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Blackman golden again
GOLD STRIKE: Australian Delta Amidzovski leaps to a new Games record of 6.34 metres to claim gold in the women's long jump, yesterday, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium as the first day of the athletics segment in the Trinbago 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games, got under way. - Photo: ROBERT TAYLOR

Blackman golden again

Go Back : Express : Kwame Laurence : 07.08.2023

NIKOLI Blackman doubled his collection of Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) gold medals when he touched the wall first in the men's 100 metres freestyle final at the National Aquatics Centre, in Couva, yesterday.

Blackman's two gold medals, together with silver from Janae De Gannes and Zarek Wilson and bronze from Sanaa Frederick took the Trinidad and Tobago medal count to five.

Blackman clocked a personal best 49.60 seconds in the 100 free final to take top spot, ahead of Scotland's Matthew Ward, the silver medallist in 50.26, and Bahamian Marvin Johnson (50.41).

In the 100 free preliminaries, Blackman clocked 50.62 seconds to lead all qualifiers into the final.

Blackman grabbed 200 free gold on Sunday in 1:49.94 seconds - a new national 15-17 record. With yesterday's 100 free gold, Blackman became TTO's first-ever CYG double medallist.

Wilson produced a 26.18 seconds swim for silver in the men's 50m backstroke. Ward claimed gold in a Games record time of 25.51. Nigel Forbes bagged bronze for Bahamas in 26.32.

Wilson was third fastest in the heats in 26.51 seconds. He will be back in the pool at 11.34 this morning in the fourth of five men's 100m butterfly heats.

De Gannes gave her home fans at the Hasely Crawford Stadium a treat, disturbing the sand at 6.07 metres to secure women's long jump silver. Gold went to Delta Amidzovski, the Australian producing a Games record leap of 6.34m. Amidzovski's teammate, Grace Krause jumped 6.01 to claim bronze. Another TTO athlete, Gianna Paul was seventh at 5.71.

De Gannes led for half the competition. She opened at 6.06m, improved to 6.07 in round two and followed up at 5.92. In the fourth round, however, Amidzovski jumped 6.22 to move into pole position. She stayed there, closing off her campaign with the big 6.34 effort.

De Gannes celebrated her silver success with youthful exuberance, dancing in front of the main stand with the "Red, White and Black" draped over her shoulders. After her final leap, De Gannes bowed to the crowd, showing her appreciation for their passionate support.

"My parents are here," an excited De Gannes told the Express. "It really is a great feeling to see the support when I needed it. I'm really grateful to compete in a home crowd. Always a great feeling to compete at home. I'm really happy with the silver medal. I want to thank everyone who came out and supported me. I'm grateful for what I did today. All I can do is thank God."

Amidzovski was thrilled with her record-breaking leap.

"De Gannes definitely brought out the best in me. It was a friendly competition and I'm really happy with how it went. The Trinidad fans are amazing. They get behind everyone. It was a really fun crowd to jump in front of, and also my Australian fans and family."

Frederick finished third in the women's 100m final in 11.48 seconds to add bronze to the TTO medal bag. Faith Okwose struck gold in a Games record time of 11.26 seconds, with silver going to her fellow Nigerian Justina Eyakpobeyan in 11.29.

Frederick was third fastest in the semi-final round in a wind-aided 11.56 seconds. In the opening round, she clocked 11.70. The other TTO sprinter listed for the event, Symphony Patrick was a non-starter.

TTO's Trevaughn Stewart was eighth in the men's 100m final in 10.79 seconds. English sprinters Teddy Wilson and Ebuka Nwokeji finished one-two. Wilson clocked 10.37, while Nwokeji got to the line in 10.43. Jamaican Shaquane Gordon picked up bronze, also in 10.43.

Stewart was eighth fastest in the semis in 10.81 seconds. His TTO teammate, Khadeem Ryan was 15th in 11.02, and did not advance. In the opening round, Stewart and Ryan were 14th and 18th, respectively, clocking 10.99 and 11.08.

TTO para athlete Isaiah Williams finished eighth in the men's 100m T38 final in 18.91 seconds. Tomi Roberts-Jones secured gold for Wales in 13.27. Australians Ori Drabkin and Jackson Love earned silver and bronze, respectively, clocking 13.30 and 13.33.

In the heats, Williams produced a 19.38 seconds run to advance to the final eighth fastest.

At the Brian Lara Stadium, in Tarouba, TTO cyclist Jadian Neaves returned a time of one hour, 33 minutes, 55 seconds to finish sixth in the men's road race. Northern Ireland's Oisin Ferrity was golden in 1:33:05, finishing ahead of Welshman Max Bufton (1:33:05) and Malaysia's Newjoe Lau (1:33:25). TTO's Justin Boynes finished 17th in 1:33:55.

Ashleigh Thomas, the lone TTO cyclist in the women's road race, was 15th in 1:44:04. Australia finished one-two, Keira Will taking gold in 1:29:00, the same time produced by silver medallist Lauren Bates. Bronze went to Isle of Man's Ruby Oakes in 1:32:47.

Syndel Samaroo and Danell James will be on show for TTO at the National Cycling Centre in Couva, this afternoon, in the men's flying 200 metres, the qualifying event for the sprint. Action starts at 1pm. Makaira Wallace and Alexia Wilson are listed for the women's flying 200. Wilson also rides in the women's points race. Neaves and Titus Bharat compete in the men's 3,000m individual pursuit.