ON?A?NIGHT when records tumbled, Shane Brathwaite did not falter en route to claiming the national title in the men’s 110 metres hurdles.
And what a race it was.
Last night, at the National Stadium, in one of the closest finishes in recent years at the National Championships in Track and Field, Brathwaite crossed the line in 13.37 seconds, edging Greggmar Swift, who was timed in 13.39 seconds. Defending champion Ryan Brathwaite, who has been nursing heel spurs for several months, aggravated the injury in the prelims and did not run in the final.
Swift had the better start and Shane was only able to catch and pass him at the penultimate barrier.
“It has been an amazing season. I have been consistently running 13.3s, 13.29,” said Shane, who is now coached by Barbados’ former 400m Commonwealth Games gold medallist Andrea Blackett.
“I called her, I asked her for help. She didn’t turn me down and we have had a great chemistry. From then, improving in my hurdles and my
200,” he said. “I’m really enjoying it. It’s always good to improve.”
Swift, who was fourth at the NCAA Outdoor finals, was also pleased with his season after recording a personal best indoors and two outdoors.
That was just one highlight of the night which saw 19-year-old CARIFTA long jump champion Shamar Rock break David Caddle’s long-standing record in the men’s long jump. The 7.77 metres was set in 1988 before Rock was born and he leaped 7.84 metres last night on his final attempt, also erasing Kevin Bartlett’s junior mark of 7.67m set on June 25, 2000.
“It feels really great. I was trying to get it for the whole year. My second jump (7.73) was the junior national record, so going into the later jumps, I was feeling stronger and better. . . . This is the only event [Nationals] in Barbados that I haven’t won. I was trying to win a gold medal this year,” Rock said.
Kierre Beckles won the women’s 100m hurdles in 13.36, finishing alone as Shakera Hall pulled up after the first hurdle. Michael Nicholls won the Under-20 boys’ race in 13.86 seconds and joined Rock in qualifying for the World Junior Championships next month in Eugene, Oregon.
Not to be left out, Juwan Augustin-Mayers’ 14.14 seconds was also a qualifier for the Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships.
Also rolling into the record books was discus thrower Romario Antoine. With a throw of 54.13 metres, Antoine erased Tristan Whitehall’s junior national mark of 53.08 seconds. In a pair of eye-catching fluorescent green socks and bright orange shoes, he sank to the ground on the infield when the distance was announced, and then received congratulations from Akela Jones.
Shonita Brome also set a new championship record of 5.38 metres in the Under-15 girls’ long jump and Antoni Hoyte-Small raced to a new record of 52.27 seconds in the Under-15 boys’ 400m.
Up to press time, the 400 metres and 100 metres were still to be run, but earlier, the younger ones also got the chance to showcase their talent before the appreciative audience.