By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
WHILE male sprinter Warren Fraser capped off a long year by running his second fastest time in the 100 metres this year at the Rieti 2014 - International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) World Challenge Meeting on Sunday at the Stadium Raul Guidobaldi in Rieti, Anthonique Strachan got tuned up for the IAAF Continental Cup this weekend.
Fraser, the third fastest Bahamian this year, ran 10.18 seconds for fifth place in the men’s race 2 that was won by American Justin Gatlin in 9.83, well ahead of Jamaican Nesta Carter, who took second in 10.07. In race 1, Jamaican Asafa Powell, making his return to top form after coming off a brief suspension this year for a doping violation, won in 9.90.
When combined, Gatlin took the top spot overall to remain undefeated in the 13 races he competed in this year. Powell was second with Carter third. Fraser, 23, ended up eighth overall. His time was slightly off his personal best of 10.14 that he ran for second place at the BAAA Nationals in June behind Shavez Hart, the fastest Bahamian this year at 10.11. Adrian Griffith had the second fastest time of 10.14 in Clermont, Florida in April.
Fraser, a graduate of Clemson University, was competing in his second meet since his historic appearance at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland where he was the first Bahamian since the late Thomas A Robinson to make it to the final in the men’s final in the 100m at the four-yearly spectacular. A week ago at the 50th European Athletics meet in Rovero, Italy, Fraser crossed the line in 10.26 for second behind Gatlin’s winning time of 10.07.
The Bahamian national 60m national record holder at 6.54 was a member of the Bahamas men’s 4 x 100m relay team that ran at the inaugural IAAF World Relays at the new Thomas A Robinson National Stadium and he also competed in the first round of the 100m at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.
Strachan, who missed the trip to the Commonwealth Games because of an inury, ran in the women’s 100m where she was seventh in 11.38 in the race that was won by Jamaican Carrie Russell in a season’s best of 11.10, followed by American Jessica Young in a personal best of 11.13.
Strachan, the 21-year-old CARIFTA double 100 and 200m medallist at the CARIFTA Games in Hamilton, Bermuda, and the IAAF World Junior Championship in Barcelona, Spain, all in 2012, has ran a season’s best of 11.33 to win the BAAA National title in June and 22.50 in the 200m in a meet in Shanghai, China, in May.
This weekend, Strachan will be back in the spotlight when she and quarter-miler Chris ‘Fireman’ Brown will carry the Bahamian flag for the Americas team at the 12th IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakesh, Morocco. Strachan will team up with American Joanna Atkins to compete in the 200m and Brown will run with Americans LaShawn Merritt and Gil Roberts as well as Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic in the 4 x 400m relay.
Both events will be held Sunday on day two when the Americas team hopes to successfully wrap up the defence of their title that they won at the last four-yearly meet in Split, Croatia, in 2010.
The meet was originally started by the IAAF in 1977 in Düsseldorf, Germany when it was staged every two years before it was moved to every four years in Canberra, Australia, in 1985.