Caribbeans win in Brazil

Isa Phillips sets world-leading 48.36secs in 400m hurdles

BY KAYON RAYNOR, Senior staff reporter

Monday, May 25, 2009

OLYMPIC semi-finalist Isa Phillips sounded a warning ahead of next month’s national senior championships with a world-leading and career-best 48.36 seconds to win the 400-metre hurdles at the 25th Grande Prêmio Brasil Caixa meeting in Belem, Brazil, yesterday.

Phillips’ time is 0.02 of a second faster than the previous world-leading mark of 48.38secs done by defending world champion Kerron Clement of the United States at the Adidas Classic on May 16 in Carson, California.

The 23-year-old won by a comfortable margin, beating his nearest challenger, American LaRon Bennett (49.29), by 0.93 of a second. Brazilian Mahau Camargo Suguimati finished third with 50.04secs.

The 25th Grande Prêmio Brasil Caixa meet is one of a select group of area meetings where athletes can earn points to qualify for the IAAF/VTB Bank World Athletics Final set for Thessaloniki, Greece between September 12 and 13.

Beijing Olympic mile-relay bronze medallist Bobby-Gaye Wilkins and Osaka World 200m finalist Marvin Anderson were also winners in Belem. Wilkins, who finished second in her two previous races on the Brazilian Circuit, posted a season-best 50.91secs to win the 400m.

The 20-year-old Wilkins’ time, which is just 0.04 off her personal record, is the fastest time by any Jamaican woman so far this season and the second best in the world, after American Allyson Felix’s 50.75secs done at the Doha Grand Prix in Qatar on May 8.

Guyana’s Aliann Pompey and American Debbie Dunn, who had both beaten Wilkins in two previous races on the Brazilian Circuit, had to settle for second and third, respectively, with 51.09
and 51.13.

Jamaica’s Shereefa Lloyd and Sonita Sutherland placed fourth and seventh, respectively, in the one-lap race with 51.32 and 52.72.

Anderson, who trains with triple Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt at Racers Track Club, produced his best time since 2007 - 20.15secs - to win the 200m.

Anderson, who earlier posted 10.18secs for fourth place in the 100m behind training partner Daniel Bailey of Antigua (9.99secs), is now the second fastest man in the world this year behind Olympic 400m champion American LaShawn Merritt (20.07) and top Jamaican performer over the
half-lap event.

Anderson’s compatriot Ainsley Waugh of the MVP Track Club finished third overall in Belem with 20.22 behind American Monzavous Edwards 20.17secs. Christopher Williams finished ninth overall in the 200m
with 20.65.

Olympic finalist Richard Phillips clocked 13.53secs for third in the 110m hurdles behind the American pair of Ryan Wilson 13.48 and Joel Brown 13.52. Maurice Wignall finished eighth with 13.93secs. Pan American silver medallist Nickiesha Wilson, who returned 55.85secs, had to settle for fourth in the 400m hurdles behind American Olympic silver medallist Sheena Tosta, 54.19. Laverne Jones of the US Virgin Islands was the top female performer after completing the sprint double in career best times. Jones clocked 11.18secs to win the 100m, ahead of Jamaican Sheri-Ann Brooks (11.33) and Aleen Bailey (11.33) in fourth and fifth positions, before posting a world-leading 22.49secs to win the 200m.

Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad & Tobago with 22.60 and Cydonie Mothersill of The Cayman Islands completed the podium finishes, while Brooks placed fifth with 23.04secs.