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Robles debuts with 13.35 victory in rainy Guadeloupe - IAAF

Published by
Matt   May 8th 2011, 10:39pm

World record holder and Olympic champion Dayron Robles defied the rain and won his first outdoor 110m Hurdles race in 10 months to produce one of the highlights of 7th Grand Prix Région Guadeloupe in the French Caribbean on Saturday (7).

USA’s two-time World Championships silver medallist Lashinda Demus set a world leading time in the 400m Hurdles with 54.92.

Under a persistent rain that started early morning and fell throughout the competition, the Cuban star made his outdoor debut after a short two-race indoor campaign and won comfortably in 13.35 over USA’s John Yarbrough (13.47) and Tyron Akins (13.48).

Initially registered, World and Olympic medallist David Payne of the USA fell sick and did not race.

“It was an uncomfortable race as I have been away from competition for such a long time," a relaxed Robles said. "I felt a bit strange and ran cautiously to finish the race. I had a sluggish start but then set my rhythm. I relaxed a bit half way and my rivals came close. I just sprinted towards the end and secured the victory."

Robles’ last 110m race was his 2010 best (13.01) in Lausanne on 8 July, 2010.

“I was expecting a faster race. The track is fast but it rained a lot and I was not able to warm up properly. More importantly, I fulfilled my goal. I broke the ice and will now focus on the next races,” the IAAF World Challenge meetings of Hengelo (29 May) and Ostrava (31 May).

The meet record of 13.24, set by USA’s two-time Olympic runner-up Terrence Trammel in 2006, remained intact.

The 2010 World Indoor champion spent 10 days training under the Caribbean sun in Guadeloupe, under the guidance of IAAF Coach of the Year Santiago Antunez and assisted by Doctor Richard Perez. Robles will now return home to continue his preparation for a long season that includes the World Championships in Daegu and the Pan American Games title defence in October.

“I am returning to Hengelo, where I fell last year, and certainly Ostrava,” where he broke the World record with 12.87 on 12 June 2008.

“I am confident about the next challenges ahead and I want to arrive in Ostrava in the best possible shape. It is a special place for me and I always want to race well there.”

After Ostrava, Robles will return to Havana to prepare for the Samsung Diamond League circuit.

“I want to look ahead and stay healthy. I am confident this will be a great season. I will see faster times as I race more,” he concluded.
World lead by Demus

After two 100m races over the barriers, including a personal best of 12.96, Lashinda Demus ran the first sub-55 second in the world this year (54.85) to take the 400m Hurdles, ahead of fellow countrywoman, 2008 Olympic runner-up Sheena Tosta (55.92) and Nigeria’s 2010 Commonwealth Games champion Joke Odumosu (56.66).

In the men’s race, Puerto Rico’s 2009 World Championships runner-up Javier Culson ran 48.73 in the first race of the season in his speciality event to prevail easily over two-time Olympic champion and meet record holder Angelo Taylor (49.77). Trinidad and Tobago’s Jeshue Gordon, fourth at the 2009 Worlds, finished third in 50.02.

Other top athletes had a head start to their outdoor season: Olympic champions Irving Saladino of Panama in the Long Jump (8.04m) and USA’s Dawn Harper in 100m Hurdles (12.74). In his third 400m of the year, 2004 Olympic and two-time World champion Jeremy Wariner ran his first sub-45 seconds in the one-lap race (44.88), followed by fellow countryman Greg Nixon (45.46) and Cuba’s 2010 World Indoor silver medallist William Collazo (45.77).

Jamaica’s two-time World Junior champion Dexter Lee took the 100m in 10.15 ahead of Olympic finalist Churandy Martina (10.18) and USA’s Jmee Samuels (10.21).

Rachelle Boone-Smith, the 2005 World Championships silver medallist, edged out Puerto Rico’s Carol Rodriguez in a close 200m. Both were timed 24.37.

Other winners were USA’s Keisha Baker in the 400m with a personal best of 52.15. Canada’s Ruky Abdulai (6.53m) prevailed over USA’s World champion Britney Reese (6.32m) in the Long Jump. Cuba’s Olympic finalist Misleidys Gonzalez set a new meet record in the Shot Put with 18.34m.

The 7th Grand Prix Région Guadeloupe, part of the NACAC circuit, was attended by a full crowd of 4,980 spectators at the Baie-Mahault Stadium.

Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF

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