Fri | Dec 14, 2018

Gaye believes in U-20 4x400m gold

Published:Saturday | May 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Members of Calabar's 4x400m relay team (from left Shemar Chambers, Christopher Taylor, Malik James-King and Anthony Carpenter are all smiles after winning the Championships of America title for the event at the Penn Relays last Saturday in a world best 3:03.79.

When the finalists line up for the boys' 4x400 metres at the 2018 World Under-20 Championships on July 15, the United States of America will be the favourite as usual. However, after seeing brilliant high-school running at last weekend's Penn Relays, Sprintec Track Club star Demish Gaye feels Jamaica can challenge. In fact, Gaye thinks gold is within reach.

After reviewing the split times from the Penn Relays high-school final, Gaye marvelled, "When I see the numbers, I'm like, 'Wow! They're doing great!'"

Calabar High School lowered its world-best time from 3 minutes 05.04 seconds to 3:03.79, with Malik James-King, Anthony Carpenter, Shemar Chambers, and Christopher Taylor producing split times of 47.6, 45.5, 45.8, and 44.8 seconds, respectively.

Their combined effort stopped the clock just 0.02 short of the national junior record.

The Calabar boys weren't the only fast movers as Petersfield finished second with a 45.5-second anchor leg by 2017 World Under-18 champion Antonio Watson. Kingston College placed third with Deshawn Morris, the winner at both the Carifta Games and Boys and Girls' Championships, covering his lap in 45.1 seconds.

The best of those numbers add up to 3 minutes 00.9 seconds.

Those numbers left Gaye, a World and Commonwealth Games finalist, suitably impressed. Asked if he thought Jamaica could win the World Under-20 race, the former G.C. Foster College star gave the Jamaican youngsters a vote of confidence.

"Their quartet is definitely good. I must give them, that and they run extremely well. They execute their race extremely well, so I believe they can win."

Jamaica last won the World Under-20 title in 2000.

The national junior record of 3:03.77 second was set by Chambers, Carpenter, Javauney James of STETHS, and Taylor at last year's Pan-American Junior Championships. In the 4x400m final at that meet, the USA set a world junior record of 3:00.33 seconds.