By Gary Smith, World-Track
KINGSTON — Jamaican Nickiesha Wilson and Javier Culson of Puerto Rico ran away with the women’s and men’s 400m hurdles titles at the sixth Jamaica International Invitational – an IAAF Area Permit Meet at the National Stadium here in , on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Olympic silver medallist Kerron Stewart defended her 100m title in style after sizzling to an impressive world-leading and meet record of 10.92 seconds.
American Olympic finallist Darvis Patton edged out Antiguan Daniel Bailey in a close race for the men’s title.
Both sprinters posted 10.02seconds but the American got the nod after the photo-finish. Jamaican rising sprint Yohan Blake was just behind the pair in 10.07, his fastest over the distance, while Trinidadian Olympic silver medalllist Richard Thompson finished fifth with the same time.
Patton went on to complete the double after running 20.49 to win the 200m dash.
Wilson continued her good early season run with another 400m hurdles victory. The World Championships finallist posted a good looking 55.20secs, easily her quickest of the season so far and second best behind American Lashinda Demus’ world-leading 54.17.
Kaleise Spencer took second place with 55.89, with Trinidad and Tobago’s Josanne Lucas taking third in 56.16. British Olympic bronze medallist Tasha Danvers finished down the line at sixth with 57.15.
Culson runs PR to upset men’s field
In the men’s race, Culson ran a big person best of 48.42secs to beat a healthy field. He knocked off .45seconds of his previous best, accomplished when finishing fifth at this meeting last year.
Meanwhile, Those following the Puerto Rician, whose time is the best in the world this season, were Beijing Olympic medallist Kerron Clement of USA and Jamaica’s former Olympic medallist Danny McFarlane.
Jamaica’s Isa Phillips improved his seasonal best to 48.79 when picking up second place, while American Michael Tinsley finished third in 48.81.
McFarlane, one the early favourites along with Clement, came home fourth in 48.85, while the American finished fifth in 49.10.
Elsewhere on the track, Jamaica’s Novelene Williams got the better of Sanya Richards in the women’s 400m — winning the event in 50.99 to beat the American, at 51.12 and Jamaica’s Olympic finallist Rosemarie White (51.85).
Trinidadian former World junior champion Renny Quow won the men’s race in 45.41 over Jamaica’s Michael Blackwood (45.54) and Jermaine Gonzales (45.91)
The men’s 1500m went to American Jon Rankin in 3:46.86. Kenyan pair Frederck Musyoki (3:49.33) and Josephat Kithii (3:49.43) finished second and third.
The first Jamaican finisher was young star Andre Drummond, who also broke 3:50 with his fourth place 3:49.85 finishing time.
Cantwell wins men’s Shot
In the field events, world-leader Christian Cantwell continued his impressive outing this season with yet another big performance in the men’s Shot Put.
The American who leads the world with a best mark of 21.53m, won the event with his second best effort of the year, a 21.16m throw to beat Jamaica’s national record holder Dorian Scott, who pushed his year best to 21.09m.