MAYAGUEZ, Puerto Rico, CMC – Olympic sprint relay silver medallist Keston Bledman handed Trinidad and Tobago one of four gold medals on the opening day of the 23rd Central American and Caribbean Championships, when he snatched the men’s 100 metres here Friday.
The 23-year-old, second behind the Jamaicans in Beijing two years ago, clocked 10.05 second to win the marquee event.
He finished ahead of Antiguan Daniel Bailey (10.11), with Jamaican Dexter Lee claiming bronze with a run of 10.18 seconds.
Bledman entered the final as the firm favourite after qualifying fastest in a time of 10.32 second in heat one.
His compatriot Semoy Hackett ensured a clean sweep of the 100 metres for T&T when she sped to victory in the corresponding women’s event.
A silver medallist two years ago, she claimed full honours this time around in a time of 11.27 seconds, beating the Jamaica pair of Jura Levy (11.36) and Simone Facey (11.39) into second and third respectively.
T&T picked up a third gold medal in the men’s 400 metres, thanks to the efforts of Renny Quow.
A bronze medallist at the World Championships in Berlin two years ago, Quow clocked 45.44 seconds over the one lap to beat Bahamian Ramon Miller (45.56) and Dominica’s Erison Hurtault (45.93).
Earlier, Ayanna Alexander had launched Trinidad and Tobago’s medal quest by winning the triple jump with a leap of 13.50 metres, to compensate for her failure at previous championships.
She was a disappointing fifth in Cuba two years ago and was third in Colombia in 2008.
Jamaican Shereefa Lloyd, meanwhile, clocked 51.69 seconds to win the 400 metres, getting the better of teammate Patricia Hall (51.85).
Her victory was one of three gold medals for the Jamaicans after O’Dayne Richards won the men’s shot putt with a throw of 19.16 metres and Jason Morgan measured 60.20 metres to steal the discus.