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Racers' Lions run world-leading 38.50 seconds in 4X100m

Racers' Lions roar at Gibson Relays

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A world-leading 38.50 seconds by a Racers Lions men's 4x100m team that included IAAF World Championships 100m champion and double Olympic silver medallist Yohan Blake, highlighted yesterday's 37th Gibson Relays at the National Stadium.

Despite a number of glitches, as well as power failure to the flood lights, and strong winds that affected the horizontal jumps, the event lived up to its brilliant reputation with a number of outstanding performances.

The performances were a fitting tribute to the late Neville 'Teddy' McCook, founder of the event, who passed away two weeks ago after a prolonged period of illness. He will be buried today.

At press time last night one record had been set. The Calabar High Class Four team ran a sparkling 44.38 seconds to erase the 44.51 seconds set three years ago by a Wolmer's team.

The meet that ran over an hour late in the morning session, was held up slightly later in the afternoon when an explosion nearby the National Stadium triggered a short power outage to the four light pylons.

Another electrical problem also saw the entire first session, and a few of the early races in the afternoon being hand-timed, as a cable linking the records room and the timing system on the field was broken.

It was, however, repaired just before the start of the high schools 4x100m relays.

High winds, gusting to over five metres per second at times, played havoc with the long jump events, as well as some of the sprinting events.

The Racers Lions team of Mario Forsythe, Jazeel Murphy, Blake and Kemar Bailey-Cole, on anchor leg, decimated the field with their 38.50 seconds to surpass the 38.63 seconds set by an MVP team with Nesta Carter and Asafa Powell two weeks ago at Western Relays in Montego Bay.

Racers' Track Club was second in 39.19 seconds, and SWEPT TC third, in 39.29 seconds.

Racers also won the women's race with the team of Celia Walters, Olympic Games relay silver medallist Schillonie Calvert, Kenesha Stephens and Seidatha Palmer clocking 44.29 seconds to hold off a hard-charging UTech TC (44.36 seconds), with UTech third in 45.11 seconds.

After their close loss to Kingston College in the Western Relays in Montego Bay two weeks ago, Green Island High finally came good with a slick display of baton passing to win the high school boys' Class One 4x100m in 40.18 seconds, with anchor leg runner Odail Todd making up about two yards on the Wolmer's runner to cross the line first.

Wolmer's took second with 40.60 seconds, while Calabar were third in 40.92 seconds.

After winning at Western Relays last year and losing at Gibson to Kingston College, an elated Todd told the Sunday Observer, the win meant a lot to the Hanover school.

"We were nervous in the heats," he admitted, "and so we never ran as fast as we wanted, but we told ourselves we would just go out there and run in whichever lane we got and run fast".

Coach Michael McIntosh was also beside himself with joy, and said the victory was for the entire school population. "This will lift us up, people will now see that special things can come for Green Island."

Chadwayne Vidal led off the team, handing over to Gremeko Whitelock, who ran a blistering backstretch before handing over to Kevarie Andrews.

St Jago took both Class Two and Three — running 41.26 to win Class Two ahead of Jamaica College with Calabar third.

The Class Three team clocked 43.44 seconds to cross the line ahead of Calabar (43.64 seconds) and Munro College (44.75 seconds).

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