Forde ends Ballantyne’s CARICOM 10k dominance
Morgan’s injury spoils Guyana’s clean sweep
By Edison Jefford
Cleveland Forde convincingly ended Pamenos Ballantyne’s CARICOM 10km Road Race dominance yesterday, when the Caribbean Community Secretariat hosted the fifth edition of the annual high-profiled event.
Forde ran 32:52 ahead of St. Vincent & the Grenadines Ballantyne’s 33:04 to record his sixth successive victory against the defending champion, who had won the race on four previous occasions. Trinidad and Tobago’s, Curtis Cox ran 33:51 for third place.
“The race was good, competitive as I thought. It didn’t have the turnout of spectators but all in all, it was a good race. I knew that I had to stay with Ballantyne because he has a lot of endurance,” Forde told Kaieteur Sport.
The leading Guyanese distance runner said that the conditions did not allow a faster race since the sun affected most of the athletes. “The heat surprised me and the weather was not good for a fast race,” Forde said.
Ballantyne, Cox and Forde left the pack at Sheriff Street on their way back to the finish with Forde and Ballantyne dropping Cox a little past the 8km mark. Forde used his speed to outlast Ballantyne at the Police Sports Club ground.
“I have not done much speed work this year. Its distance running all the time for me, 33 and 32 minutes is no time for me. I normally run 29. I don’t know why people think that Cleveland is better than me,” Ballantyne said.
During the presentation of prizes, President of the Athletics Association of Guyana, Colin Boyce stated that he “suspects that this [Forde’s victory] is the end of the dominance of Ballantyne in the race,” in a bold statement.
Guyana’s chances of a clean sweep in the International Open races was spoilt when Alika Morgan dropped out of the female competition around the Guyana Defence Force, Base Camp Ayanganna after citing pain in her shins.
Morgan was leading the race when she dropped out. Trinidadian, Shermin Lasalda ended up winning the Women International race with 40:12 while Guyana’s Kenisha Pascal was second in 44:30. Trinidad’s Christine Rajis (46:38) was third.
Morgan was the defending International Female champion and like Ballantyne, she had won the race on all four previous occasions.
“She complained about shin-splints; it’s not the ankle. She came back with the shin from Carifta and after I noticed her face was uncomfortable during the race, I told her to stop,” Morgan’s manager, Leslie Black informed.
The winners of the Men and Women International races received cash prizes and trophies for their efforts, while winners in the other categories got trophies. All the athletes that ran took home a commemorative medal and T-shirts.
Rebicka Alexander won the Open Female race in front of Tamara Cameron and Kesha Sharpe, while Chavez Sital was the winner of the Open Male event ahead of Tulsirai Ramnauth and Wilbert Mingo.
Teshawnna Doris came out on top of the Female 13-15 category, with Zaelesin Shermon and Tennessia Shipley second and third respectively. Daniel Bernard won the Male 13-15 title as a loner in the category.
Janella Jonas was the Female 16-20 Age Group winner with Tisha Grimes in second and Leanna Doris third. Jamaal Chisholm finished ahead of Keith Gordon and Devon Wilson in the Male 16-20 competition.
Llewellyn Gardner won the Masters’ race ahead of Harold Forde and Franklyn Archer.
Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, Dr Frank Anthony said that the participation of so many youths in the race showed that young people also have a role to play in the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, which was a theme of the race.
The Government of Guyana and CARICOM staged the annual 10k race under the theme ‘Health, Unity and Prosperity’, which is in keeping with Government and Caribbean Community’s promotion of a healthy lifestyle.