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 Stage set for Saturday’s finals at Nationals

EZRA STUART, [email protected]

 Stage set for Saturday’s finals at Nationals

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The stage is now set to determine Barbados’ fastest athlete following Friday night’s men’s 100 metres heats in the ICBL National Championships at the National Stadium.  

Last year’s champion Mario Burke, who clocked a career-best 10.10 seconds for the University of Houston this season, was the fastest qualifier among the 16 semi-finalists ahead of Saturday’s final which is set for around 7:15 p.m.

The United States-based sprinter cruised to 10.51 seconds in winning the first of four heats and was followed by Olympian Ramon Gittens, who also breezed to victory in the second heat in 10.57 seconds.

Burkheart Ellis won a close third heat in 10.66 seconds from fellow U.S-based athletes Kemar Cumberbatch (10.67) and Charles Greaves (10.68).

Freshman at Western Texas College, Jaquone Hoyte, with a personal best 10.27 this year, strolled home first in the fourth heat in 10.70 seconds.

The men’s 400 final should see a captivating showdown between NCAA finalist Anderson Devonish and CARIFTA Games’Under-20 silver medallist Jonathan Jones, who also won a gold medal in the 800 metres.

Devonish and Jones won their heats to advance to Saturday’s final with the two fastest times of 47.35 and 47.37 seconds respectively.

CARIFTA Under-17 competitor, Kyle Gale was the other heat winner in 48.58 seconds. Two runners from St Vincent and the Grenadines, Akani Slater (48.05) and Yonick Murray (48.83) also made it to the final, which is scheduled for 6:45 p.m.   

The women’s 400 final at 6:35 p.m., should be a straight fight between U.S.based athletes Tia-Adana Belle and Lisa Anne Barrow, who won their heats in 54.69 and 55.09 seconds respectively. Tiana Bowen (57.59), Jaria Hoyte (57.45) and Akeilia Knight (57.77) are expected to battle it out for third position. 
The other main event on the track will be the men’s 110 metres hurdles where Olympian Shane Brathwaite tackles Michael Nicholls and Rhys Philips in the men’s race 6:05 p.m.

Another Olympian Kierre Beckles takes on Shakera Hall, Ayanna Morgan, Allana Ince and Hannah Connell in the women’s 100 metres hurdles’ final at 5:55 p.m.

There should also among the keen competition on Saturday in the 1500 metres as well as the jumping and throwing field events.

On Sunday’s final day, Olympic Games’ multi-eventer Akela Jones is set to make her long-awaited return from injury when she competes in the long jump.

Meanwhile, experienced athletes Fabian Norgrove (50.73) and Kion Joseph (50.98) dipped under the required 51 seconds to join the list of qualifiers for the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Colombia, July 20 to August 3.

Norgrove and Joseph swept the two top positions in the Men’s 400 metres hurdles heats. The final is slated for Sunday at 5:55 p.m.

They also qualified for the North American, Central American and Caribbean Championships (NACAC) in Toronto, Canada, August 10-12. (EZS)