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Netherlands Antilles' Martina dominant over 200m in Hengelo

28 May 2008

By Gary Smith

Churandy Martina from the Netherlands Antilles was the only Caribbean winner at Saturday’s 26th edition of the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in Hengelo, another meeting used to collect points to qualify for the IAAF / VTB Bank World Athletics Final, coming up in September.

Running unchallenged all the way

On a warm evening in the FBK Stadium, Martina blasted from the blocks and ran a sizzling curve to win the race by 10-metres in 20.50-seconds in a head wind of -2.0 m/s. He earned for himself US$4,000 for his winning effort in the event that was categorizes as a “Classic” event on the schedule.

Coming into the event with the fastest time of 20.17, which is a personal best for him, Martina, winner of the 100m last season, showed that he was is great form by beating Great Britain’s Marlon Devonish who came home second in 20.89.

Martina did enjoy his success in Hengelo, celebrating with fans who cheered him on continuously and thinking in the back of his mind that with a better wind reading he could have gone somewhere between 20.15 and 20.25.

Good come-back run by Sturrup

There was good sign in the women’s 100m for Bahamian Chandra Sturrup, who ran a fastest time this season in a head-wind of -0.7 m/s.

The former back-to-back World 100m bronze medallist came away with a good start, but was unable to hold off a fast sprinting Kim Geveart of Belgium who ran on in the middle of the race to just edge Sturrup, at 11.25 to 11.27.

Briton Jeanette Kwakye won third place, as Sturrup’s compatriot Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, a favourite to win the race, along with American World indoor 60m champion finished fifth in 11.34, just behind Williams (11.33).

There were only three sprinting events at the meet and the longest one saw Jamaica’s Clora Williams struggling to find the winning form that was predicted for her at the games.

Williams went out to a slow start and was unable to gain any distance on her competition, despite her fighting efforts in the last 90m and had to take fourth with 52.21.

Great Britain’s Lee McConnell went out from the start and held her own to cross the finish line first in 51.66. Ireland’s Joanne Cuddihy took second in 51.98, the only other athlete to break 52-seconds.

Second for Dixon in hurdles

The other regional athletes competing in the hurdles in Hengelo were Jamaicans Vonette Dixon and Lacena Golding-Clarke, who finished second and sixth, respectively in the women’s 100m Hurdles sprint.

Dixon clocked 12.97 to finish behind American LoLo Jones, the winner, at 12.87, with teammate Kellie Wells taking third in13.01. Golding-Clarke’s time on the night was 13.37.

Sweden’s star hurdler Susanna Kallur did not face the start for the event.

Jelimo too much for Burnett

There were several outstanding performers on the evening, including Panama’s Irving Saladino, who leaped a phenomenal 8.73m to win the men’s Long Jump and Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie’s impressive return to the track in the men’s 1,000m, but the performance of Kenyan teenager Pamela Jelimo in the women’s 800m was perhaps the race of the day.

Jelimo dispatched of the strong field to win the race in world-leading and world junior record time of 1:55.76.

The performance left Caribbean runner Marian Burnett at her mercy, as the Guyanese was left in the pack, finishing ninth in 2:02.85, a time which is almost two-seconds slower than her seasonal best.

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