By Lorraine Cummings for World-Track
PONCE, Puerto Rico — LaVerne Jones-Ferrete from the U.S. Virgin Islands completed a fine sprint double and hometown hero Javier Culson of Puerto Rico thrilled his home fans with another impressive hurdles win to highlight the Ponce Grand Prix – IAAF-NACAC AREA PERMIT MEETING on Saturday.
Also at the meeting Great Britain’s Dwain Chambers was beaten in the men’s 100m.
LaVerne Jones-Ferrete first won the women’s 100m dash over a strong field that also included Bahamian veteran Chandra Sturrup and defending champion and world indoor 60m winner Angela Williams.
Running into a -1.3mps head wind, Jones-Ferrete took the event in another meet record time of 11.28, as she held off the closing American Tianna Madison (11.31) and Sturrup (11.44). Williams found the going a bit tight and was sixth in 11.67.
She completed the double by winning the 200m in 22.76
Olympic finalist Churandy Martina, who finished fourth to Usain Bolt the world record race in Beijing last summer defeated Great Britain’s European Indoor champion Chambers in the men’s race.
Martina clocked 10.19 in a slight head wind to see off the challenge of Chambers, second at 10.21, with USA’s Mark Jelks finishing third in 10.32.
Antigua’s Brendan Christian failed to defend his title from 2008, after he finished fifth in 10.41. St Kitts and Nevis’ former world champion Kim Collins was sixth in 10.45.
Christian, however, returned to defend his 200m title with a 20.61 runs that was also affected by the wind.
He won over Jelks, second at 20.80 and Columbia’s Daniel Grueso, at 20.92.
Culson thrilled the home fans by landing yet another big time performance in the area when he out-classed a good looking field to win the men’s 400m hurdles
The Puerto Rican took the race in a near personal best of 48.43seconds, the second fastest time in the world this year behind his own 48.42.
Culson, who also won a the Jamaica Invitational earlier this month, took victory ahead of Jamaican former Olympic silver medallist Danny McFarlene, who finished second in 49.03.
In fact, Culson’s winning time shattered the previous meeting record of 48.77secs, set by McFarlane last year. They were the only two athletes below the 50-seconds barrier.
In the women’s races, Olympic semi-finallist Ajoke Odumosu of Nigeria surprised her main challengers to come out on top also with a meet record time of 55.02 seconds.
Her winning time was also a personal record, as she bettered her 55.03 previous best.
The Nigerian got the better of Americans Dominique Darden (56.06) and Christine Spence (56.21), with Jamaica’s Shevon Sttodart, another of the race favourites finishing fourth(56.61).
Known more for her sprinting abilities, Cayman Islands’ Cydonie Mothersill held her nerves against the more specialised quarter-milers and picked up a very impressive win in the women’s 400m dash.
Mothersill posted a personal best of 52.18 to dismiss the efforts of Jamaica’s Clora Williams and St Kitts and Nevis’ Tiandra Ponteen, who both ran the same time of 52.52.
American defending champion and meet record holder Kia Davis finished sixth in 53.55.
Cydonie’s husband Ato Stephens made it a double after the Trinidadian edged Bahamian Andre Williams ins photo-finish decision in the second section.
Both athletes crossed the line at 45.07, but the race was awarded to Ato Stephens. Finishing third was American Jamal Torrence in 45.40.
Americans David Payne and Danielle Carruthers scoped the respective sprint hurdles.
Carruthers ran 12.98secs to win the women’s 100m hurdles over Jamaicans Lacena Golding-Clarke (13.05) and Andrea Bliss (13.11).
Payne clocked a meet record of 13.35 to snatched victory ahead of his teammate Dexter Faulks (13.43).
Elsewhere, American Jonathan (1:47.23) won the men’s 800m, Melissa de Leon (2:04.57) of Trinidad took the women’s race, USA’s Funmi Jimoh won the women’s Long Jump with a leap of 6.65m, while Brian Johnson (8.04) took the men’s event.
A Culson-led 4×400 team, which also included national record holder Hector Carrasquillo, closed the evening off with a fine run.