Athletics Weekly - - COM­MON­WEALTH GAMES -

TRINIDAD and Tobago has pro­duced some great male sprint­ers over the years. Hasely Craw­ford won 1976 Olympic 100m gold and Ato Boldon took the 1997 world 200m crown and 1998 Com­mon­wealth

100m ti­tle. Even McDon­ald Bai­ley, the fa­mous Bri­tish sprinter of the 1940s and

1950s, was born in Trinidad.

In the Car­rara Sta­dium on Mon­day evening, though, Michelle-Lee Ahye helped fel­low fe­males from her coun­try step out of the shadow of the men when she be­came the first woman sprinter from Trinidad and Tobago to win Com­mon­wealth gold.

Never trou­bled in the race, the heav­ily-tat­tooed Ahye stormed away to win in 11.14 (+1.0) as she beat the Ja­maican duo of Chris­tiana Wil­liams and Gayon Evans.

Close be­hind there was bit­ter dis­ap­point­ment for

English hope Asha Philip as she fin­ished a close fourth de­spite hav­ing been the quick­est ath­lete in the semi-fi­nals. “That was shock­ing,” she said.

Philip’s post-race re­ac­tion was in stark con­trast to Ayhe as the 25-year beamed: “I hope the younger run­ners can see me as a role model.”

It made up for the an­guish of four years ear­lier when she had ex­ited at the semi-fi­nal stage of the Games in Glas­gow.

She added: “I was just de­ter­mined through­out the heats and kept to my plan. I think my fam­ily and coun­try will be very proud. It means a lot to me to rep­re­sent Trinidad and Tobago.”

As for her fu­ture goals, she said: “My main fo­cus is to stay healthy and get stronger.”

The re­sult was not a sur­prise, though, for Ahye clocked 10.82

last year – the third fastest time in the world in 2017.

Trinidad and Tobago showed strength in depth, too, as Khal­ifa St Fort, who is only 20 and coached by Boldon, was sixth, with Re­yare Thomas – an­other Trinida­dian – fin­ish­ing in seventh.

In the rounds, Amy Fos­ter of North­ern Ire­land was fourth in Philip’s semi-fi­nal in 11.54 and Corinne Humphreys of Eng­land was sixth in her semi in 11.66.

The in­clu­sive spirit of the Friendly Games was demon­strated, mean­while, by the sight of ath­letes from Van­u­atu, Kiri­bati and the Solomon Is­lands fin­ish­ing well adrift of fel­low com­peti­tors in the heats.

Michelle-Lee Ahye: first Trinidad andTobago fe­male ath­lete to win gold

Michelle-Lee Ahye: de­ci­sive win­ner ofwomen’s 100m

Asha Philip: up­set to nar­rowly miss a medal

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