Alika Morgan and Kelvin Johnson returned to Guyana on Sunday afternoon after they both placed second to Brazilians in the first leg of the South American 10km held last Saturday in Suriname.
Morgan placed second to Silva Antonio of Brazil (35:48) and managed to record her personal best time in the process. She ran a time of 37:45 to improve on her previous record which was set just a few weeks ago in St. Lucia.
The two will be looking to turn the tables on their Brazilian neighbours when the second stage of the competition takes place on Saturday.
Although Morgan has competitively participated in four 10km’s in the last month, she shows no signs of fatigue, and strangely enough, the heavy work load may actually be assisting her development. Morgan will have a chance to confirm this when she competes in the second stage of this year’s event this week-end in Guyana.
In the male Open category, two other Guyanese athletes Lionel D’Andrade and Denis Horatio placed third and fifth respectively.
Second place finisher Kelvin Johnson told Stabroek Sport he was pleased with his performance since he too, ran his personal best, finishing in a time of 31 minutes 58 seconds.
“I knew the Brazilian (Altis Gustaro) was a very strong runner so I didn’t want to really go after him so I ran with Lionel for about two kilometres and then I made a move and he only finished about a 1:15s in front of me,” added Johnson.
Defending champion Lionel D’Andrade, however, had to settle for third position in this year’s event which was definitely more competitive. He did, however, manage to improve on the time he ran last year as most of the Guyanese athletes did. However, that was not the case for 19-year-old Denis Horatio who showed no improvement on his time despite his fifth placed finish.
Horatio finished in a time of 34 minute 25 seconds.
He will certainly have to improve on that when he competes at the second stage this weekend.
Team manager, Leslie Black, told Stabroek Sport that he was pleased with the overall performance of the Guyanese contingent.
“The team’s overall performance was good and both Kelvin and Alika ran their personal best. I am just hoping that they continue to show improvements when they compete at home.”
Saturday’s event will begin at 16:00hrs from the Police Sports Ground Eve Leary and will include the participation of first stage winners Altis Gustaro and Silva Antonio of Brazil who have already arrived in Guyana, along with other athletes from the Caribbean and South America.