A strong second day, highlighted by season’s best performances in the discus and pole vault, and a personal best performance in the javelin, led to a new national record in the open men’s decathlon for Bahamian Ken Mullings, as the 18th Pan American Games continued in Lima, Peru.
Mullings still finished 644 points short of a medal at the games, but his collective performance was the best to date by a Bahamian. He finished sixth overall with 7,517 points, breaking his own national record by 90 points. Damian Warner repeated as Pan Am Games Champion, winning with 8,513 points; Lindon Victor, of Grenada, finished second with 8,240 points; and Canadian Pierce Lepage won the bronze medal with 8,161 points.
Georni Jaramillo Casares, of Venezuela, finished fourth with 7,913 points. Cuban Leonel Suárez Fajardo had a late charge to finish fifth with 7,799 points. Mullings settled for sixth.
Going into the second and final day of competition, Mullings found himself 63 points off of national record pace. However, he quickly made up the stagger in his first two events of the day, improving on the efforts he had when he initially set the national record at the University of Miami (UM) Hurricane Alumni Invitational in April.
To start day two, Mullings ran a time of 14.42 seconds in the 110 meters (m) hurdles, improving on the 14.65 seconds he ran in April. To follow that up, he had a season’s best toss of 41.25m (135’ 4”) in the discus, improving on the 39.47m (129’ 6”) throw he had in April. Mullings also improved in the pole vault, leaping 4.40m (14’ 5-1/4”) as opposed to 4.35m (14’ 3-1/4”) in April, and then blasted his April performance in the javelin, going from 50.16m (164’ 7”) to a new personal best of 57.18m (187’ 7”). His previous personal best in the javelin was 56.23m (184’ 6”).
In the final event of the competition, he needed just a 5:19 performance in the 1500m race or faster to set a new national record. Mullings ran 4:57.15 in April. On Wednesday night, he labored to a time of 5:02.79, to end the 10-event competition and wrap up the all-time best performance by a Bahamian in the multi events.
On the first day of competition, he had the sixth best time in the 100m (11.09 seconds), the sixth best mark in the long jump (7.07m – 23’ 2-1/2”), the 10th best mark in the shot put (12.86m – 42’ 2-1/4”), was tied for the best height in the high jump (2.03m – 6’ 7-3/4”) and finished with the ninth best time in the 400m (50.88 seconds).
On day two, he had the fourth fastest time in the 110m hurdles, the seventh best throw in the discus, was tied for the sixth best height in the pole vault, had the sixth best throw in the javelin and the 11th fastest time in the 1500m.
On the track for The Bahamas on Wednesday, Rio de Janeiro Olympics finalist in the women’s 100m hurdles Pedrya Seymour was in fine form again. She was second in her semifinal heat in 12.94 seconds and qualified for today’s final with the fourth fastest time. Seymour will run out of lane seven in today’s final. That race is set for 5:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) at the Athletics Stadium Parque Kennedy in Lima.
The other Bahamian in the women’s short hurdles wasn’t so fortunate. Devynne Charlton finished fifth in her semifinal heat and was 10th overall in 13.49 seconds. Just the top three finishers in each semifinal heat and the next two fastest times moved on to the final.
According to reports, the athletics competition took place in cold weather conditions as temperatures dipped below 50 degrees for most of the day.
It is being suggested that the weather had an effect on some of the performances on the track and in the field. In particular, Jamaica’s double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson captured the 100m gold in a modest 11.18 seconds. Her personal best is 10.70 seconds, and she has run 10.73 seconds this year.
On the men’s side, the veteran American Mike Rodgers won his first substantive major title. He finished clear of the rest of the field in 10.09 seconds. He has a personal best time of 9.85 seconds.
Today on the track for The Bahamas, Seymour and Jeffery Gibson will run in their respective finals – Seymour in the women’s 100m hurdles and Gibson will try to repeat as Pan Am Games Champion in the men’s 400m hurdles. Also, Tynia Gaither and Anthonique Strachan will run in the semifinals of the women’s 200m, and Cliff Resias will contest the semifinals of the men’s 200m.
Over at the VIDENA Aquatics Centre, a number of swimmers will be in action for Team Bahamas.