Saturday, April 13, 2024

Records tumble

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Barbardos’ senior citizens had speed to burn at the National Stadium on Sunday. And then some.
By the time the 2014 National Senior Games came to a pulsating end at the Waterford venue, an astonishing 45 new records had been set.
The phenomenal achievement led organizer of the event, Rawle Clarke, to remark “this track is working good. It has the athletes running extremely fast”, during a live interview with radio station VOB 94.7 FM.
The record-breaking feats weren’t limited to Bajan athletes either, with competitors from Trinidad and Tobago also joining in on the act.
To show just how fleet-footed those seniors were, of the eight 50-metre races, seven of the winners established new marks.
One of those records to fall was in the women’s 75-79 division, where Trinidad and Tobago’s Monica Tang-Wing rubbed salt in the wounds of Barbadian Kathy Harper-Hall.
Not only did Tang-Wing get revenge on Harper-Hall, who had edged her the day before in the 100 metres, she also broke the Bajan’s record of 9.53 seconds, storming home in a time of 9.05.
Not surprisingly though, three of those new marks were set by standout athletes who broke their own records.
Among the women Pearl Yearwood ran 7.74 in the 60-64 division to erase her old mark of 7.76 and Shirley Harper’s time of 8.05 easily surpassed her 2013 record of 8.32 in the 65-69 women.
Barney Brathwaite, who at 80 years old was one of the oldest men taking part in the Games, also wrote his name into the record books, replacing his old mark of 8.14 with a new time of 7.65 in the 75-79 category.
What made Brathwaite’s victory all the more impressive was the fact that he defeated three younger competitors, including speedster Victor Young who finished second.
At 60 years old, a slim and trim looking Ainsley Lovell completely shattered the women’s 60 to 64 800 metre record by over 40 seconds.
She set out at a blistering pace and sustained it throughout the two-lap event to cross the line in 2:43.90, well under Veta Batson’s 2009 record of 3:27.95.
Two athletes from the United States, Elisabeth Padia and Edythe Hulet also performed admirably, finishing one-two, respectively, in the women’s 75 to 79 javelin throw.
St Vincent’s Jenita Lewis also produced a record-breaking throw in the women’s 65-69 javelin, with her 21.02-metre effort well past the old mark of 18.67.
The crowd, which grew significantly larger as the day wore on, was also treated to a birthday dance by winner of the men’s 50 to 54 800-metre, Patrick Bourne, and his wife Karen, which was topped with a kiss.
They were also entertained through the efforts of Wrenrick “Escort” Brewster, who brought the 1 200-metre walk to life with his comical theatrics, which included “changing gears” and “cradling”.
One of the highlights of the day came in the penultimate event, where a 4×25 metre relay team consisting partly of Michael Jules, Jasper Blades and MC Carl “Alf” Padmore virtually limped to victory, much to the amusement of those on hand.

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