Tue | Aug 22, 2017

14 finals on opening day of Intercol

Published:Friday | April 7, 2017 | 4:00 AMRaymond Graham
Sashalee Forbes (right) of G.C. Foster College and Aneisha McLaughlin-Whilby at last year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Demish Gaye
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FOURTEEN finals, eight on the track and six in the field, will be contested on today's opening day of the two-day NCB Intercollegiate Track and Field Championships scheduled for the National Stadium at 1 p.m on both days.

The women's triple jump and the men's javelin throw will open the meet. G.C. Foster College are the defending men's and women's champions, but they can expect strong competition from University of Technology, the University of West Indies and Mico University College.

There will be added motivation to perform well over the next two days as the top male and female athletes will walk away with a cash prize of $100,000 each.

A year ago, Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson dazzled at the meet with record-breaking performances in the 100 metres, and in the past, stars such as Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce, Hansle Parchment, Rasheed Dwyer and Asafa Powell have competed at the meet. New stars are emerging and waiting to perform on the big stage.

The outstanding athletes at this year's meet could be rewarded with trips to the 29th World University Games in Taipei City, Taiwan. One name that comes to mind is G.C. Foster College's Sashalee Forbes, who ran in the preliminary round for Jamaica in the women's 4x100 metres relay in Rio de Janeiro last year. The team won a silver in the final.

Today's opening day on the track will see the finals of the women's and men's 400 metres hurdles, men's and women's 100m, men's and women's 800m, and men's and women's 3,000 metres steeplechase.

One event which is expected to garner a lot of interest is the women's 400m, which has its preliminary round at 2:05 p.m. This final could see at least eight athletes going under 53.5 seconds. The field is expected to include Mico's Dawnalee Loney and Tiffany James, the 2016 IAAF World Under-20 champion, UTech's Junelle Bromfield and Jodyann Williams.

The men event should be just as exciting, with G.C. Foster's Demish Gaye and Olympian Javere Bell of Mico, the leading contenders.

The championships will also feature a cheerleading contest, which will be held tomorrow.