The week-long 2011 Joint Services Championships will hit its pinnacle when the final day of competition begins today at the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Ground, Camp Ayanganna from 10:30 hrs.
While the competition involves four military services—the Guyana Police Force (GPF), the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) and the Guyana Prison Service (GPS)—the competition over the past few days has mainly been among the two longtime rivals, the GDF and the GPF. So far, the GPF are the leaders on the points board with 220 while the GDF trail with 174.
With most of the field events over—the strong point for the GPF—the GDF will look to take over the reins on the final day that will feature the sprint and relay finals; considered a strong point for GDF, especially among the males.
The sprints will see national sprint champion and defending 200 metres champion, GDF’s Rupert Perry taking on silver medallist in the 400 metres at the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) Games and 400 metres senior national champion, GPF’s Winston George.
They will clash in both the 100 and 200 metres finals.
However, noteworthy is the reemergence of bronze medallist at the ALBA Games in the 100 metres and defending 100 metres champion, GDF’s Quinse Clarke who has been a bit under the radar during the year.
He has shown during his heats, by defeating George, that he can still perform at a high level and could win in the finals today.
Clarke who has been suffering from a hamstring injury told Stabroek Sport yesterday via telephone that he just wants to help his team win the championship.
“I’m just going into the finals with a smooth mind frame, just going to put out the best for my team so
we can wrap up this competition. Otherwise, I’m just praying that my foot gives me some justice so I could put out the performance that I really want to put out,” Clarke stated.
Meanwhile George, who will also compete in the 400 metres along with the 100 and 200 metres, is the clear favourite to run away with the 400 metres victory today.
George who has looked a bit tired during his heats, suffering defeats to Clarke in both the 100 and 200 metres, will have to contend with defending champion in the 400 metres from GDF and ALBA Games representative Patrick King who jumped away with the men’s long jump earlier in the competition along with GDF’s new 400 metres star Leslain Baird.
Speaking with Stabroek Sport via telephone King, who has not been in the best of form, gave an optimistic assessment: “Well it will be a hard task knowing that I was on some rigorous training and then had to come back out to start my
speed training for my 400 metres which was for just about a week. But I will be going all out and I will retain my title. Good luck to all the rest of competitors but there can only be one winner and that’s me.”
On the distaff side Tiffany Smith has emerged as GDF’s best chance to challenge the sprint duo
from GPF of Nadine Rodrigues and Leota Bobb in the 100 and 200 metres. She will also have to match strides with the in-form 400 metres specialist from GPF Shannah Thornhill in the 400 metres today.
The day is set for an explosive finish when the two powerhouse teams collide for bragging rights as the best military force in sports.