Sport

Blake opens with laboured 5th place 400m finish at Camperdown Classic

BY HOWARD WALKER Senor staff reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, February 12, 2017    

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Jamaica’s 100m World champion Yohan Blake laboured to fifth on his seasonal debut in the 400m in 47.3 seconds at the Camperdown Classic at the National Stadium yesterday.

The race was won by his Racers teammate Zharnel Hughes of Great Britain running out of lane six in 46.58 seconds. Jamaica’s 400m specialist Annsert Whyte was second in 46.85, the same time as Emmanuel Callender of Trinidad and Tobago.

Blake, who has a personal best of 46.32 seconds, started well and was on par with Hughes and company up to the 300m mark where it appeared as if a huge bear jumped on his back as he struggled home at the back of the pack in heat one.

It was a mammoth task for Blake, who is more accustomed to the shorter 100m and 200m sprints, and he suffered terribly at the end, even as he tried to recuperate.


Blake’s Racers teammate Kemar Bailey-Cole, the 100m Commonwealth Games champion of 2014, was fourth in heat two in 47.20. The race was won by the relatively unknown Kavon Nelson of Akan Track Club in 46.54 seconds — the fastest of the day. World Youth hurdles champion Jaheel Hyde of Cameron Blazers was second in 46.67 seconds, and was third fastest overall.

Meanwhile, patrons got a glimpse of the powerful Calabar High School Class One sprint machinery as Tyreke Wilson, Dejour Russell, Orlando Bennett and Colin Anderson cruised home to an effortless victory in the 4x100 relay in 40.38 seconds. Interestingly, this was done without the input of Class Two 100m champion Michael Stephens, the incomparable Christopher Taylor and Xavier Angus. The existing champs record is held by Calabar since 2015 at 39.08 seconds with one Michael O’Hara in his prime.

Wolmer’s Boys’ School took the Class Two 4x100m in 41.65, while St Jago overturned a huge lead by a second-string Kingston College (KC) team in Class Three and won in 44.10. KC clocked 44.17. Calabar returned for their second relay victory in the Class Four event easily in 46.44.

In the girls’ 4x100m relays, St Jago showed their dominance by capturing three of the four relays. The Monk Street girls won Class One in 46.38; Class Two in 46.15, and Class Four in 48.09. Excelsior High won the Class Three in 46.80 seconds.

St Jago’s Lushane Wilson leapt to an impressive 2.10m to win the Class One high jump just ahead of Calabar’s Gabriel Allen on the count back with KC’s Michael John Davis third with 2.00m.

Calabar were at it again as Corey Ottey won the Class Three high jump ahead of the St Jago pair of Kymani Thomas and Shane York with 1.75 and 1.70m, respectively, while Damar Marshall of St Jago took the Class Two event with 1.95m

Spaulding High’s Kimone Campbell took the Class Two 800m in 2:15.31 minutes, well ahead of Michela Lewis of The Queen’s School with 2:18.20.

Camperdown’s Ramone Hylton won the Class Two high jump with 1.65m, while Aaliyah Lindsay of Alpha took Class Three with 1.60m.

Malaika Cunningham of Wolmer’s leapt to an impressive 1.80m to easily win the Class Four high jump.

The outstanding Britnie Dixon romped home in 2:13.11 minutes to win the Class One 800m with Jezelle Shaw of Spalding second with 2:13.84.

Shantay Chamberlain of Mavis Bank High continued her dominant form winning the Class Three 800m in 2:20.16.

Jody-Ann Petrie of St Jago won the girls’ 400m hurdles open with 1:01.70 minutes, while Calabar’s Aykeeme Francis took the boys’ equivalent in 53.60 seconds ahead of his teammates Malik James-King and Damane Dixon with 53.78 and 54.15, respectively.

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