Tyra Gittens broke her own national junior heptathlon record at the Pan American Combined Events Cup in Ottawa, Canada, yesterday. The Trinidad and Tobago athlete accumulated 5,490 points in the seven-discipline event to improve on the 5,337-point standard she had established in Texas, USA, last year.
Gittens was a runaway winner in Ottawa, the reigning Carifta Games champion having no problems en route to girls' under-20 heptathlon gold. Canadian Megan Dunn seized silver with 4,648 points, while bronze was bagged by American Michaela Banyi (4,382). The other T&T athlete in the under-20 heptathlon, Anya Akili sustained an injury in Monday's 100 metres hurdles, and was forced to withdraw.
Gittens outclassed her rivals on Monday, topping all four disciplines to establish a huge lead heading into day two. The US-based athlete won the 100m hurdles in a wind-assisted 14.17 seconds. She then cleared the bar at 1.81 metres for victory in the high jump. Gittens was strongest in the shot put with a 12.37m throw. And in the 200m, she got to the line first in a windy 24.90.
Gittens followed up yesterday with a 5.98m winning leap in the long jump. She then threw 33.90m for third spot in the javelin. And in the 800m, Gittens completed her golden performance with a two minutes, 40.38 seconds clocking, the effort earning her fourth spot in the race, but more importantly a new T&T under-20 record.
Antonia Sealy and Safiya John finished one-two for T&T in the girls' under-18 heptathlon. Sealy earned 4,316 points for the gold medal, while John picked up silver with 4,004. Bronze went to Canadian Lexi Kundlacz (3,717).
Kerlon Ashby secured bronze in the boys' under-20 decathlon, the T&T athlete finishing the 10-discipline event with 5,833 points. Canadians Laurent Grandmangin (6,076) and Joshua Mather (6,009) claimed gold and silver, respectively.
And in the boys' under-18 decathlon, T&T's Joel Andrews totalled 5,675 points to capture bronze. Guatemala's Mauricio Galindo was golden with 6,011, while silver went to Canadian Ethan Foster (5,902).
At the end of day one in the senior women's heptathlon, T&T athletes Khemani Roberts and Kechelle Douglas were eighth and 15th, respectively. Roberts earned 3,226 points in yesterday's four disciplines, while Douglas accumulated 2,907.
Male: Kerlon Ashby (under-20 decathlon), Joel Andrews (under-18 decathlon)
Female: Khemani Roberts (heptathlon), Kechelle Douglas (heptathlon), Tyra Gittens (under-20 heptathlon), Anya Akili (under-20 heptathlon), Safiya John (under-18 heptathlon), Antonia Sealy (under-18 heptathlon)
Officials: Durly Lucas (manager), Arlon Morrison (coach), Reynold Porter-Lee (coach), Michelle Alleyne-Pennie (coach), Verna Edwards (coach/massage therapist)