Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Men's 400m will be hot

Published:Wednesday | June 21, 2017 | 6:00 AMRaymond Graham
Nathon Allen
Demish Gaye
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The men's 400 metres is expected to be one of the really hot events at this weekend's JAAA National Senior Championships.

The National Stadium will be buzzing from as early as

5:45 p.m. on Friday when first-round action in the event begins until when the final is run off on Sunday, June 25 at 6:10 p.m.

Led by Nathon Allen, the country's male 400m runners are on the rise again after a few years of dormancy. Four athletes, including Allen, have gone under 45 seconds already this season, the first time this has happened since 2015. Then, five athletes led by National record holder Rusheen McDonald, ran sub-45 times before the National Championships.

The man of the moment is Allen who in his first outdoor season at the University of Auburn has improved immensely. His personal best is 44.52, a time he set when finishing second behind world leader Frederick Kerley. It was his third run under 45 seconds this season. With only a best of 45.39 seconds a year ago, Allen, who was third at the National Championships last year looks set to go all the way this time around.

The man Allen has to watch is Demish Gaye of G.C. Foster College. Gaye was in tremendous form a year ago leading up to the National Championships but illness hurt his chances.

Gaye has gone sub 45 seconds twice this season with a best of 44.73 when defeating a strong field at the JN Racers Grand Prix Meet where he led from start to finish. This followed up on his win two weeks earlier when he won from behind at the Jamaica International Invitational meet. Gaye appears to have much more in him.

Both Akeem Bloomfield with a best of 44.74 and Steven Gayle with 44.99 seconds are the other Jamaicans to have gone under the 45 seconds barrier. The likes of McDonald and Fitzroy Dunkley will not be coming to make up numbers but could find the pace too hot here. Allen the most improved athlete in the country in the one lap event is given the edge over Gaye who is yet to show if he can manage the rounds at this level.

Top 3 prediction

1. Nathon Allen

2. Demish Gaye

3. Akeem Bloomfield