Boyce and Xavier Jones both went out at the elimination round of 16. Boyce fell by Ippon to England's Joshua Green in the men's 73 kg division. Likewise, Jones fared no better against Barbados' Asa Weithers, also defeated by Ippon.

And in beach volleyball, the T&T duo of Suraya Chase and Phylecia Armstrong crumbled to a straight-sets, 2-0 defeat; 21-7, 21-6, to the Australian pair of Mariafe AArtacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy -- the Olympic silver medallists and World Championship bronze medal winners.