Created on 27 August 2011 Hits: 19245 Written by Michael Bascombe Category: Latest


Image DAEGU, South Korea, August 28, 2011 – Grenada’s two marquee athletes go into action on Sunday morning (Saturday night Eastern Caribbean Time) on the second day of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics.

First to take the track will be Rondell Bartholomew in Heat 1 of the men's 400m from about 11:15 a.m. (10:15 p.m. Saturday) while Kirani James competes about 24 minutes later in Heat 4.

Bartholomew, who will be running out of a comfortable lane 3, should have no worries qualifying for the semis.

However, he should expect some competition from the experienced Greg Nixon of the USA who has a personal best of 44.61 and clocked a season best of 44.98; Virgin Islander Tabarie Henry who can easily run a sub-45 and Renny Quow of Trinidad and Tobago.

James, who is also expected to move into Sunday's semi-final round, will come up against Jonathan Borlee of Belgium, William Collazo of Cuba and Bahamian Ramon Miller. All three have clocked sub-45s as their personal best.

The world leader over the one-lap distance will be donning his Grenada NOC’s wrist band in the colours of red, green and gold.

But one should not overlook the defending champion American LaShawn Merritt and the potential of the other Caribbean athletes in Jermaine Gonzales of Jamaica and Chris Brown and Demetrius Pinder of the Bahamas.

Merritt returned to competition last month after serving a two-year suspension for doping violation. He ran an impressive 44.74 seconds to finish second to Gonzales (44.69) at the DN Galan Diamond League in Stockholm.

Janelle Redhead, the other Grenadian competitor and lone female, competes in the women’s 200 metres on day six of competition on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Grenada’s most celebrated athlete Alleyne Francique has warned his Grenadian counterparts that they must not take everything for granted and prepare to work hard to secure medals.

“You have to know the qualifying procedures, the lane draws, your competitors and don’t think because you ran 44.61 or 44.65 that you could jog,” said Francique. “Just go out there and run, just run,” he quipped.

“They are young and have a lot of competitions ahead of them and stand a good chance of winning medals,” said Francique, a five-time competitor at the World Championships.

His main concern is the athletes’ ability to compete the three rounds over three consecutive days. “During my time we had a day off to rest after the semi-finals but now they will be running three consecutive days”. “Hopefully they could contest the rounds injury-free and if they have a good showing in the semi-finals then I think they both could do well,” he said.

Overall, this could be the best outing for Grenada at the World Championships in Athletics since Francique’s performances in 2001 and 2003 when he was a finalist and a semifinalist in 2005 and 2007.

At last World Championships in 2009, all four competitors exited in the first round of competition.

Click on link to listen to interview with Alleyne Francique
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