EDMONTON, Sporting Alert – LaShwan Merritt and Sanya Richards-Ross secured the men’s and women’s 400m title at the TrackTown Classic in Edmonton, Canada on Sunday (July 12).
Merritt showed he’s heading into the right direction in his preparation to defend his IAAF World Championships crown after he dominated the men’s field and posted a seasonal best time of 44.36 seconds on his way to victory.
The American blasted through the first 400m and then held his form for the remainder of the race to beat second place Bralon Taplin of Grenada by almost a full second.
Merritt just missed his own meeting record of 44.30, which was set last year.
Taplin took second in 45.28, with Aldrich Bailey of USA finishing strong for third ahead of former World and Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner (USA, 45.42).
American sprinter Richards-Ross finished with a very strong kick over the last 170m to set up a comfortable victory in the women’s event.
Richards-Ross, who shockingly failed to make the U.S. team in the event for the IAAF World Championships, recorded a time of 50.47 secs to outpace compatriot Jessica Beard, who ran 51.03 for second place.
“I felt good today,” Richards-Ross, who took it easy in the first 200m before increasing the tempo in the last half of the race, said during her stadium interview.
“I really wanted to run in the 50 seconds or sub-50 seconds range if I could.”
Anastasia Le-Roy of Jamaica was third in 52.02, with Canadian multi-athlete Brianne Theisen-Eaton was fourth in a personal best time of 52.33.
In the other early events, USA’s Tiffany Williams won the women’s 400m hurdles title with a time of 54.33.
She finished ahead of Shevon Stoddart of Jamaica who ran 55.62 and Canada’s Sarah Wells (55.65).
The women’s 200m title went to Jamaican sprinter Simone Facey in a seasonal best of 22.55 (1.4) to improved on her previous 2015 best time of 22.65.
TrackTown Classic meeting record holder Shalonda Solomon of USA was second 22.56 and Kim Hyacinthe (Canada, 22.86) was third.