Andre De Grasse Seals Pan Am Games 100m title

TORONTO, Canada – Jamaican Sherone Simpson and Canadian Andre De Grasse captured the women’s and men’s 100m titles on day two of the Pan Am Games in Toronto on Wednesday night.

Simpson Stuns Favourites

Simpson, the Olympic Games silver medallist from Beijing 2008, surprised the field when she posted a season’s best time of 10.95 seconds (+0.9 m/s) to win the women’s race and became the fourth sub-11 seconds Jamaican sprinter this season.

An emotional Simpson, who never looked like the woman to beat through the rounds, was left in tears  after her achievement.

She finished ahead of Angela Tenorio of Venezuela who improved her personal best to 10.99 secs for the silver, while American Barbara Pierre, the Pan Am Games record holder, at 10.92, took the bronze medal in 11.01.

Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago, one of the health favourites to win the title, after coming into these championships with a season’s best time of 10.84 – was edged out into fifth place in 11.05.

De Grasse Continues Good Form

In the men’s race, Canada’s rising star Andre De Grasse clocked 10.05 secs to strike gold, although he missed out at breaking the Games record of 10 seconds flat, set in 2011 by Kim Collins of St. Kitts and Nevis in Guadalajara, Mexico.

“I think he did well, I was very excited for such a young talent, a young kid to come through like he did tonight,” De Grasse’s coach at University of Southern California, Caryl Smith Gilbert said.

“I’m very excited, I loved the way he finished the race, I hate the way he started. It made me nervous.

“But I was very pleased for his first big-time 100 metres international to see him do a great job.”

The NCAA sprint double champion had earlier recorded a slightly wind-assisted 9.97 to win his semi-final heat, while Antiqua’s Daniel Bailey false-started in his heat and thrown out of the event.

Taking home the silver medal in the final was Barbados’ Ramon Gittens in 10.07, with third place going to St. Kitts’ Antoine Adams in 10.09.

Both Caribbean sprinters were recording their best times in 2015.

Sweeping The Men’s Long Jump

Pre-meet favourite Keston Bledman of Trinidad & Tobago was shut out of the medal places after he clocked 10.12 for fourth.

Jeff Henderson led a 1-2 sweep for USA in the men’s Long Jump after he stretched out to a winning mark of 8.54m with the aid of a +4.1 m/s wind in the first round of the contest.

He also had a legal 8.52m effort in the final, which would have also won the competition.

NFL player Marquise Goodwin, who represents the Buffalo Bills as a wide receiver in the American football league, won the silver medal with a jump of 8.27m (+4.5).

The bronze medal went to Uruguay’s Emiliano Lasa with an effort of 8.17m (+3.1).

Shamier Little Shows Senior Coverage

In another final in the evening session on day two, American champion and world-leader Shamier Little powered her way to victory in the women’s 400m hurdles in a comfortable time of 55.50 secs.

The NCAA champion, who remains undefeated in the event in over a year, fended off a brave fight from Canada’s Sarah Wells, who challenged the US youngster over the final 60m of the race.

Wells ended second in 56.17, with the last podium place going to Uruguay’s Deborah Rodriguez (56.41).

And The Rest …

In the women’s 800m, home hero Melissa Bishop produced a late kick to hold off US champion Alysia Montano to strike gold in 1:59.62, with the latter getting second in 1:59.76.

Elsewhere, Kibwe Johnson of USA won a very tight men’s Hammer Throw competition with a mark of 75.46m – beating Cuba’s Roberto Janet (74.78) and another American, Conor McCullough (73.74).

Cleopatra Borel of Trinidad and Tobago won the gold medal in the women’s Shot Put with a best mark of 18.67m.

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