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UPCOMING OLYMPIC GAMES

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World Junior champion Machel Cedenio ended his junior (under 20) campaign as the world’s top 400m junior sprinter for 2014.

Despite racing sparingly due to injury, the lanky Point Fortin resident set world leading times almost every time he stepped on the track. He started his year by racing the first of his world leading times when he clocked 45.95 to retain his Carifta boys Under-20 400m title in Martinique in April.

Cedenio’s next run was even better when he won the Cayman Islands Invitational men’s one lap event on May 7 against his seniors, lowering his world leading time to 45.23 and also breaking the national junior mark of 45.74 set by Renny Quow in 2006.

The six-time Carifta champion came close to a new national mark when he took the CAC Junior crown in 45.28. He went to the 2014 World Juniors Champs in Eugene, Orgeon, USA in July as the overwhelming favourite and duly delivered with a dominant run to capture the gold medal in yet another world-leading and national junior clocking of 45.13. Cedenio’s winning time pushed the Florida-based sprinter up to joint 21st on the all-time junior lists along with triple Olympic gold medalist and five-time World champion Jeremy Wariner of the USA.

His 45.13 clocking is also the 33rd best for the year in the senior rankings. In addition to holding the fastest time on the planet, the Presentation College, San Fernando graduate has four of the six quickest clockings for the year and has dipped under the 46 second barrier on seven occasions over the last twelve months.

Cedenio showed his world-class potential two years earlier when he was fifth at the 2012 World Juniors finals as a 16 year old. That year, he also qualified for this country’s Olympic team as a reserve on the men’s 4x400m team and ended the season as the top Youth quarter-miler for 2012 again dominating the rankings with eight of the top ten times.

Cedenio is the lone T&T athlete ranked in the top ten on the latest IAAF World Junior rankings. However, he anchored the Carifta’s boys Under-20 4x400m team, which included Asa Guevara, Breon Mullings and Nathan Farinha to victory to the fourth best time in the world (3:06.02).

Triple World Junior finalist Jonathan Farinha is the next best placed local at 11th in the men’s 100m standings. Fellow World Junior finalists Reubin Walters (men’s 110m hurdles-99cm) and Shakeil Waithe (men’s javelin) are at 13th in their events.

Farinha sits outside the top ten in the men’s sprint with his personal best (pb) run of 10.25 which he set in winning the national junior title at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain, on May 31.

John-Mark Constantine is at 25th with a pb of 10.35 which he established in finishing runner-up to Farinha at the National Junior Champs. Farinha is at 16th in the men’s 200m following another personal run of 20.68 set in taking the National Junior half lap crown. At the World Juniors the QRC student was eighth in the 100m and 200m finals and led the men’s 4x100m team of Constantine, Holland Cabara, Micah Ballantyne and Akanni Hislop to sixth place in the finals.

Walters was 13th in the men’s sprints hurdles finals in a pb of 13.52. The final was a historic one as the winner, Wilhem Belocian of France, took the gold in a new world junior record of 12.99 with Jamaican Tyler Mason in second in 13.06 (also under the previous world junior mark).

Walters is also at 29th in the men’s 400m hurdles with a pb run of 51.46 at the Twightlight Games at the Hasely Crawford on May 02. Waithe, the Carifta and CAC Junior Champion, sits at number 13 on the men’s javelin listing with his pb throw of 72.75 in taking the national open title on June 22.

Among the women, Zakiya Denoon is the best ranked at 15th in the women’s 100m with her 11.41 pb clocking in capturing the national junior title on May 31. Aaliyah Telesford is at 23rd with 11.47 while Carifta girls under 20 champion Kayelle Clarke is 25th in the women’s half lap event with 23.44. Denoon, Telesford, Clarke combined with Maurica Preito to clocked the third fastest time in the world in the women’s 4x100m running 44.23 to take the CAC Junior gold. The quartet missed out on a medal at the World Juniors finished fourth.

Cedenio, Denoon and Waithe are the top junior performers in their events in the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) region. Walters and Nicholas Landeau (1:49.51) are at two in the sprint hurdles and the men’s 800m respectively. Kayelle Clarke is third in the women’s 200m. Jonathan Farinha is at number three in the 100m and five in the 200. Akila McShine (13.80-pb) is fifth in the women’s 100m hurdles.

Aaron Lewis (13.85 sec-pb) and Portious Warren (14.47m-pb) sit at sixth in the men’s sprints hurdles and the women’s shot put respectively. In the men’s shot put Shervorne Worrell (16.22m) and Kenejah Williams (16.06m) are eighth and ninth respectively. While in the discus Williams is at 12th (47.17m) and Worrell 20th (45.81).

In the World Youth (Under 18) rankings, two time Carifta and CAC Junior long jump champion Andwuelle Wright is the top rated T&T competitor at 17th in the boys long jump with a pb of 7.42m set in taking third at the Hampton Games at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on May 17.

Youth Olympic finalist Jeminise Parris is at 18th on the girls 100m hurdles (76.2cm) performance list. Parris clocked 13.62 sec (pb) in the heats of the Youth Olympics in Nanjing China on Aug 20 before finished fifth in the finals three days later in 13.76. Youth Olympic Games boys 200m fourth place finisher Akanni Hislop missed on a place on the rankings. The 16 year old clocked 21.28 sec in the heats of the men’s 200m at this year’s National Championships and when on to capture the B finals beating the field despite being the youngest.

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