Graham blasts KC's head coach Byfield

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Monday, April 28, 2014

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PHILADELPHIA, USA — Raymond 'KC' Graham, the relays coach at Kingston College, has launched a scathing attack on his head coach Orville Byfield after their 4x100m team was beaten into fifth place in the high school boys' Championships of Americas final at the 120th Penn Relays Carnival here at Franklin Field on Saturday.

Graham, who broke down in tears on the infield as he watched Jamaican College set a new record 39.72 seconds to win their first title in 29 years, as Jamaican teams swept the first six places, described Byfield as "a dictator and a bully" and accused him of tampering with the team he (Graham) had wanted to send out for the final.

"We lost the race before the race even started," an emotional Graham told the Jamaica Observer on Saturday. "The head coach went behind my back as the relays coach and meddled with the team.

"How can I be the relays coach and he just come and do this, it is disrespectful," charged Graham.

He said Byfield had taken the anchor leg runner Stephan Clunis, who he said suffers from Asthma, to run the preliminaries of the 4x400m that took place earlier Saturday morning and this Graham said "robbed us of the best chance we had to win a relay here this year".

Graham told the Observer that due to injuries they had just four boys to run the sprint relays and after "doing very well in the preliminaries" on Friday where they ran 41.20 seconds, the fourth fastest time, "I met with the team and decided we would stay with the same team and run the same order, but they had to get all the rest they could to have any chance of winning."

Graham, who returned to his alma mater last year with outstanding success, coaching Omar McLeod to double national junior records in the 110m and 400m hurdles, is one of the most accomplished high school coaches in Jamaica, and has a string of successes in his wake, as he led St Jago High to several ISSA Girls' Championships titles, as well as six Penn Relays Championships of Americas titles.

At the time of writing, efforts to locate Byfield for a comment proved fruitless.

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