Joe Payne Classic today
BARBADIAN athletes will begin their bid to qualify for this year’s CARIFTA Games in the Cayman Islands at the annual Joseph Payne Memorial Classic at the National Stadium from today.
Judging from the entry list and looking at the performances during last Saturday’s New Year’s Classic, the meet, which starts at 10 a.m., should have some exciting battles on the track and in the field events.
The Orlando Greene Men’s 800 at 4 p.m. should have plenty of fireworks with Rasheeme Griffith, who won the two-lap race last Saturday in 1:56.62 minutes, favoured to win.
He will have stiff competition from CARIFTA half-milers such as his former Coleridge & Parry teammate Tafari Bishop, Elite Distance Programme’s (EDP) Rio Williams, the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme’s Roneldo Rock and UWI’s Joseph Parris.
Handal Roban from the Xcel Track Club in St Vincent should also make his presence felt in this race, as well as in the 400.
Another Vincentian Xcel athlete, Nellie Ambriton, will compete in the Under-17 Boys’ 400 and 800 races.
Looking to repeat success
Shonita Brome will also be looking to repeat her New Year’s Classic success in the Leticia Gilkes Women’s 800 metres while improving on last week’s time of 2:29.38 minutes.
She will be up against Charissa Moore and 13-year-old middle distance prodigy Layla Haynes, who will be going after the CARIFTA qualifying time for Under-17 girls.
Junior athletes like Samiya Dell, Skye Spencer-Layne, Jahzara Holford, Shamari Addison and Jamarion Mapp will also have some keen competition as 13 athletes from the Abilene Wild Cats Club in St Lucia will be competing.
Another junior who caught the eye last Saturday was Coleridge & Parry’s Khimani Cox.
Cox, who also plays cricket and football for his school, impressively won the 800 metres in 2:21.86 minutes before returning to take the 200 in 24.98 seconds.
Elite’s Dacoreya Collymore was another impressive winner of the Junior Girls’ 800 in 2:46.73 minutes.
Elite’s Rickyla Fagan, who completed the Under-17 Girls’ sprint double by winning the 200 in 25.77 seconds, and clubmate Daquan Clarke, who won the boys’ 200 in 22.83 seconds, should again triumph.
Velocity’s Sarah Belle took the women’s 200 in 25.46 seconds and Proformers’ Miguel Nicholas (22.49) won the men’s event.
On the field, BC Trac’s Alex Duguid-Green will be looking to improve on his put of 14.23 metres in the Under-20 Boys’ shot.
Proformers’ Vivica Addison and BC Trac’s Kevon Hinds are two field athletes who can book early CARIFTA tickets in the throws.
EDP’s coach Samuel Leo Garnes, who still has five national senior records, will be the patron for the meet. (EZS)