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PUERTO RICO — Bahamas 2019 World 400m champion Steven Gardiner opened his 2021 outdoor season on a winning note after capturing the men’s 200 meters at the 15th Annual Spring Break Classic – NACAC-permit meeting – in Carolina, Puerto Rico, on Friday.

Gardiner, who is preparing for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, later this summer, sped home in a world-leading and new meeting record time of 20.24 seconds (+1.2 m/s) to dominate the field at the three-day event, which concludes on Saturday.

The 25-year old who entered the 15th Annual Spring Break Classic in good form, having already raced at two indoor meetings in the USA earlier this year, easily took heat one ahead of Asa Guevara of Trinidad and Tobago who posted 20.98 seconds for second place overall.

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It was the sixth-fastest time by Gardiner, who is ranked joint No. 17 on the outdoor 200m all-time list with his personal best and Bahamian national record of 19.75 seconds from 2018.

Friday’s time improved the previous Annual Spring Break Classic 200m meeting record of 21.06 seconds, which was set in 2011 by Carlos Rodríguez.

The performance also bettered the previous world-leading mark of 20.49 set by Aldrich Bailey of the USA.

Also on Friday, Gardiner ran the anchor leg on the Empire Athletics 4x100m relay team that also included Kinard Rolle Asa Guevara and Andrew Hudson. Empire Athletics ran 39.98 seconds for the win.

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American Tamari Davis won the women’s 200m and crushed the previous meeting record en route to her victory.

The rising teen star clocked her third-fastest time ever at 22.64 seconds (+1.2 m/s) to better the previous Spring Break Classic record of 23.70, set by Norma González in 2011.

Following Davis home was her American countrywoman Jessica Beard who posted 23.18, while home favorite Gabby Scott of Puerto Rico also went under the old record with her third-place time of 23.58.

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