LSU's Forbes, Goule star on Day Three

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, June 24, 2013

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PERSONAL bests and 'A' qualifying standards for the IAAF World Championships by long jumper Damar Forbes and 800m runner Natoya Goule, both representing Louisiana State University (LSU), were the highlights of Saturday's third day of the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships at the National Stadium.


Forbes leapt 8.25m to retain his title, beating his previous 8.23m set two years ago, as he ended his collegiate career on a high, while a few hours later Goule, the former Manchester High middle distance darling, cheered on by the crowd, willed herself to a 1-minute, 59.93-second clocking before falling to the track in joy.


The evening's celebrations were, however, dampened with the news of an injury to 110m hurdles national record holder and world leader Hansle Parchment, who badly twisted his ankle while warming up.


Andrew Riley, who won the event, later blasted the JAAA for the absence of lights at the warm-up track, which he claimed led to Parchment's injury.


Riley told the media after the race that Parchment, who ran 13.05 seconds earlier this year, was warming up when he misstepped and twisted his ankle. The athlete was later rushed to the University hospital where X-rays were done.


Earlier in the day, Forbes — who will be making his second trip to a World Championships following his trip in 2011 to Daegu, South Korea, where he placed 11th in his first round group and failed to advance — had an outstanding competition, jumping from 36th in the world to eighth best with his new mark.


Nicholas Gordon was second with 7.85m and Jermaine Jackson third with 7.81m.


Forbes started well as he jumped a season's best 8.15m on his first attempt, the 'B' qualifying standard, before fouling the next two attempts, including one that looked to be at last 8.35m.


He then got the winning jump on his first attempt in the final, jumping out of the pit to celebrate as the crowd roared its appreciation.


The athlete, who was born in St Ann before moving with his family to Georgia, then passed on his fifth attempt before ending with 8.21m.


Afterwards he told reporters he was hoping "to give the Jamaican people something to cheer about in Moscow".


Forbes, who turned professional and has signed with Paul Doyle, will compete in Paris in two weeks' time as he prepares for the World Championships.


Goule, the NCAA Division One champion and who just failed to make the 'B' standard for the Olympics last year, left nothing to chance and went out fast, taking charge of the pace and was at the 400m mark just under 59 seconds, told reporters she had to go all out in the last 200m to hit her target.


"I knew I had to be at 57 (seconds) high or 58.00 seconds at the 400m mark and once I got there I knew the next mark was 1 minute 13 or so at 500m," she said, as she broke down her race. She then added that she was so focused on the finish line she did not feel the usual late race pain, as she broke her previous personal best of 2 minutes 06 seconds set earlier this year.


Simoya Campbell was second in 2 minutes 04.30 seconds, well behind Goule, with former Edwin Allen runner Lorain McKenzie third in 2 minutes 07.15 seconds.


Jowayne Hibbert won the men's 800m race in 1 minute 47.76 seconds, beating defending champion Ricardo Cunningham (1 minute 48.09 seconds) with Sadiki White third in 1 minute 50.55 seconds.


Hibbert was just outside the 'B' qualifying standard of 1 minute 46.20 seconds.


What was expected to be an explosive end to the day's events, the men's 110m hurdles, fizzled out with Riley winning in 13.35 seconds, beating former national champion Dwight Thomas (13.45 seconds) and Eric Keddo (13.72 seconds).


Both Riley and Thomas have run faster this season, and both had achieved the 'A' standard prior to the championships. Riley has a season's best 13.20 seconds set at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, just off his personal best 13.19 seconds set last year, while Thomas, who is coming back from an injury-plagued 2012 season, had run 13.27 seconds two weekends ago at a meet in Florida.


Sixteen-year-old Wolmer's Boys' student Christoffe Bryan, who is headed to the IAAF World Youth Championships in two weeks, won the high jump title with 2.15m, adding to his national junior title won last week, but once again failed to get over 2.21m which would be his personal best.


Darrel Garwood was second, clearing 2.10m, beating third place Demar Robinson and Mathew Campbell on the countback.


Chad Wright of the University of Nebraska won the discus throw with 62.35m, beating two-time defending champion Traves Smikle (60.66m) and former Calabar High teammate with another Calabar student, World Youth and World Junior gold medallist Fedrick Dacres taking third with 58.58m.


Wright, who has a season's best 63.74m, is still just shy of the 'B' standard of 64.00m, but hopes to get it at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Mexico next week.


Jason Morgan, the only Jamaican to have achieved the 'B' mark with five throws over 64.00m so far this year, did not show up at the championships, telling the Jamaica Observer he had to pull out at the last moment due to a "family emergency".


However, he said he had contacted the JAAA and informed them of what happened and is hoping to at least be selected to the CAC Games to prove his readiness.


Alyssa Wisdom won the women's shot put with 16.09m ahead of Shauna-Kay Woolery (14.51m) and Micara Vassell (13.75m).



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