A NEW national men’s 400m champion will be named at this weekend’s NGC Sagicor NAAA National Open Championships with the exclusion of injured two-time reigning champion and national record holder Machel Cedenio.
The competition starts at 6 pm today at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain, with four events which include the quarter-mile preliminaries, women’s pole vault, women’s hammer throw (4 kg), the men’s hammer throw (7.26 kg).
Despite the absence of Cedenio and last year’s silver medallist Lalonde Gordon, there is no shortage of quality in the five 400m heats. Olympians Emmanuel Callender, Renny Quow, Deon Lendore are all booked to run. The final will take place tomorrow evening.
In the women’s hammer throw, Toco Tafac’s Sherselle Murray will attempt to defend her gold medal against last year’s runner-up Angel Coombs.
The men’s final will see champ Ryan Samuel compete against Gabriel Guerra, Triston Pierre, Jamaal Alexander, Kesean Phillips and John Andalicio.
From 7 pm, the first of three heats in the men’s 800m will run. Last year’s winner Jamaal James will not contest the event, giving 2017 silver medalist Nicholas Landeau and bronze winner Daniel Gibbs an easier path to gold.
Today’s action will close with five heats in the men’s 100m event. Runner-up last year, Keston Bledman will start in heat four with stiff competition in the other heats coming primarily from emerging juniors with a few more experienced sprinters in the mix. Ako Hislop, Nathan Farinha, and Moriba Morain are among those vying for honours. Tomorrow’s action starts at 4 pm with the men’s shot put, women’s high jump and women’s hurdles.
Throughout the day, the men’s javelin will be contested with headliners in TT’s Keshorn Walcott and Anderson Peters of Grenada – both national record holders. The semifinals in the men and women’s 100m will come after, followed by the women and men’s 400m and 100m sprints, the latter of which will close the day’s action.
On Sunday, the third and final day of competition, the session will start with the women’s javelin at 2 pm and close with the men and women’s 4x400m and 4x100m relays.
Athletes will have their eyes set on attaining qualifying standards for the upcoming Central America and Caribbean (CAC) and North America Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) Games.