Tue | Jul 23, 2024

2:59.12

Makeshift Jamaica team chases last 4x400m Olympic qualification spot

Published:Sunday | June 16, 2024 | 12:12 AMRaymond Graham - Gleaner Writer
Farquharson
Farquharson
Tarees Rhoden
Tarees Rhoden

Shevioe Reid
Shevioe Reid
James-King
James-King
Jevaughn Powell to lead Jamaica’s push for Olympic qualification in the 4x400 metres.
Jevaughn Powell to lead Jamaica’s push for Olympic qualification in the 4x400 metres.
Reheem Hayles
Reheem Hayles
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“THE TEAM in the Bahamas is the best that made themselves available to run and so we await the results,” said president of the Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association, Garth Gayle, when asked about the make-up and chances of Jamaica’s team qualifying for the Paris Olympics in the men’s 4x400-metre relay.

Like Gayle, sports fans across the country will be waiting to see if the team of Jevaughn Powell, Reheem Hayles, Kimar Farquharson, Tarees Rhoden, Shevioe Reid, and Malik James-King will produce a good-enough showing at the New Life Invitational World Continental Tour silver meet in the Bahamas this evening.

Following dismal performances at the World Relay Games where the team failed to qualify automatically for Paris, they will be hoping to run faster than two minutes, 59.12 seconds, the time Zambia ran to sit on the bubble for the 16th and final spot.

It is going to be a mammoth task for the Jamaicans to do with a line-up that includes just two genuine quarter milers in Powell, who has a season and personal best of 44.54 seconds, and teammate at the University of Florida, Hayles, whose season best is 45.31.

Farqhuarson, a member of the winning Texas A&M University 4x400m team at the recent NCAA Championships, and Rhoden are half-milers, while Reid is a 200-metre specialist, and there is 400m hurdler, James-King.

While Jamaica could overtake Zambia today, they will also be eyeing 15th seed France’s 2:58.98. The additional target comes with the knowledge that Zambia could go faster at this weekend African Championships in Douala, Cameroon.

The closing date to achieve the qualifying standard is June 30, which is the final day of competition at the Jamaica National Championships where all the country’s top athletes will be competing.

Since making their 4x400 debut at the 1960 Rome Olympics, Jamaica have never failed to be at the showpiece event.