By Noel 'Bravo' Francis, Special to TrackAlerts.com
As we continue the ‘Champs’ 2014 recap, the exciting 200m finals are featured.
CLASS 4 – 200M
Kiara Grant the pint size ‘pocket rocket’ from the Convent of Mercy Academy (Alpha) completed a fine double when she held off the fast finishing Ashanti Moore of Hydel High School in a very close finish. The event was run into a negative (-2.5) headwind with Grant winning in 25.08 and Moore claiming the silver medal in 25.11.
CLASS 3 – 200M
Tyreke Wilson was without a doubt one of the star performers at ‘Champs’ being the only boy to complete the sprint double across the three classes. There was little doubt if Wilson would win the gold; the only concern was if he would be able to challenge the record with the omnipresent negative headwind being a factor. Wilson was determined not to leave Class 3 without a record and produced an amazing run smashing the 1 year record (21.87) and establishing an unbelievable 21.72 seconds into a negative (-2.7) headwind. The adjusted time would have been in the region of 21.44 seconds.
A quality field of sprinters was assembled in the girls Class 3 200m final. Many persons expected the favourite Kimone Shaw of St. Jago High to rebound triumphantly from the disappointment of the 100m final and win the gold medal. However, Shaneil English of Hydel High who played a secondary role to Shaw last year in the Class 4 sprints had other ideas. English (24.31) showed great top end speed to surge past Shaw (24.44) and Edwin Allen’s Shellece Clark (24.54) to score a narrow and famous victory.
CLASS 2 – 200M
Unfortunately, Akeem Bloomfield of K.C. who ran 21.06 in his 200m semi-finals had to withdraw due to an injury he suffered the 100m final. The stage was set for Jhevaugn Matherson of K.C. and Raheem Chambers of St. Jago to complete their unfinished business, which started on Friday night. Some track fans felt Matherson who lost the 100m title would turn the tables on Chambers, while others felt Chambers was playing possum when he lost his 200m semi-final clash with Matherson. Chambers drawn in lane eight flew out of the blocks and around the curve; however, Matherson in lane four ran a superb curve and began to close in on Chambers like a homing device. By this time, Chambers was running on fumes and began to over stride desperately trying to reel in the finish line. However, Matherson’s superior speed endurance and determination proved to be the deciding factors as he sailed past Chambers to claim the gold in 20.97, a new personal best. Chambers also ran a personal best of 21.19 seconds for the silver medal.
Fans witnessed more drama in the blocks when star athlete Shauna Helps of Wolmer’s was disqualified for a false start in the girls Class 2 200m final. This unfortunate incident denied fans the chance to see the highly anticipated rematch between 100m winner Helps and runner-up Natalliah Whyte from St. Jago High who both had a score to settle. Helps might have been distracted by a few spectators who failed to heed the warnings of the stadium announcer who requested silence for the start of the race. An emotional Shauna Helps left the track in tears. This paved the way for an easy quinella for St. Jago High School as Natalliah Whyte (24.30) and Shanice Reid (24.45) sped away from the field to win gold and silver respectively.
CLASS 1 – 200M
Jonielle Smith of Wolmer’s Girls turned the tables on CARIFTA trials Under-20 champion Saqukine Cameron of Edwin Allen in the girls Class 1 200m final. Smith who copped the silver in the 100m final on Friday night with a personal best of 11.32 seconds, ran powerfully in this 200m event down the home straight into a negative (-2.7) headwind for a splendid win in 23.45 seconds. Cameron who was second in 23.58 running out of lane eight was so distraught by the defeat that she threw herself to the track and was seen rolling over in anguish. We hope Cameron’s never-say-die spirit will bear fruit in Martinique at the CARIFTA games. Sashalee Forbes (23.65) of Holmwood Technical edged Cameron’s teammate Monique Spencer (23.66) on the line for the bronze medal.
Breaking news greeted fans before the scheduled start of the boys Class 1 200m final with the withdrawal of one of the favourites Zharnel Hughes of Kingston College. The possibility of Usain Bolt’s record (20.25) being broken immediately vanished with his no-show. Jevaughn Minzie in his final year at ‘Champs’ and running like a man possessed was never going to be denied his golden moment. Minzie came out with a lot of self-confidence, displayed great speed endurance to overcome his more illustrious rivals and claimed a memorable victory in 20.50 seconds.
Martin Manley of St. Jago ran strongly to claim the silver medal and Michael O’Hara of Calabar running from lane eight got the bronze to complete by his standards a miserable championship from an individual standpoint. It is my view that the record-breaking run by Javon Francis three hours earlier in the 400m might have been a sacrificial one as he pulled up in this 200m final some 50 metres from the finish line and placed 7th. He did not participate in the 4x100m or 4x400m relays later that evening. We hope his injury is not too serious and he will be back for the senior trials and the Commonwealth Games.