Fans cry foul as Foote overlooked for Austin Sealy Award at Carifta Games

By Dwayne Richards
Observer writer

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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Jamaica exerted their dominance over the rest of the Caribbean once again at the 48th staging of the Carifta track and field championships on the weekend in Grand Cayman.

The country claimed a haul of 85 medals including 36 gold, 33 silver, and 16 bronze, which was capped off by a gold medal in every single relay contested on Monday's final day.

But while the athletes and administrators were celebrating on the track at the end of the three-day championships, some fans at home were left fuming that Shaquena Foote did not share the Austin Sealy Award for excellence on the girls' side with Briana Williams.

Both athletes won a total of three gold medals. Williams copped the 100m-200m sprint double and ran the first leg on the Under-20 4x100m relay team. Williams won the 100m in 11.25secs and the 200m in 22.89secs.

Foote had a harder double, as she won the 400m and 400m hurdles gold before running the second leg on the Under-20 mile relay team.

Williams won the award for the second year running, after she was given the honour last year for copping three gold medals in the same events at the Under-17 level. She was again in outstanding form this year, as she dominated her opponents in both flat events and gave her teammates the perfect start in the relay.

But there is a case for Foote, who started competing in the hurdles only this year and was able to run a well-timed race to win gold for Jamaica in 58.05secs. Her performance in the 400m was also impressive as she won going away from the field in 52.63secs.

Foote's performance on the second leg of the 4x400m relay was also outstanding, as she all but ensured victory for Jamaica when she opened up a sizable lead for her teammates to build on as they streaked to gold in 3:36.76 minutes.

Here are some of the comments made by fans on social media: “I thought it would've been shared between Foote and Williams.”

“Foote should have a part of that award.”

“Shaquena Foote should have shared the award. Same results.”

“I think Foote did an awesome job as well.”

While the debate goes on about whether or not the athlete from Petersfield High has been overlooked by the selection committee, what is certain is that the future continues to look bright for Jamaica's prospects in the sport of track and field.




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