By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
STEVEN Gardiner opened his outdoor season with a world-leading time while Ken Mullings set a new national record at the 2019 Miami Hurricane Alumni Invitational, Saturday in Coral Gables, Florida.
Gardiner ran 20.04 seconds to win the 200m ahead of Alex Quinone of Ecuador in 20.53 and Dedric Dukes third in 20.66.
Jamaica's Akeem Bloomfield went into the weekend with the previous world-leading time of 20.24, but was surpassed by Gardiner, Miguel Francis of Great Britain (20.16) and Andre De Grasse of Canada (20.20), who turned in their times at the Grenada Invitational.
In February, Gardiner opened his indoor season in milestone fashion with a record-breaking performance in the 300m at the University of South Carolina Indoor Open. His time of 32.26 secs lowered his Bahamian national record of 32.51 that he established in January 2018 at the Blazer Invite in Birmingham, Alabama.
Gardiner looks to follow up a 2018 season filled with milestones where he set two national records and became the first Bahamian to crack the 20 and 44 second barriers in the 200m and 400m metres respectively. He set the 200m national record of 19.75 secs on April 7 at last year's Hurricane Alumni Invitational in Coral Gables, Florida and followed with the 400m record of 43.87 secs on May 4 at the Diamond League series in Doha, Qatar.
Mullings, of the University of the Bahamas Mingoes, continues to rewrite the national record books in the multi-disciplined events. He set a new national record in the decathlon with 7427 points. He surpassed the previous record of 7421 points, set by Antonio Greene in 1989.
Mullings won seven of 10 events en route to his record breaking score. On day one, he finished third in the 400m (51.48 secs - 748 points), second in the 100m (10.92 secs - 878 points), but followed with wins in the long jump (7.00m - 814 points), shot put (12.91m - 662 points) and high jump (2.10m - 896 points). At the midway point, he led the field with 3998 points.
Mullings continued his momentum on day two. He took first place in the 110m hurdles (14.65 secs), discus (39.47m), javelin (50.16 secs) and 1500m (4:57.15 secs) and was also second in the pole vault (4.35m). He is also the national record holder in the heptathlon with 5426 points, set at the Fred Wilts Purdue Indoor Invitational in February.
At the Grenada Invitational, Bahamian athletes were prominent on the medal podium at the Kirani James Athletic Stadium in St. George's Grenada.
Jeffrey Gibson took first place in the 400m hurdles in 50.17 secs ahead of Quincy Downing of the United States in 50.31 secs and Javarn Gallimore of Jamaica in 50.69 secs.
Tynia Gaither also took first place in the 200m in 23.07 secs. Anastasia Le-Roy of Jamaica was second in 23.22 secs and Marliedy Paulino of the Dominican Republic was third in 23.29 secs.
Katrina Seymour was fifth overall in the 400m hurdles in 56.96 secs.
At 2019 Gamecock Invitational, Devyne Charlton finished fifth in 100m hurdles in 13.39 secs.