The Police Sports Club ground at Eve Leary will come alive today with the staging of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) Under-23 track and field championships.
The event is expected to be one of the most competitive meets this year especially with the emergence of newly-crowned under-20 200 metres junior champion Elton Bollers. Last weekend at the National Junior and Senior Championships, Bollers changed his status from unknown to well known by edging sprint stars Chavez Ageday and Stephan James with a time of 21s, a time neither sprinter has yet run.
The question in the athletic fraternity is whether Bollers can repeat the performance and the youngster will have the chance today to prove that the win was not a fluke as some of his critics are calling it.
The 200 metres at the Under-23 games will definitely be the feature race of the day, most anticipated by the spectators.
The marquee event will feature Bollers, James and Ageday but will also include senior 100 metres champion in Akeem Stewart along with senior 200 metres champion Patrick King.
Speaking with Bollers, Stabroek Sport got the first chance to hear the 19-year-old state his intentions for the event. “I’m 100 percent mentally prepared and I’m 100 percent confident that I’ll run faster. I know all eyes will be on me but my eyes are on the clock,” Bollers stated confidently.
When asked what time he predicts he will run, the new 200 metres champ simply stated, “no comment.”
Meanwhile, the men’s 1500 metres is also set to be a clash of the titans as Kevin Bailey who has been in tremendous form, will go up against Dennis Horatio, Nathaniel Giddings, Devon Barrington and Tyshon Bentick all of whom is capable of winning the event.
Neisa Allen, who has been reigning at the Under-23 games, is again expected to run unchallenged in the 100, 200 and 400 metres as she looks to defend all three crowns. Her only challenge might come from Tiffany Carto and Alita Moore who handed Carto an upset defeat in the female Under-20 100 metres last weekend.
Without Letitia Myles in the line-up (who is currently on a Guyana Defence Force training programme) Allen will definitely be seen as the favourite for all three of the female sprints.
The men’s 5000 metres can also turn out to be an interesting race between Carifta representative Samuel Kaitan and current junior 5000 metres champion Nathaniel Giddings.
Giddings, who has only won 5000m races this season in the absence of Kaitan will hope to do so this time with Kaitan present.
It has been an interesting showcase between the two athletes as Kaitan has defeated Giddings by no less than 120 metres the two times they have met.
Winston Messenger, who has defeated Giddings once this season, will be the `dark horse’ in this race.
Top female athlete Alika Morgan is expected to reign supreme in both the 3000 and 1500 metres events but with the current form of two-time Carifta 1500 metres gold medalist Jevina Straker might run into some problems, especially in the 1500 metres event. The Under-23 games could definitely be one of the best junior meets this year once it lives up to the hype.