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Rivaldo takes record in stride


Justin Marville

Rivaldo takes record in stride

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EASY. Graceful. Dominant.
Rivaldo Leacock’s record-breaking performance was everything. Everything but planned.
Inter-school sports’ latest victor ludorum admitted he had no idea of what the Under-17 Boys’ 400-metres hurdles record was shortly before replacing the mark on the final day of the PowerAde Barbados Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championships.
“Today [Friday] was a make it happen day, so it feels really wonderful,” said the Lester Vaughan schoolboy of replacing Tramaine Maloney’s 2010 mark of 53.29 seconds.
“But I didn’t even know the record when I was coming in until I was told what the record was, so I said I will go out and break it.”
And that he did with ease, making up the stagger by the time he cleared the first hurdle before increasing his advantage with each graceful stride.
Leacock obliterated the field – and the old time – with an incredible 51.38-second clocking. So dominant was the performance that he crossed the line as the nearest opponent was preparing to take the final hurdle.
“I had a really good start. I mean a really good start,” he said. All I had to do was just keep my composure and come home strong to get that record.”
It proved the highlight to one of the championships’ most memorable performances, which was capped by a similarly easy victory in the 800 metres (2:00.08) on that same final day.
This was before Leacock had already announced his intentions of winning the victor ludorum title following wins in the 110-metre hurdles (14.77 seconds) and 400 sprint (49.05 seconds).
“I always came out with a plan to win the victor ludorum, so it feels really great that I was able to achieve the feat.”
But not everything went to plan for the CARIFTA gold medallist, as his efforts weren’t enough to lead his school to their first ever boys’ crown.
They very nearly did, though, with Lester Vaughan briefly overtaking leaders and eventual champs Queen’s College after the onset of the hurdle events.
However, QC’s far superior Under-13 division sealed the deal for the kings, who finished with 313 points – 35 ahead of Leacock and company.
“I knew we had to come out here and give of our best and I can’t say we didn’t give of our best,” said Leacock. “We did what we could and left the rest up to God, but things just happen for a reason.”

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