Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Champs memories!!!

Published:Friday | March 18, 2016 | 3:00 AMGary Spaulding
Calabar High's Daniel England.
St Jago High's Donovan Powell.
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Who can forget that fateful Saturday evening 26 years ago when Daniel England was pipped on the line by Donovan Powell.

It was late evening on the final day of Champs when Asafa Powell's brother performed the unthinkable.

The seemingly indomitable high school legend was "famously" defeated on a day when historians were keen to see whether he could perform the feat of Kingston College's Lennox "Billy" Miller, to win three 200-metre races in Class One at Boys' Champs.

England, running in one of his last events at the famed Championships, was finally dethroned as 200 metres champion.

For four years, since he was in Class Two, the Calabar High athlete seemed indomitable.

For until 1990, he was unbeaten not only in the 200 metres, but the 400 metres as well, ala Michael Johnson of Olympic fame.

It was in the 400 metres that England rose to stardom, four years earlier, when he was in Class Two.

There were the typical bouts of frenzied cheers when the popular athlete graced the track to produce a superlative clash.

The little man did not appear to be perturbed, even when perennial rivals KC dispatched 200 metres and 400 metres specialists to upstage the mighty one.

Quite aptly described as the little man with a big heart, the diminutive Calabar athlete collared and clobbered all and sundry.

It was not that he was not tested by other stalwarts.

Daniel England simply proved unbeatable against all opposition at Boys' Champs in the late 1980s.

That is, until the start of the new decade when he ran into St Jago High School's Donovan Powell in the 200 metres.

The gun went off and the roar went up. Less than 21 seconds later, a noisy debate replaced the cheers.

The two super athletes had crossed the finish line together.

After the dust settled and the deliberations and debates eased, Powell was adjudged the winner of one of the most exciting 200-metre races to grace the most magnificent of high school meets in the world.

Even with the rare loss in the 200 metres, Daniel England left high school undefeated in the 400 metres.