– as AAG stages Senior Championships
By Edison Jefford
Guyana’s senior athletes will have their opportunity to showcase their talents today when the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) stages its annual National Senior Track and Field Championships at the Police Sports Club.
The marquee event is expected to renew many old rivalries especially in the sprint events where a new breed of senior athletes will attempt to bring down the Rawle Greene and Alicia Fortune decade of athletic dominance.
President of the AAG, Colin Boyce told Kaieteur Sport yesterday that while the tasks of managing the competition along with the Inter–Guiana Games were daunting, systems are adequately in place for a riveting contest.
The Inter–Guiana Games’ track and field contest wrapped up yesterday at the same venue and all attention will be placed on the National Senior Championships today, following an AAG meeting to conclude the final preparations.
“Everything is supposed to be in place. We will do some fine tuning today (yesterday) at a meeting,” Boyce indicated, adding that the AAG will determine whether there are heats and finals based on the amount of entries received.
But already the crème de la crème of Guyana’s senior athletes were caught up in the talk and pomp of the event.
There was a clear indication that the budding stars were not in no mood to wait for Greene and Fortune to resign.
“I feel as though I can beat her. I feel good and I have the confidence,” retorted a positive Leota Babb when asked about her chances against Fortune. The former top junior sprinter made it clear that she is going out to win today.
According Babb, after recognising her mammoth challenge, she was confined to training in the mornings and afternoons for the past three weeks with the aim of improving her technical and psychological fitness for the meet.
“This is my first senior year and my coach (Lyndon Wilson) and I have been doing a lot of work and he is motivating me. The athletes in my club (Police Progressive Youth Club) have been encouraging me too,” she said.
The 19–year–old Babb transitioned well from her junior years and became the number two ranked senior female sprinter in the Guyana behind Fortune. She lost the 60m on the line at an AAG Developmental Meet in January.
While today could see the end of the reign of Fortune, her training partner and club mate, Greene is unsure about competing since an injury that resulted in his loss to the emerging Michael Saul last month, is not fully healed.
“I am not a 100 percent fit. I am not sure if I am running. I am registered (to run) but will know if I am running if I am feeling well during my warm–up. If I feel good I will compete,” the current national male champion said.
If Greene does not compete today, a new national sprint champion will be crowned and a fresh chapter in local athletics will begin. The flood gates are already open since Greene has not prepared for the competition mentally.
His main opposition will most likely be Saul from Berbice, Kenneth ‘Beast’ Semple from East Coast and Police’s Keith Roberts. The marquee men 100m will, no doubt, be one of the feature events of the action filled day.
The men’s 400 and 5000m and the women’s 100m are also events that will be highlights at the Police Sports Club Ground where athletes compete for a year’s bragging rights, national titles and a place on Guyana’s national team.
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