A look at some of Champs’ top battles

March 28, 2023
Rickiann Russell
Rickiann Russell
Oneika McAnnuff
Oneika McAnnuff

Fans at the ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships (Champs) are in store for mouthwatering clashes, which could be pivotal in the outcome of the overall winners for both sexes.

Champs starts today and will end on Saturday. It is being staged at the National Stadium.

The clashes will start tomorrow with last year's Under-20 World Championships 100 metres silver medallist Serena Cole and the 200 metres bronze medallist Alana Reid meeting in the Class I girls 100 metres final.

Hydel High's Reid drew first blood at the Central Athletics Championships clocking 11.39 seconds to Cole's 11.93 seconds. Edwin Allen High's Cole levelled 1-1 at Carifta Trials, with an outstanding 11.18 seconds win to Reid's 11.24. The stage is set for a thriller with Veronica Campbell's record of 11.13 seconds from 2001 in danger, with Cole given the edge.

Another gigantic battle is expected in the Class I girls' 400 metres. Holmwood Technical's Rickiann Russell, the season leader with 51.74 seconds, will challenge Hydel's Oneika McAnnuff with a season best of 51.94 seconds. Russell has been on fire all season and was on top twice at the Central Athletics Championships.

Russell defeated McAnuff in the preliminary round but had to dig deep to win the final, with McAnnuff also doing the 400 metres hurdles minutes before that final. McAnnuff, the silver medallist last year, will look to turn the tables on Russell at Champs, where she will be fresher in the final. Sonita Sutherland's record of 51.13 seconds could be in danger.

In the Class II boys' 100 metres, St Elizabeth Technical High School's (STETHS) Tremaine Todd and Calabar High's Shaquane Gordon will meet for the first time this season in the 100 metres tomorrow.

Todd, despite only a season best of 10.81 seconds, is the favourite after his win in the Under-17 at the Carifta Trials. Gordon showed brilliant form at the Carifta Trials in the Under-20 boys' 110 metres hurdles to secure a big win which must have given him some confidence. His good recent form could see him getting the better of Todd.

An epic battle is also expected in the Class I boys' 400 metres hurdle as Kingston College's (KC) Antonio Forbes and STETHS's Shemar Blake are the top two seeds with 50.62 and 50.68 seconds, respectively.

A year ago, Forbes ended third in 51.48 seconds, with Blake failing to finish the final because of an injury.

The expectations are for a thriller, and with Champs' title on the line, this will be a big motivator for Forbes, and he should repel the challenge of Blake to win.

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