Defending 800m champ hard pressed to retain title

Boyce/Jefford Classic…

Guyanese, Kevin Bayley, who is the defending International 800m men’s champion at the Boyce/Jefford Classic will be hard pressed to retain his title with the news that Olympian Julius Mutenkanga of Uganda will be competing in this year’s event set for next month in Linden.

The United States of America–based Bayley is set to face serious competition from the likes of Mutenkanga, who represented the African country at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Trinidad and Tobago’s Ashton Gill and locals Anfernee Headecker, Quacy Morian and Samuel Lynch.

Kevin Bayley

Gill was second to Bayley last year.

The games will be held August 12-13 at the Mackenzie Sports Club Ground, and Mutenkanga, a sub-1:50.00 800m athlete, could produce a record-breaking run.

Ashton Gill

Last year he broke Uganda’s national 600m record and his personal best time is 1:46.30, which he ran to qualify for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in 2011 in Daegu.

The Boyce/Jefford 800m record is held by Guyanese Dennis Horatio who clocked 1:55.90s way back in 2011.

Apart from the World Championships and Olympic Games, Mutenkanga also ran at the World Indoor Championships. The 29-year-old competes for the Central Park Track Club in the United States, which is sponsored by New Balance, as an elite athlete.

Uganda’s Julius Mutenkanga (left) is coming to Guyana to compete in the 800m at the Boyce & Jefford Track and Field Classic VIII, August 12-13 at the MSC Ground, Linden.

The race is also likely to include Desmond Amsterdam and Daniel Melville. The winner of the race will earn $US250 while second and third place finishers will receive US$150 and US$100 respectively. The male 800m event is one of six international events scheduled for the meet.