Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Gittens, Brathwaite hopeful ahead of 4×1 relay

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Unable to find their best form this early in the year, neither Ramon Gittens nor Shane Brathwaite could challenge for medals in Commonwealth Games individual events here in Gold Coast, Australia. But there is hope, yet, for the Barbadian athletes in the quest for precious metal.

Both Gittens and Brathwaite are on the men’s 4×100 metres squad, and are hopeful of success in the event.

“We stand a good chance of making the final,” Brathwaite told NATIONNEWS. “We got the talent. They medalled last year at World Relays, and we could do it again. We’ve got to put it together, get the baton around, and we should be good.”

Brathwaite, the men’s 110m bronze medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, finished in a dead heat for sixth with England’s Andrew Pozzi in Monday’s Gold Coast 2018 sprint hurdles final. They both clocked 13.53 seconds. The following day, Brathwaite was disqualified for a false start in his 200m first round heat.

Gittens exited at the semifinal stage of the men’s 100m here in Gold Coast. In the opening round, he finished second in heat two in 10.50 seconds to qualify automatically. The 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championship 60m bronze medallist was faster in his semifinal heat in 10.44, but finished seventh and did not progress to the championship race.

Only the sprint relay remains for Gittens Down Under.

“I encourage my guys to go out there and do their best,” Gittens told the Nation. “We train all year, and once we execute great things will happen. I always think we have a strong, solid team.

“Our guys are young, and it’s unfortunate we didn’t live up to the expectation at World Champs last year, but our guys were hurt, we had guys that ran NCAA all year, so pretty much we’re going to build our way back to the top.”

In April, last year, at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas, Mario Burke, Gittens, Nicholas Deshong and Burkheart Ellis combined for silver in 39.18 seconds. But at the IAAF World Championships in London, England, in August, Levi Cadogan, Gittens, Brathwaite and Burke finshed eighth and last in their qualifying round heat in 39.19, and did not advance to the final.

Gittens, Brathwaite, Ellis and Deshong are all in Australia for relay duty. Also on the Commonwealth Games 4×1 squad is Stephen Headley. Ellis reached the 200 semis. Deshong went out in the opening round of the half-lap event. And Headley exited the 100 in the first round.

For Brathwaite, Gittens, Ellis, Deshong and Headley, nothing has happened here in Australia worth writing home about. They are hoping that changes when they come together as a team tonight (Barbados time) for sprint relay qualifying.

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