Two more medals
Put Barbados down for two more. So says Athletics Association of Barbados vice president Noel Lynch, who expects Shane Brathwaite and the men’s relay team to deliver more medal-winning performances at the North American, Central American and Caribbean Championship (NACAC).
Lynch gave the guarantee ahead of this weekend’s start to the meet in Toronto after Brathwaite and the 4×100 squad both copped gold at the just concluded Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC).
“Given his results coming out of CAC then I expect Shane Brathwaite to bring home another medal, and once you’re running in the region of 13.3 seconds in the 110 hurdles, then you’re always going to be a threat to reach the podium at this level,” said Lynch.
“He is a perennial medal winner from the junior level right up to Commonwealth Games and he has got to the finals of the World Championships; so this is clearly a man of calibre that we can depend on.
“The relay team won’t have it as easy because they have to contend with the Americans and Canadians now and a much improved Jamaica team that will be strengthened. Unfortunately, Ramon Gittens isn’t going as we wanted to close the season on a high but we’re still on the cusp of running 37 seconds, and once we do that we will be in the bidding for another medal,” he added.
Lynch made the comments just days after Barbados ended the CAC Games in Barranquilla with gold medals from the 4×100 squad and Brathwaite in the final week of competition.
But the team’s returns weren’t just limited to those victories, as Sonia Gaskin also copped bronze in the women’s 800 metres before Mario Burke barely missed out on a medal of his own with a fourth-place finish in the 100.
Yet, Lynch isn’t expecting either to truly contend for more podium finishes at this higher level of competition that features some of the best that the US and Canada have to offer.
“I wouldn’t stick my neck out for Mario and say he can medal, because now he has to face Andre De Grasse, Leroy Burrell’s son, and Nesta Carter will also be coming back from the CAC Games,” explained Lynch.
“But there’s no reason he can’t make that final and maybe he should have won a medal at CAC too because he told me he was thrown off by Burkheart’s false start and was focusing on getting the race run under protest moreso than running his actual race.
“The thing is if you don’t win a medal at CAC, then it only gets harder from here with the increased level of competition as you are adding some of the best athletes in the world; but I still think we will do very well with the numbers and the calibre of team that we have,” he added.
TEAM: Kierre Beckles (100 hurdles), Lisa-Anne Barrow (400), Sonia Gaskin, Sade Sealy (800), Tia Adana Belle (400 hurdles), Shane Brathwaite (110 hurdles, 4×100), Burkheart Ellis (200, 4×100), Mario Burke, Jaquone Hoyte (100, 4×100), Anthonio Mascoll (800), Anderson Devonish (400), Fabian Norgrove (400 hurdles) Charles Greaves (long jump). (JM)