The stage is set for the grand finale of this year’s Pine Hill Dairy-sponsored National Primary Schools Athletics Championships (NAPSAC) at the National Stadium tomorrow.
The interest in the finals is quite evident once again as tickets for this junior athletics showpiece have been sold out and the stadium is expected to be abuzz with excitement.
Defending champions West Terrace Primary would definitely have to bring their ‘A’ game or even better, if they intend to regain the championship which they won in 2012.
That task will not be an easy one as their athletes will have to contend with the likes of Deacons Primary’s Malachi Harris, dubbed by fans the “stadium monster”, in the Under-11 division. He has been unbeatable in every event he has competed. Those include the cricket ball throw in which he has broken the record at the zonal meet, quarter-finals and semi-finals stage and it wouldn’t be farfetched if he did again at the finals. No one has come close to his record-breaking performance of 67.40m.
The very mature looking young man who many keep questioning his ten years, showed that not only can he throw well but he can also run well like a future Usain Bolt. So far no one has been able to beat him in the 100m or 200m. Whether tomorrow would be his day once again remains to be seen.
Anyone looking for action by the sand pit in the long jump should definitely look out for Shem Williams of MQI Luther Thorne Primary in the Under-13 division. Williams has been the only athlete so far in the meet who has been able to jump 4.90m in that division and he would be a clear favourite to walk away with the gold medal. He shouldn’t be counted out either in the 100m, 200m or 400m for which he has also qualified.
St George Primary may have one grip on the Under-13 girls’ division title with the likes of Sarah Belle who should take a clean sweep of her events once she performs well on the day. The long strides of Belle have been unmatched so far in the 600m, 400m and 200m heats and in tomorrow’s finals she will be hard to beat once at her best.
Spectators should look out for what should be a great rivalry in the Under-nine division between Skye Spencer-Layne of West Terrace Primary, Samiya Dell of Sharon Primary and Ciara Piggott of St Stephen’s Primary.
This trio have certainly brought NAPSAC fans to their feet over the past few weeks and come tomorrow the stadium is sure to erupt with the competitiveness among those three. If I had to call it, however, I would perhaps give Spencer-Layne the edge, especially in the 150m where she comes in with the fastest time of 23.28 seconds with Dell behind clocking 23.81 seconds.
West Terrace Primary might have some high expectations also in the Under-nine division if Iyobosa Iyare has his way but he would have to stamp his authority early to get past his main rivals Jaquan Pilgrim of St George Primary and Tevin Brathwaite of Bayley’s Primary in the 80m, 100m and 150m.
(More photos available in our ePaper – http://epaper.barbadostoday.bb)
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