Sport

Jamaicans will have to be at their best to medal in men's 400m

BY KARYL WALKER Online news editor walkerk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 | 1:48 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — JAMAICA'S chances to medal in the men's 400 metres at the London Olympics rest on the shoulders of national record holder Jermaine Gonzales, Dane Hyatt who won the Olympic trials two weeks ago and Rusheen McDonald, who edged out Gonzales for second in the same race.

However, the three will have to pull out all the stops if they are to get a podium finish in the longer sprint as the present crop of 400m runners are of top drawer quality.

The top two contenders must be, based on present form, American Leshawn Merritt and Kirani James, the upstart teenager from Grenada who is the reigning world champion.

Bahamian Chris Brown is also a worthy competitor as is Trinidadian Rene Quow.

Based on present form Gonzales will be hard pressed to finish in the top three, despite being the nations top 400 metre runner. He has looked jaded in his last three races and barely managed to qualify for the Olympics.

Hyatt and McDonald will be swimming in uncharted waters and although their potential is evident, it will take a herculean effort for any of the two to be standing on the podium after the running of the finals.

Hard as it is, a medal placing is not impossible for any of Jamaica's top three 400m runners to continue Jamaica's longstanding tradition of world class 400 metre running.

No one is assured of a gold medal.

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