Fri | Feb 28, 2020

Laurie Foster | Tokyo spots beckon for Hydel’s Moore, Edwin’s Davis

Published:Wednesday | January 29, 2020 | 12:25 AM

It is unthinkable that any of Jamaica’s high school coaches would not at some time or another harbour a dream of at least one of their athletes making the team to a staging of the Olympic Games. It is something that has been achieved several times in the past. Coming readily to mind, is the now nationally decorated Glen Mills with many-time 100 metres finalist, Raymond Stewart, who first achieved that status in Los Angeles in 1984 while he was still enrolled at Camperdown High School. At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, there was a similar occasion when Veronica Campbell, now married Brown, made the team out of the Vere Technical High School, coached at the time by Dwayne Jarrett.

The talk going the rounds in the new track and field season, is that coaches from two high school camps are bent on proving their class by each sending their top female sprinter to this year’s Games in Tokyo, come summer. This conversation is receiving fuel, given the fact that at the time of writing with three weekends of competition out of the way, one coach, Corey Bennett of the Hydel Group of Schools has run his top female athlete Ashanti Moore (PR 11.17 in 2019) in only a single 100m race at the 2020 opener at Jamaica College on the first Saturday of this month. Meanwhile, Edwin Allen High’s prolific fast girl, Kevona Davis, who boasts a best of 11.16 has also been on the track once with a very good 22.86 at the St Elizabeth Technical Invitational meet last Saturday. Coincidentally, both schools have programmes of male and female components, but, for some unspecified reason, the focus seems to be on developing the girls only.

Opportunity awaits

Neither of the two athletes availed themselves of the opportunity to make the team to another prestigious event when they did not present themselves at the Trials for the XVII World Athletics Championships held last September in Doha. They had both performed at the Boys and Girls’ Championships at a level which suggested that to be on the flight to the Qatari city was well within the realms of possibility. In the view of this columnist, Davis’ last-minute pull-out from the Trials, has still not been satisfactorily explained and Moore was rumoured to be “taking it easy.”

If the slimline photos of both girls, which appear on social media, are to be interpreted as a tell-tale of readiness to take on elite competition, then one can expect them to vie for Tokyo spots. Jamaica deserves to have their fastest sprinters representing the country at all levels, be they in the senior or junior ranks.

Period of transition

Moore, although of age to run high school track, is no longer in the junior age group as she will be 20 years old this year. For world class competition, both coach Bennett and herself can only look to the senior level. On the other hand, Davis is eligible to represent the country at the World Under 20 Championships in Nairobi, July 7 to 12.

Barring any mishap, it will be her second visit to the African city having gone there for the Under 18’s back in 2017 when she suffered a competition ending injury during a bronze medal effort in the 100m.

One hopes that she will be fit enough to qualify for and make that repeat trip and the same for the Olympics. This athlete has suffered for far too long due to reports of injuries of one kind or another and the country is patiently awaiting her ascendancy to the senior level to finally confirm the awesome talent she has been displaying for so many years.

Foster’s Fairplay wishes them both the very best.

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