By Noel 'Bravo' Francis, Special to TrackAlerts.Com
Barbadian Mario Burke fresh from his sensational victory in the Boys’ Under-20 100m final in a personal best (10.21) must be harbouring thoughts of winning the sprint double. Burke, will be competing against a few sprinters who specialize in this event and will probably need to run another personal best to claim a famous victory.
One of the sprinters who will pose a serious threat to Burke’s victory aspirations is Trinidadian Jonathan Farinha. The tall and smooth striding Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) sprinter is the former 2012 Under-17 200m champion and has a personal best of 20.68 seconds. Farinha has the distinction of being in both the 2013 World Youth and 2014 World Junior Championships finals in this event. He demonstrated that he is in good sprinting form winning the 2015 T&T CARIFTA trials in an impressive 20.71 seconds. He will be hoping for a medal to make up for his no-show in last year’s classic CARIFTA final.
Jamaica’s Chad Walker is another medal prospect in this event. It is his first year among the seniors after winning the Under-18 200m crown last year. Walker was an easy winner of Jamaica’s 2015 CARIFTA trials and placed second at ‘Champs’ behind Michael O’Hara in the 200m final. Some observers believe Walker must run faster than his personal best of 20.97 seconds to have any chance of standing on the podium.
It is not clear if Jamaica’s second participant in this event will be Nigel Ellis who came second to Walker at the CARIFTA trials. Ellis has lots of potential, however, many Jamaicans feel that World Youth champion and World Junior Championship bronze medallist Michael O’Hara is more worthy and should report for duty. O’Hara is the defending CARIFTA champion in this event and will no doubt like an opportunity to retain his title and finish unfinished business with Mario Burke of Barbados. Let us hope for the sake of the fans; the Jamaican officials will make the right decision. Will Burke become the undisputed king of Caribbean sprinting?