JAMAICA: Hubert Lawrence | Mad dogs and Englishmen - EntornoInteligente

Entornointeligente.com / Jamaica Gleaner / There were instances at last week’s ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships where the rules got hit the way George Foreman hit Joe Frazier at the Sunshine Showdown. Still, despite that, Champs once again showed the limitless potential of Jamaican athletics. Importantly, the five-day festival provided the first answers to the question about who will be the country’s star athletes going forward into the post-Bolt era.

The major rule buster was the use of a mobile communication device on the field of play by a competitor. It seemed to be used to convey instructions to an ailing athlete in need of advice and therefore one has some sympathy. However, that is strictly prohibited by the rules of just about every sport. Since the episode ended with the injured athlete short of a point-scoring finish, this matter will probably pass.

Still, a stern warning to the offenders would not be amiss.

The 800m/steeplechase double by Tarees Rhoden of Kingston College was a curious combination. Six years ago, San-j Powell of Kingston College won that double, but the schedule was kinder in 2012. Tabbed for silver in the 800 metres, Rhoden just couldn’t keep pace in the final won by outgoing STETHS senior Javauney James.

While the brave lad faded painfully to eighth, James won his seventh and last Champs gold medal.

Young Kevona Davis collected her fourth and fifth such individual honours in brilliant style with two records each in the Class Two 100 and 200 metres. Racing in the sky blue of Edwin Allen Comprehensive High, Davis dashed to times of 11.35 and 11.16 seconds in the 100m, and 22.92 and 22.72 in the 200m. Her 200m record is the second-fastest time in Champs history behind the Class One mark of 22.71 set by Simone Facey in 2004.

The records don’t tell the whole story, as KC captain Dashawn Morris topped all male performers at Champs. With defending champion Chris Taylor running only the Class One 200m, Morris removed the welcome mat with a season-leading run of 45.63 seconds in the 400 metre semis. Then with Calabar’s resolute Anthony Carpenter in hot pursuit, Morris hustled to the gold medal in the fastest junior time of the year, 45.09 seconds.

That’s faster than Taylor’s lifetime best of 45.27 seconds, set three years ago at the sprint-friendly, high altitude of Cali, Columbia.

Only Akeem Bloomfield and Javon Francis have ever run faster than Morris at Champs. Accordingly, if fit, the bespectacled KC charger can consider himself a candidate for gold at the World Under-20 Championships in July. For his sterling effort, Carpenter got the silver and a massive personal best of 45.47 seconds. Both boys were magnificent.

Edwin Allen scored far fewer points than expected, but won the girls’ team title again anyway. By contrast, Calabar came to town with the most powerful boys team ever seen. Its total of 368.5 points outstripped the previous highest-winning tally of 317. That show of power left opponents and fans breathless. Michael Clarke and his team of Calabar coaches, managers and athletes should take a bow.

– Hubert Lawrence has made notes at track side since 1980.

JAMAICA: Hubert Lawrence | Mad dogs and Englishmen

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