Jamaicans Green, Palmer cop silver at World Summer Games

Sanjay Myers
Sport Reporter
Special Olympics Summer Games In Abu Dhabi

Sunday, March 17, 2019

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Roller skater Sekani Green and long distance runner Gavane Palmer both won silver as Jamaica tallied three more medals yesterday at the Special Olympics World Summer Games.

Green clocked 1:24.77 minutes for second in Division Four of the 500-metre race at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). Wei Ting Lin of Chinese Taipei was first in 1:21.89, while his compatriot Chen Ming Yang (1:35.37) was third.

Green's roller skate teammate Dale Oddman had opened the Jamaicans' account on Friday with a bronze medal finish in Division One of the 100m final.

Coach Tanisha Brown is pleased with the showing of the pair so far, particularly since both train on concrete back in Jamaica as opposed to the more slippery wooden surface at the ADNEC facility.

“I am very happy; I was so excited to see him out skating with such determination—he wanted to win gold. He tried really hard to keep up with the Chinese athlete, and as a coach it gives great joy to know your athlete did his best despite the challenges,” she told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Palmer claimed his silver medal in Division Four of the half-marathon with a time of 1:47:17 hours at Al Hudayriat Island in Abu Dhabi. Italy's Enrico Cerruti was first in 1:42:21, while Ronny Kontz of Luxembourg (2:02:07) was third.

“I am elated about Palmer's second-place finish. It was a tough run in very low morning temperatures, but he never gave up. And being Jamaican, he was the big attraction at the finish,” said Andre Johnstone, the coach of the athletics team.

There was another medal in athletics when Brandy Clemetson took home bronze in a time 42.74 seconds in Division Seven of the female 200-metre race at Police Officers Club Stadium in Dubai.

“Brandy says she did not hear when the [starting] buzzer went off, so she literally stood at the starting line while the others left her. She, however, made a good comeback and was placed third,” Johnstone explained.

Special Olympics Jamaica (SOJ) suffered misfortune when Paula-aye Whylie was disqualified from Division 25 of the 200m event even though she crossed the line first.

The Jamaica coaching staff say organisers penalised her for running much faster than she did during divisioning. However, Johnstone told the Observer the disqualification will be challenged.

SOJ had a tough time in aquatics at Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai yesterday as their five competitors fell short of the medal podium.

Kadian Ingleton placed seventh among 17 swimmers in the open water event at La Mer Beach in Dubai.

Leon Barclay (34.13 seconds) led much of the way in Division 16 of the male 50m freestyle but faded to finish fifth, while Andrew Bartholomew (39.38) was eighth in that race. It was won by Latvia's Alvis Lidumnieks. (33.40).

Nicholas McBean (56.80) finished eighth in the Division Seven male 50m freestyle race won by Belgium's Benny Jans (48.31).

Rachael Charles was seventh (46.17) in Division 13 of the female 50m freestyle behind winner Rekha (42.29) of Bangladesh.

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