Thursday 22 August, 2019

Gaye, McPherson strike gold in 400m at NACAC Championships

Stephenie Ann McPherson.

Stephenie Ann McPherson.

Demish Gaye and Stephenie Ann McPherson won the men's and women's 400m gold medals  at the 2018 North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Championships in Toronto, Canada on Saturday.

McPherson outclassed the field to win the women's 400m final in 51.15, beating Canada's Aiyanna  Stiverne (52.00) and USA's Brionna  Thomas (52.19). Jamaica's Christine Day (53.04)  finished fifth.

Gaye won the men's 400m final in 45.47, while his Jamaican teammate Fitzroy Dunkley finished third for the bronze medal in 45.76. Costa Rica's Nery Brenes Carden (45.67) split the Jamaicans for the silver medal.

The two victories in the 400m represent the third gold for Jamaica on the day as earlier, Hansle Parchment won the first gold medal for Jamaica at the championships.

Parchment powered home to victory in the men's 110m hurdles final in 13.28 seconds to easily beat USA's Alec Harris (13.49) and Barbadian Shane Brathwaite (13.52), the silver and bronze medal winners respectively.

Jamaica's 2015 World Championships gold medallist Danielle Williams finished second in the women's 100m hurdles final for the silver medal.

Williams clocked 12.67 as USA's Kendra Harrison, the world record holder,  easily won the gold medal in a championship record 12.55. Costa Rica's  Andrea Vargas Mena (12.91) finished third for bronze. Jamaica's Yanique Thompson finished sixth in 13.02 seconds.  

Earlier, Natoya Goule won silver in the women's 800m.

The 27-year-old national record holder came home in 1:57.95 for her second-place finish as USA's Ajee Wilson took the gold medal in a championship record of 1.57.95. Both athletes finished well ahead of Cuba's Rosemary  Almanza Blanco (2:00.15), ​who finished third for bronze. 

Goule and Blanco also dipped below USA's Chanelle Price championship record of 2:00.48, which was set in 2015.

Jamaica has so far won six medals on the day for a medal haul of seven  (3 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze) as on Friday's opening day O’Dayne Richards finished third in the men's shot put final  to win Jamaica's first medal.

Richards, the 2018  Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games champion, threw 20.89m to take the bronze medal.  

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