Dill gunning for an elusive Games gold
The 800 metre runner will be striving to capture that elusive gold medal in front of his home crowd having won silvers at the 2010 and 2011 Games.
Dill, who is trained by former national team coach Gerry Swan, believes a packed house at the National Sports Centre, where the events are being held, will bring out the best in him in his final Games appearance.
“I’m going to try and better my previous performances at Carifta. I set targets for the season and my target right now that’s to run one minute 48 seconds,” said the 18-year-old, who won a gold medal at the CAC Junior Championships in 2010.
“I’m used to the bigger crowds and I do like that feeling. I don’t feel too much pressure and it feels good that people are expecting things from me.”
Last year Dill ran the fastest 800 metres time by a local junior athlete in the history of the Bermuda Track and Field Association to qualify for the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships, to be held in Barcelona. He will also be defending his CAC Junior Championship title later this year in El Salvador.
Bermuda Track and Field Association president, Donna Watson, believes Dill is one of Bermuda’s best hopes of a gold.
“Shaquille is one of our promising middle distance runners specialising in the 800 metres,” she said.
“His time has gone from 1:53.31 in 2010 to last year at the Bermuda National Championships winning in a PB of 1:50.18. Shaquille will be competing in the Carifta Games for the last time this year and we hope he gets that gold medal he has missed by seconds over the last two years.”
More than 500 athletes from 27 Caribbean countries will compete in next month’s Games to be held on the Island for the first time in seven years.
The competition has been running since 1972 and is considered by many as the top youth track and field competition in the world.
When Bermuda last staged the event in 2004, current world record holder Usain Bolt, of Jamaica, became the first junior athlete to break 20 seconds in the 200 metres in a time of 19.3 seconds.
A total of 23 Bermuda athletes have so far qualified for the Games, which will run from April 7 to 9 and more will be attempting this weekend’s meet at the NSC.
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