Galaxy of stars ready to shine at Bermuda Games
A galaxy of stars will illuminate the Flora Duffy Stadium today at the first staging of the USATF Bermuda Games, as a host of Olympic and World Championships medal-winners get ready to compete at the biggest athletics event ever hosted on Bermudian soil.
Missing from the action is American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, whose image was front and centre on posters around the island in the build-up to the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold opener.
Richardson is on island and well-placed sources suggest her absence is not injury-related.
Sha’Carri or no Sha’Carri, an event that features eight gold medal-winners from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and many other World Championships and Olympics medal-winners is not expected to suffer for lack of stardust.
Jah-Nhai Perinchief, the World Indoors fifth-place finisher in the triple jump, Tre Houston, who will line up in the 100 metres, and the 1,500 pair of Dage Minors and Lamont Marshall will wave the local banner and rub shoulders with world stars such as Grant Holloway, Shericka Jackson, Noah Lyles, Gabby Thomas, Steven Gardiner, Yohan Blake, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, Kirani James, Shanieka Ricketts and Ajee Wilson.
Other standout competitors include Michelle-Lee Ahye, Mike Rodgers, Janieve Russell, Rushell Clayton, Jessica Beard, Briana Williams and Jereem Richards.
Holloway, the Olympic silver medal-winner and second-fastest man in the history of the 110 hurdles with a best of 12.81sec, will open his season against Brazil’s Eduardo Rodrigues, whose 13.44, makes him the second-fastest man so far in a young outdoor season. Trinidad & Tobago’s Ruebin Walters (13.79) is also listed to compete in the event, which gets started at 3.39pm.
Bahamian Gardiner, who topped the 400 field in Tokyo last year, will get some speedwork done in the 200, an event in which he boasts a 19.75 personal best. Olympic finalist Aaron Brown, of Canada, and Richards, the world indoor 400 champion, will also face the starter at 4.39pm.
Briana Williams, Jamaica’s 2018 World Under-20 Championships double sprint champion and Olympic relay gold medal-winner, is expected to push for a top finish in the women’s 200 after an impressive indoor campaign.
Puerto Rico’s Camacho-Quinn, the Olympic 100 hurdles champion, is also listed to compete in this event and will certainly threaten for the win here. She starts as many pundits’ favourite, having already gone 22.27 this season. Americans Dezerea Bryant and Twanisha Terry, as well as Anthonique Strachan, of Bahamas, will look to test the pair in a competitive line-up. The women’s 200 will get going at 4.31pm.
Camacho-Quinn, the joint fourth-fastest sprint hurdler in history, has a double assignment here and will get her afternoon started at 3.33pm in the 100 hurdles, which she is expected to dominate.
James, the Grenadian quarter-miler and 2012 Olympic champion, is one of the best athletes ever seen in the event and he heads a 400 field that includes Trinidad & Tobago’s Machel Cedenio and Jamaican 400 hurdler Jaheel Hyde. The men’s 400m will commence at 4.55pm.
The dynamic Jackson, who has won world and Olympic medals in the 400 and 100, is the class athlete in the longer sprint here. The Tokyo 2020 100 bronze medal-winner will meet close friend and fellow Jamaican Candice McLeod, the Olympic finalist in the women’s one-lap event at 4.47pm.
The first round of the men’s 100, which starts at 4pm, will see 200 world champion and Olympic bronze medal-winner Noah Lyles squaring off against a trio of Jamaicans — Yohan Blake, the 2011 world champion, Tyquendo Tracy and Nigel Ellis — with young American Erriyon Knighton looking to continue his rise up the ranks. The final is set to close the meet at 5.25pm.
Olympic 200 bronze medal-winner Gabby Thomas and Tokyo Olympian Teahna Daniels are the top Americans in the 100 event, where Ahye and Natasha Morrison, from Jamaica, are expected to challenge. The first round will get started at 3.47pm, with the final slated for 5.16pm.
American Wilson should feature prominently in the women’s 800 at 5.05pm while World Championships silver medal-winner Shanieka Ricketts from Jamaica is the clear favourite in the women’s triple jump, which will start the international programme at 2.35pm.
Tokyo 2020 finalist Russell and 2019 World Championships bronze medal-winner Rushell Clayton, both from Jamaica and both under 54 seconds, should get the greatest challenge from Americans Cassandra Tate and Ashley Spencer. This is Clayton’s first international race since suffering injury in June last year.
The event will be carried live on NBC with coverage starting at 3.30pm. The meet will get under way at 2pm with the finals of the Fastest Kid on the Rock competition for local competitors aged 5 to 17.
Women’s triple jump (2.35pm)
Women’s high jump (3.25pm)
Women’s 100 hurdles (3.33pm)
Men’’s triple jump (3.35pm)
Men’s 110 hurdles (3.39pm)
Women’s 100 first round (3.47pm)
Men’s 100 first round (4pm)
Men’s 1,500 (4.13pm)
Women’s 400 hurdles (4.23pm )
Women’s 200 (4.31pm)
Women’s long jump (4.35pm)
Men’s 200 (4.39pm)
Women’s 400 (4.47pm)
Men’s 400 (4.55pm)
Women’s 800 (5.05pm)
Women’s 100 final (5.16pm)
Men’s 100 final (5.25pm)