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Marshall sidesteps Half Marathon to focus on Glasgow

Lamont Marshall will not compete in this month's Bermuda Half-Marathon Derby. He has opted to stay focused on his bid to qualify for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The Devonshire athlete is lined up to compete in track events in the Bahamas and Canada during the next few weeks.

Aiming to duck under the Commonwealth qualifying time of 3 mins 45 secs, he competed in a high-quality 1,500 metres race at the Jamaica International Invitational meeting on May 3. Although he finished a commendable fifth in Kingston, he was unable to stay with the pacesetters and finished with a time of 3:58.

Last Saturday he tried again in a race at the National Sports Centre. He won in 3:55, but was still ten seconds adrift of the qualifying requirement for the Games in Scotland.

Marshall's next competition will be at the inaugural IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas on May 24. He is part of an impressive 4x800m squad from Bermuda, which also features national 800 record holder Aaron Evans, Trey Simons and Shaquille Dill.

He will then travel to Canada to compete in a 5,000 event hosted by the Speed River Track and Field Club at the University of Guelph, near Toronto, on May 31. To qualify for the Commonwealth Games he needs to smash his national 5,000 record of 14:27 and record a time of 14:20 or faster.

He is lined up for a second race, a 1,500, also in Guelph on June 10.

His father and coach Larry Marshall said: “Having made the commitment to make the attempt to qualify for the Commowealth Games it is hard to pull up in mid-stream.”

Although the clock is ticking to reach the target times for the Games, his father said: “He's not pushing the panic button, although there is a sense of urgency. He has three more opportunities. There is a quality field in the 5,000m with four or five guys who have gone under 14:20.”

Because May 24 falls on a weekend this year, the Bermuda Half-Marathon Derby has moved from its traditional date to May 26.

Marshall has finished as runner-up in the Half-Marathon Derby on numerous occasions, but has not competed in the event since 2011. With five-times winner Chris Estwanik ruled out for a second year because of an injury there has been speculation Marshall might compete.

His father said: “He's definitely out of May 24. A lot of people have been asking me about it. The temptation was there because Chris is out.”

He believes the race will be won in 1:12 or 1:13, and he views reigning champion Tyler Butterfield as favourite.

“It's Tyler's race to lose. Jay Donawa could be the one person to cause an upset.

“He has the experience, and if he runs the right type of race there could be an upset.”

Donawa is a multiple Derby runner-up and came third last year after being overtaken in the home straight by Stephen Allen.

Lamont Marshall

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Published May 15, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated May 15, 2014 at 12:02 am)

Marshall sidesteps Half Marathon to focus on Glasgow

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