Trio target Rio Games qualification
Several Bermuda athletes are hoping to reach the qualifying standard for the Rio Olympic Games when they compete at this week's XL Catlin National Championships.
Jah-nai Perinchief, Shaquille Dill and Cheria Morgan will be among those in action at the two-day meet to be held at the National Stadium on Friday and Saturday.
Seven overseas athletes will help raise the standard of the competition as well as push the island's Olympic hopefuls to achieve their qualifying times and distances.
Marvellous Iheukwumere of Nigeria will run the 100 metres, Emma Kimoto of Canada will take part in the high jump, Courtney Williams of St Vincent will be in action in the 100 and 200, while Anthony Mascoll will perform the 400 and 800.
The Bermuda National Athletics Association are also bringing in Anthony Mascoll of the United States in an effort to bring out the best in Perinchief, who is close to qualifying for Rio in the high jump, and St Kitts sprinters Allistair Clarke and Lestrod Roland.
Perinchief set a personal best and new Bermuda junior record at the KT Woodman Classic at the Wichita University in Kansas, with a jump of 2.26 metres — just three centimetres shy of the Olympic standard.
“I'm trying to find myself at the moment as I feel my run-up is a little off,” said Perinchief, who will also compete in the triple jump and, perhaps, the long jump.
“It's a work in progress and hopefully I'll have a jump of 2.29 in me at this event.”
Although a number of athletes are unavailable because of overseas commitments, sprinters Tre Houston, who has qualified for Rio in the 200, and Kyle Webb will return, as well as middle-distance runners Juma Mouchette and Dage Minors.
Dill, who became an NCAA Division II champion after winning the 800 metres final in Bradenton, Florida, this month, is another hoping to reach Rio, along with sprinter Morgan, who has been competing in Canada for several years.
Donna Raynor, the BNAA president, hopes there will be a turnout similar to the one that filled the National Stadium for the Bermuda Invitational Permit Meet in April.
“We would like to think we could get a crowd as big as the Permit Meet,” Raynor said.
“When we bring our athletes home it's always nice for Bermuda to come out and support them.”
The championships start at 6pm on Friday and 3pm on Saturday.
• Tyrone Smith, who has qualified for Rio in the long jump, stepped up his Olympic preparations with a season-best jump of 8.18 at the Birmingham Diamond League in England at the weekend.
Smith finished fourth at the meet held at the Alexander Stadium, placing ahead of Greg Rutherford, the London 2012 gold medal-winner and home favourite, who came fifth with 8.17.
Marquise Goodwin, of the United States, won the event with a jump of 8.42.
Meanwhile, Shianne Smith, the French-based athlete, set a personal best in the 400 hurdles with a time of 59.8sec at the weekend, just a week after setting her best time in 200 in 24.48.
Smith has switched from heptathlon to the 400 hurdles in a bid to improve her chances of reaching Rio. The Olympic qualifying mark for the women's 400 is 56.30.