Remarkable displays of speed, strength, stamina and leaping ability, enabled the Guyana Police Force Athletic Club (GPFAC) to retain the championship trophy of the Boyce/Jefford Classic last night at the MacKenzie Sports Club (MSC) ground. With the continued absence of 2013 champions, Running Brave Athletic Club, GPFAC tallied 395 points to once again defeat last year’s runners up Guyana Defence Force (GDF) track and field team by 40 points (355) in the eighth edition of the Classic.
Super Upcoming Runnings (119 points) and Linden (76) finished third and fourth respectively to be among the money.
Throughout the two-day championships the victors who earned the $1M first prize, threw, leapt and ran away with most of the events while placing in the top five in many of the others.
While the collective efforts of the athletes like Jevina Sampson (400m gold) and Joanna Archer (800m gold) led the GPFAC to claim the club prize, Linden’s own, Daniel Williams was the talk of the Mining Town following his exploits on the track.
Guyana’s fastest youth quarter-miler of all time recorded a treble of wins to underline his class during the weekend.
Williams who recently returned from the World Youth Championships where he earned a silver medal in the 400m, won the blue riband 100m final, the 200m and his pet event, the 400m.
Men’s 100m, 200m, 400m
Williams, 17, swept the three sprint events taking the 100m and 200m in 10.7s and 21.8s with just the wind and the grass track providing the most opposition.
The national youth 400m record holder then brought the crowd to its feet as he displayed superb speed endurance, winning wire-to-wire in the 400m final in 50.3s
He was then adjudged the male champion athlete after tallying 30 individual points. Another Linden athlete, Chantoba Bright recorded wins in the women’s long and triple jump events.
After William’s heroics, all the attention switched to the stacked men’s 800m which was won by Ugandan, Julius Mutenkanga ahead of Samuel Lynch and Trinidad’s Ashton Gill.
The race of the weekend which started like a 100m sprint was filled with theatrics as the runners jostled for the lead in the first 200m. Gill slowed down proceedings for a few meters before defending champion, Kevin Bailey changed gears again as the pack followed hot on his spikes.
Gill then again took the lead as Bailey fell off the fiery pace and eventually dropped out at the bell lap.
With Lynch on his hip, Mutenkanga then turned on the jets in the final 150m and went on to win the event in a new meet record, 1m:53.9s. Lynch clocked 1m:55.9s while Gill registered a time of 1m:57.1s.
Mutenkanga is a sub-1:50.00 800m athlete and just last year he broke Uganda’s national 600m record. 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.
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.
In excess of $2M was shared out to the top clubs and athletes competing in the international events. (Emmerson Campbell)