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Charlton, Gaither compete in Diamond League Final

Bahamian track athletes Devynne Charlton and TyNia Gaither were in action in the Wanda Diamond League Final, the Weltklasse Zürich, at Letzigrund Stadium in Zürich, Switzerland yesterday, competing in their specialty events. Charlton finished fifth in the women’s 100 meters (m) hurdles while Gaither was sixth in the women’s 200m.

Charlton had a good start out of lane two but dropped back a little, crossing the finish line in a time of 12.66 seconds for the fifth-place finish. Winning that race with a new meet record was the 2022 world outdoor championships gold medalist Tobi Amusan, of Nigeria. The world record holder ran a time of 12.29 seconds. American Tia Jones was second after posting a time of 12.40 seconds. Securing the third-place finish was Jamaican Britany Anderson in 12.42 seconds.

Gaither was also in a star-studded lineup for the 200m final that included World Champion Shericka Jackson, of Jamaica, American Gabrielle Thomas and hometown favorite Mujinga Kambundji, of Switzerland.

The Grand Bahama native clocked 22.66 seconds for the sixth-place finish, running out of lane three. Jackson won as she was the only one to run sub-22 seconds, posting a time of 21.80 seconds. Thomas came in second clocking 22.38 seconds.

Both Bahamians ran last week Friday in separate countries in Europe. Charlton finished the qualifying period with 19 points in the Diamond League (DL) standings. She had a second, a fourth, a fifth and a sixth in her DL races in 2022. Charlton showed what she can do on the track once she is healthy. She set two national records this season – the women’s 60m hurdles indoors and the 100m hurdles outdoors. The 60m hurdles national record was set in the semifinals of that event at the World Athletics Indoor Championships at Štark Arena in Belgrade, Serbia. Charlton then matched that time in the final for the silver medal.

In the 100m hurdles, Charlton set the national record at 12.46 seconds when she qualified for the final of that event at the World Athletics Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon in the United States. That time was ran in the world championships semifinals.

Apart from her world indoors silver, Charlton won a silver in the 100m hurdles at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, and added a bronze in that event at the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) Track and Field Championships in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Gaither qualified in the seventh position in the DL standings in the women’s 200m, finishing with 10 points. She too had a season to remember. She ran a personal best time in the 200m in the semifinals of that event at the Oregon World Championships, and then matched that personal best time of 22.41 seconds for the silver medal at the NACAC Track and Field Championships in her hometown of Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Earlier in the season, Gaither set her personal best time at 22.45 seconds at the Baylor Invitational at the Clyde Hart Track & Field Stadium in Waco, Texas, and then topped that time twice in the ensuing months.

There were actually three Bahamians who qualified for the DL Final, in four disciplines, but Shaunae Miller-Uibo decided to shut down her season and not go after a fifth Diamond League title. She was the only Bahamian to qualify in two events this year – both the women’s 200 and 400m.

The Diamond League season came to a close on Thursday after a series of 12 regular season meetings and the DL Final in Zürich, Switzerland. A total of 32 event champions were crowned in the various disciplines.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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