Fri | Jul 21, 2017

Allen proves critics wrong at National Champs

Published:Monday | June 26, 2017 | 6:00 AMRaymond Graham
Nathon Allen (centre) wins the men's 400m finals ahead of Demish Gaye (right) at the JAAA National Senior Championships held at the National Stadium yesterday.
Yohan Blake (centre) wins the men's 200m final ahead of Rasheed Dwyer (right), in second, and Warren Weir, who was third at the JAAA National Senior Championships held at the National Stadium yesterday.
Sashalee Forbes poses aftger winning the women's 200m final in 22.71 seconds at the JAAA National Senior Championships held at the National Stadium yesterday.
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New national men's 400m champion Nathon Allen said that he set out to prove critics of the overseas collegiate system wrong with his big win at the JAAA National Athletics Championships at the National Stadium last night.

The most anticipated event of the Championships, the Men's 400m, lived up to the hype as drawn in Lane Five, ahead of the GC Foster College's Demish Gaye in Lane Four, Allen, the University of Auburn freshman, displaying a different strategy, went out hard for the first 200m, taking Gaye out of his comfort zone.

By the time the athletes came off the final curve unto the 100m straight, it could have been anyone's race as Gaye, Stephen Gayle, and Rusheen McDonald came into the picture. In the final 20m, it was all about Gaye and Allen, but Allen, the former St Jago High star and the fastest Jamaican in the event so far this season, pulled away in the end for a fine win in 44.58 seconds. Gaye finished second in a personal best of 44.64 seconds as Gayle ended third in 45.09 seconds.

 

MOTIVATED BY NAYSAYERS

 

"I came to the National Senior Championships very motivated because of the negative things people were saying on social media that athletes in the collegiate system overseas were being overworked and would not have done well at the Championships," Allen said.

Earlier, Shericka Jackson, the Olympic and World Championships bronze medallist, captured her first national title in the Women's 400m final. Jackson, who spent most of the season concentrating on her speed, running several 200m races, used this to her advantage as she was out very fast and prevailed in the end despite Chrisann Gordon and Novlene Williams-Mills finishing strongly. Jackson's winning time was a season's best 50.05 seconds, as Gordon clocked 50.13 seconds for second.

Following his win on Friday in the men's 100m, it was a double for Yohan Blake, who easily took home the men's 200m in 19.97 seconds, as Rasheed Dwyer was second in 20.16 seconds, with Warren Weir making a comeback to finish third in 20.29 seconds.

In the women's 200m, there was a slight upset as the good form of Sprintec athletes continued at the Championships. Sashalee Forbes pulled off a coup by surprising pre-race favorite Simone Facey, winning in a personal best of 22.71 seconds as Facey took second in 22.74 seconds. Jodean Williams of UWI finished third in a personal best 22.95 seconds.

The Meet came to an exciting end as it was a cracker in the Women's 100m hurdles final. World champion, Danielle Williams, after a fast start, clocked a personal best of 12.56 seconds to win, ahead of Megan Simmons, 12.63, and Yanique Thompson, 12.69 seconds. It was a personal best for all athletes.

In the field events, defending triple jump champion, Kimberly Williams retained her title with a wind-aided 14.69m. Shanieke Ricketts was second with 14.39m, and Shardia Lawrence was third with 13.63m.

Kimberly Williamson took home the women's high jump after clearing the bar at 1.88m to upstage Saniel Atkinson-Grier, who cleared the bar at 1.85 metres and Natrena Hooper at 1.75m.

Odayne Richards captured another shot put title, after winning the men's event with a heave of 21.39m as Saturday's discus throw winner Fedrick Dacres finished second with 20.25m.