PONCE, Puerto Rico (Sporting Alert) — Javier Culson send out an impressive warning with victory over the 400m hurdles at the 6th Ponce Grand Prix – IAAF World Challenge, which took place on Saturday at the Paquito” Montaner Stadium.
The world championships silver medallist from Puerto Rico produced a world-leading 48.00 seconds to win before his home supporters and dismissed a quality field, that included previous world-leader Bershawn Jackson of USA.
Culson’s run improved his seasonal best from 49.02, done in Des Moines, last month.
Taking second to the Puerto Rico star, who is certainly one of the favourites for the gold in London at the Olympics this summer, was Jehue Gordon of Trinidad & Tobago, who broke 49secs again this season with a year best of 48.89secs.
Jackson, who had owned the world’s three top times before tonight was third in 48.96.
American Ryan Wilson upset the favourites to win the men’s 110m hurdles in very windy conditions at the stadium.
Wilson posted 13.43 seconds to edged fellow countryman Jason Richardson in a photo finish in race ran in a -1.7 m/s headwind.
Another American hurdler, David Payne, who won the first section of the event in 13.45 (-1.4 m/s) was third overall, with Olympic champion and world record holder Dayron Robles taking fourth overall after he finished behind Wilson and Richardson in the second section.
As expected, Great Britain’s Tiffany Ofili Porter won the women’s 100m hurdles in 12.79, racing in a -1.2 m/s headwind.
Kristi Castlin of USA was closest to her at 12.91.
Tianna Madison flashed to brisk 11.01 – a new personal best – to win the women’s 100m, even in a slight headwind. The time was also quicker than Marshevet Myers’ 11.09 meeting record from last season. Muriel Ahoure (USA) was second in 11.17.
US Virgin Islands’ Laverne Jones-Ferrett won the second second with clocking of 11.24secs (-0.9 m/s) – edging American Bianca Knight (11.25).
Madison completed the double after she returned to run 22.37 (meeting record) to take the 200m over compatriot Jeneba Tarmoh (22.66). National record holder Carol Rodriguez was a disappointing 7th in 23.75.
On the men’s side, Trinidad and Tobago’s Keston Bledman won the 100m in 10.12secs (-1.9). Jamaican Nickel Ashmeade took second with 10.15 and USA’s Trell Kimmons took third place with 10.18. Great Britain’s Dwain Chambers finished sixth in 10.52.
Miguel Lopez of Puerto Rico won the men’s 200m in 20.70.
Natasha Hastings of USA captured the women’s 400m dash to open her outdoor one-lap campaign in 50.72secs – quicker than the 50.97secs she did last season to set a meeting record.
Her teammate Dee Dee Trotter ran 50.90 to take second place, with third going to Jessica Beard (51.25) in the American sweep. Jamaican Patricia Hall was fourth in 51.40.
The men’s event went to Bahamian Demitrus Pinder, who kicked started his term with a 45.15 performance. Second place went to USA’s Manteo Mitchell in 45.28, with third going to Nery Brenes of Costa Rica 45.51.
Veteran Congo quarter-miler Gary Kikaya finished down the lane in 47.57.
Elsewhere at the meet, Maggie Vessey (USA) stopped the clock at 2:00.19 to edged Canada’s Melissa Bishop (2:00.76) in a close women’s 800m.
Colombian Rafith Rodriguez lowered the meeting record by over a full second with his 1:45.41 run that beat Puerto Rico’s Wesley Vazquez (1:45.63). Last year’s winner Mark Wieczorek of USA, the previous meet record holder finished fourth at 1:46.78.
Colombia’s Catherine Ibarguen won the women’s Long Jump with the fifth best jump of year at 6.66m, while American Walter Davis took the men’s Triple Jump with a leap of 16.85m.