– Nero, Morgan, Pascal, Josiah-Tanner to renew old rivalry
By Edison Jefford
An epic battle is brewing among some of the Caribbean’s leading female distance runners in the Wartsila 20km Road Race Classic on Sunday with an old rivalry expected to continue in what is certainly billed as the largest road race in Guyana’s history.
The race could settle an old score from the CARICOM 10km race in 2011 if the line-up remains the same. United States-based, Euleen Josiah-Tanner had won that race with Grenada’s Kenisha Pascal second and Guyana’s Alika Morgan finishing third.
If the three athletes meet again over the 20km distance, the question of who is the best road race runner among them could be answered. Add the Caribbean’s leading female distance athlete and you have a classic showdown for top honours among the women.
Trinidad and Tobago has confirmed the participation of arguably the region’s best female athlete over long distances, Tonya Nero, for Sunday’s race. Morgan and Josiah-Tanner’s participation is also confirmed, leaving just Grenada to confirm Pascal for the race.
In an interview with Kaieteur Sport last week, Morgan’s Coach, Leslie Black, had indicated that the athlete was preparing for the Wartsila 20 km race, which made her unavailable for the South American Games; such was Morgan’s focus on the road race.
Morgan has been entangled in rivalry with Josiah-Tanner for the entire season last year with them dividing the spoils locally. Josiah-Tanner won the Courts and Ainlim 10km races last year while Morgan was second in the South American 10km race after Josiah-Tanner dropped out of the contest while leading Morgan and Pascal to the finish-line.
Pascal won the race while Morgan was second. The three athletes have a deep history of conflict on the road, and once guaranteed after registration at the Olympic House officially closes today, those battles are expected to be proliferated in a more taxing race.
However, the athlete to beat will be Nero, who has sufficient experience around the globe in the Half Marathon and Marathon formats; the Trinidadian athlete loves the longer distances and will without doubt, be the biggest challenge for Morgan, Pascal and Josiah-Tanner.
The four female athletes will provide sufficient entertainment on the road Sunday. After all, they are among the best competing in the Caribbean with all of them having won the CARICOM title at some point in their careers. They will leave space for two more athletes since the top six in the Male and Female Open Categories will be financially rewarded.
The overall winner pockets $300,000 while second place takes home $240,000 as third place gets $200,000; fourth place receives $140,000 with fifth and sixth receiving $100,000, and $50,000 in that order. The same prizes apply to the Open Male Category.
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