‘Nationals’ begin today

-swimming, cycling, 10km road race and field events among today’s schedule

The 52nd edition of the Guyana Teacher Union (GTU)/Ministry of Education/Digicel National Schools Track and Field, Swimming and Cycling Championships will commence today at the various venues with action scheduled to take place in all three disciplines.

The opening ceremony will be staged at the Guyana National Stadium Providence at 17:00hrs, which will bring the curtains down on a full day of activities. Most of the teams had arrived and settled in at their accommodation in schools throughout Woolford Avenue up to press time last night. The first event of ‘Nationals’ this year will be the male and female 10km road race which is expected to run off at 06:00hrs at the Police Sports Club ground Eve Leary.

Britany van Lange

The one-day swimming championships will be held at the National Aquatics Centre at Liliedaal for the second year and that event is scheduled to commence at 0900hrs.  The male 40km and female 25km cycling road races are also scheduled to take place today.  Instead of the early morning start, the cycling events will commence at 10:00hrs on the East Coast Demerara (ECD) Highway beginning and ending at in the vicinity of the Ocean View International Hotel.  The rationale behind this change in time was to avoid the early morning traffic on the ECD Highway. The long, high and triple jump competition as well as the shot put in all age categories are also scheduled to commence at 0900hrs at the YMCA ground tomorrow.

North Georgetown District 11 has won the last six editions of the swimming championships at nationals and officials from that team have already made their intentions of capturing their seventh straight title, clear with Stabroek Sport earlier this year. North’s Georgetown’s swim team includes Olympian Britany Van Lange, Goodwill medallist Soroya Simmons as well as national club swimmers Joseph Seguina, Hannibal Gaskin and Shane Baksh.

Jevina Straker, who is also representing North Georgetown District 11, will be defending her 10km road race title, while teammate Devaun Barrington will be looking to claim his maiden road race title and first ever National gold medal. Barrington will have to get pass main adversary Nathaniel Giddings from the mining town of Linden who has beaten him on the last few occasions over that distance.  Barrington and Giddings will also go head to head in the long and middle distance events (5000m, 1500m and 800m).

Jevina Straker

The route for the 10km road race is the same as the South Amercian 10km classic. Competitors will start by one completing lap around Police Sports Club ground Eve Leary, before exiting the Eastern gate into Military Road s and proceeding south along Camp Street. Racers will then head west along Lamaha, then North along High street, before heading east along the Seawall Road straight into convergence by Rupert Craig Highway’s Northern Carriageway. Competitors will continue along the Rupert Craig Highway’s Northern Carriageway until reaching the turnaround point at Conversation tree. For the return journey athletes will used the Southern Carriageway of the Rupert Craig Highway into Kitty Public Road, before heading South on Vlissengen Road and West onto Thomas Lands. For the few hundred metres of the race competitors will have to head South on Camp Street, then East on Military Road before entering the first gate of the back into the Police Sports Club ground to complete three-quarters of a lap and cross the finish line in front of the pavilion.

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