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Barbados win sprint bronze


Barry Alleyne

Barbados win sprint bronze

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So much for extremely weak returns from the Pan American Games.
Barbados has another bronze. And a new national record too.
This time, it’s a Bronzewoman. Sprinter Shakera Reece ran the best race of her track and field career last night, saving her best for last, and running a personal best of 11.26 seconds to finish third in the women’s 100 metres at the Telmex Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico.
With boxer Cobia Breedy failing to advance on Monday, local hopes fell at the feet of Reece, as almost all fans thought the island’s last shot rests with the former CARIFTA Games gold medallist. And the 23-year-old sprinter didn’t disappoint, obliterating her previous personal best of 11.34 seconds, set at CARIFTA three years ago.
Running in Lane 3, Reece, a former student of Coleridge and Parry and Queen’s College, finished behind Roseangela Santos of Brazil (11.22 seconds) and Barbara Pierre of the United States (11.25 seconds) in one of the closest women’s finals in Pan American Games history.
Reece’s coach Mike Gaskin was cool and relaxed, but very proud nonetheless, about his student’s performance. “I’m extremely happy for her. It’s always good to medal at a senior event. I’m happy, but not in the least bit surprised,” he told said last night. According to Gaskin, Reece had put in the necessary preparation, and when she left Barbados, he knew she would do well. “But the work has now started,” he added. “We are just a few steps closer to our dream, which is an Olympic medal.” All eyes will now turn back to Emmanuel, who, having already earned at least a bronze over the weekend, went for one better last night in a late fight against Caesar Julio Castillo of Ecuador for a gold medal chance in heavyweight boxing.
Should the news be positive this morning, Emmanuel could actually have the chance later this week for the country’s first Pan American Games gold medal.
Yesterday proved to be a productive day for Caribbean athletes, as Jamaica’s Maurice Smith ran 14.20 seconds to win the 110 metre hurdles in the decathlon, then followed that up with a personal best throw of 49.78 metres in the discus of the same event. Jamaica are yet to win a gold medal on the track.
Samuel Miller and Devon Browne of the Bahamas also did their jobs on the track, with times of 45.90 and 45.92 seconds respectively in back-to-back races to advance to the final of the 400 metres.
Later this week, former World champion Kim Collins is the early favourite to win the men’s 100-metre sprint, the marquee event on the track.
Collins of St Kitts/Nevis, broke a 28-year-old record in the semi-finals with his ten seconds flat performance on Monday, and is expected to go even faster in the final stanza.

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