Usain Bolt celebrates his 100m win (© Getty Images)
Olympic champion and World record-holder Usain Bolt opened his 2013 campaign with 10.09 while World champion Carmelita Jeter sped to a world-leading 10.95 in the 100m at the Cayman Invitational Wednesday night (8).
Billed as the No. 1 star of the Cayman meet, Bolt had to come from behind to edge out his fellow Jamaican and Racers Track Club training partner Kemar Bailey Cole in a photo finish. They were both timed 10.09 (0.3m/s). Another of Bolt’s training partners, Antigua and Barbuda’s 2010 World indoor bronze medallist Daniel Bailey, finished third in 10.23.
“I had a bad start but I will try to get it right next time,” said Bolt after recording the slowest performance of his career in a 100m final.
The Jamaican star sat out of the Jamaican Invitational on Saturday as a precautionary measure following a grade one strain in his left hamstring.
Jeter returned to the Cayman Islands and produced the first legal sub-11 clocking of the season in her 2013 100m opener. With 10.95, the 2011 World champion and 2012 Olympic runner-up improved her own meet record of 11.04 set last year.
Barbara Pierre, the 2012 World Indoor Championships 60m fourth-place finisher, recovered from a false start in the 200m and was propelled to a personal best of 11.02, ahead of Jamaica’s 2008 Olympic and 2009 World silver medallist Kerron Stewart (11.10).
Jamaica’s 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Hansle Parchment successfully defended his 2012 110m Hurdles win with 13.25 in a photo finish ahead of Barbados’ 2009 World champion Ryan Brathwaite, who closed the gap in the final stages and was rewarded with a season’s best of 13.26. Shane Brathwaite, also from Barbados but no relation to Ryan, finished third in 13.44.
“It was a good race. I am pleased with my time,” said Parchment after improving his meeting record by 0.06. “I went high over some hurdles and hit two towards the end. I have worked hard on my start and it’s getting better.”
Lashawn Merritt continued to display good early-season form. In his first trip to the Cayman Islands, the 2008 Olympic 400m champion posted 20.26 for his second 200m win of the year after winning the Chris Brown Invitational in the Bahamas in mid-April.
“I wanted to run fast and finish healthy,” said a happy Merritt. “I executed my start well and came out of the curve as I wanted. As a quarter-miler, I finished strong.”
In the 400m, Jamaica’s Novlene Williams-Mills had a better showing than her third-place finish in Kingston last weekend. The 2007 World bronze and eight-time World and Olympic 4x400m medallist powered in the home stretch to a comfortable win in 50.73, a season’s best, ahead of Moushaumi Robinson (51.19) and Joanna Atkins (51.56) of the US.
“It was a little better than what I did in Jamaica,” said Williams-Mills. “It’s still early in the season so there’s a lot to improve on. I am taking one race at a time. I started to train in January so I am pretty happy with my time.”
Dominican Republic’s 2012 World junior champion and Olympic silver medallist Luguelin Santos landed his fourth consecutive 400m victory of the season in 45.35.
World and Olympic finalist Tiffany Williams won a competitive 400m Hurdles race in 55.04, beating Jamaica’s Ristananna Tracey (55.10) and World champion Lashinda Demus (55.34).
Other winners included Eric Alejandro (49.59) of Puerto Rico in the 400m Hurdles, Canada’s Melissa Bishop in the 800m (2:02.83), Aleesha Barber in the 100m Hurdles (13.04) and Tianna Madison in the 200m (23.30).
Organised by Cayman Islands’ 2008 Olympic and four-time World Championships 200m finalist Cydonie Mothersill and husband Ato Stephens, the Cayman Invitational attracted a sell-out 5000 crowd at Truman Bodden Sports Complex track in Georgetown, the Cayman Islands.
Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF