US-based athletes to lift Olympians Classic
The presence of overseas-based athletes such as Jaquone Hoyte, Shakera Hall and Tristan Whitehall should enhance the Barbados Olympians Classic when they take to the track at the National Stadium from 3 p.m. today and 4 p.m. tomorrow.
And even though a number of experienced athletes like Anthonio Mascoll, Fabian Norgrove, Kion Joseph, Nicholas Deshong and Sade Sealy are also entered, plenty of eyes will still be on Alleyne School sprinter Shemia Odaine.
The 17-year-old Odaine has been making steady strides ever since the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletic Championships (BSSAC), beating both Ashlee Lowe and Hannah Connell in the sprints.
She sped to a personal best 11.91 seconds at last weekend’s 246 High School Invitational at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex and will now be targeting the World Junior Championships’ qualifying standard of 11.65 seconds.
Odaine also clocked 24.62 seconds in finishing second to British Virgin Islands’ CARIFTA Games’ athlete Beyonce Defreitas (24.50) in the 200 metres.
The speedy Akayla Morris, who was sidelined for most of the season, and gifted Under-15 speedster Aaliyah Agard, will also provide competition for Odaine.
On the men’s side, Kuron Griffith, Matthew Clarke and Josiah Atkins will renew their battle against last year’s CARIFTA Games’ silver medallist Hoyte.
Also entered are United States-based sprinters Jebarri Cumberbatch, Kemar Cumberbatch and Rhys Phillips and the experienced Fallon Forde and Joshua Walcott.
While the Under-20 athletes will be seeking to book a ticket to the July 10-15 World Juniors in Finland, the seniors will be hunting qualification for the Central American And Caribbean (CAC) Games in Colombia, July 29 to August 2, or the NACAC Senior Championships in Toronto, August 10 to 12.
The men’s 400 metres should be extremely competitive with Jonathan Jones up against CARIFTA teammates Antoni-Hoyte Small and gifted Under-17 quarter-miler Kyle Gale, as well as the experienced Anthonio Mascoll.
The women’s 400 metres will see the seasoned Sealy being challenged by St Michael trio Jaria Hoyte, Rhea Hoyte and Asia Foster, as well as Foundation’s Chloe Lucas.
Hall and fellow United States-based hurdlers Ayanna Morgan and Allana Ince will clash with Danielle Scantlebury in the women’s 100 metres hurdles while the Under-18 race will see CARIFTA silver medalist Sarah Belle facing Anika Blackman and Adeyah Brewster. (EZS)