Oct 05, 2011 Sports
Joint-Services Athletics Championships
The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) would certainly be looking to re-invoke the old adage, which says that ‘the race is not for the swift, but for they who will endure to the end’ over the next two days of the Joint-Services Athletics Championships today and Friday.
The re-invocation would be a direct message of resilience against the fact that the Police have an insignificant 14-point lead over the soldiers after the completion of approximately seven finals in the 2011 contest at the Base Camp Ayanganna Ground.
The Police are ahead on 102 points while the soldiers are trailing on 88 points as they have set an intriguing battle in the next two days of the competition. The Guyana Fire Service is in the third position on 23 points while the Guyana Prison Service is on seven points.
The Guyana Police Force (GPF) are the defending champions and for obvious reasons they were in celebratory moods yesterday after they took back a lead that the Defence Force had held on to earlier in the day. The Women’s Discus throw was the turning point.
The Police Force swept the Women’s Discus to effectively hand the team all the top points in the competition after they had shared the spoils with the Defence Force in the earlier events. Defence Force was left reeling from the results of the Women’s Discus event.
Latoya Rodney threw 27.68m to win the event with Joan King-Brown and Dionne Ferguson on a dominant path for the Police with throws of 26.10m and 25.60m to complete the sweep. It was certainly the momentum the police needed to end Day I with a psychological edge.
Ronald Payne followed up the Police’s sweep in the women’s version of the event when he had a best throw of 39.29m to beat Defence Force’s Troy Lewis (39.15m) and rival, Michael Pollydore (36.73m), handing the police more leading points in the competition.
After Cleveland Forde and team handed the Defence Force early points from the 10km road race relay on Sunday, Ashanti Scott followed that up with her 3000m race win yesterday that kept the Defence Force firmly ahead in the competition after the initial events.
But Police took the second and third place positions in the 3000m race through Janella Jonas and Eva Harry respectively. It became obvious that the Police strategy is to ensure that they are in the top points in every event even if they do not take the first place.
A perfect example was the Women’s Long Jump that Police’s, Natasha Alder won with a leap of 5.26m. Defence Force’s, Rushell Coates was second with 5.20m while Police took the third place position through Tenisha Punch (5.16m) as the Police took points from two top placements.
Defence Force’s, Patrick King leaped to 6.84m to win the Men’s Long Jump while Ryan Scott of the Fire Service was second with 6.70m and Police’s, Troy Williams third with 6.62m. The event was evenly contested in overcast conditions on the eastern end of the ground.
Following the few field finals, some of Guyana’s leading sprinters gave an indication of what the final competition on Friday will produce. Nadine Rodrigues won her 100m Heat in a comfortable time of 12.2 seconds with Leota Babb second in the premier preliminary race.
The two Police athletes ensured that they set up an immense showdown with Tiffany Smith from the Defence Force. Smith cruised to a 12.5 second victory in her heat, but the level of ease in that win suggested that the athlete is capable of producing a much faster time.
In the Men’s 100m, Rupert Perry blazed to a 10.20 seconds win to become the fastest qualifier in the heats. He won his heat ahead of Jermaine Newton and Keith Roberts. The second heat was an intense affair between Defence Force’s, Quinse Clarke and Police’s, Winston George.
Clarke and George leaned at the finish line after separating themselves from the field. Clarke was handed the first place time in the race at 10.30 seconds while George was given 10.40 seconds as Fire Services’, Alton Seaforth finished third in the preliminary race.
The rivalry continues today from 10:30am with the Triple Jump, Shot Putt and the 4x100m ranks relay finals. Today will also host heats in the 200m and 800m events. The competition concludes on Friday following a rest day tomorrow. (Edison Jefford)
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