Dage Minors hopes to inspire after shining for Bermuda at international meet
Middle-distance runner Dage Minors had an impressive third-place finish in the 1,500 metres race at the USATF Bermuda Games on Saturday at the Flora Duffy Stadium, while triple jumper Jah-Nhai Perinchief and sprinter Tre Houston were both hampered by injuries in their events.
Minors was the top performer of the four Bermudian athletes competing in the Games, as Lamont Marshall, who was also in the 1,500 metres field, placed last among the eight runners in a 4:10.86 time.
Lack of competitive action clearly showed for Marshall who has a personal best time of 3:46.51, though Minors gave the fans something to cheer for as he had them on the edge of their seats in one of the most exciting races of the day.
Minors switched between second and third and was in second position in the last 100 metres when Germany’s Ams Bartelsmeyer made his move from fourth place with a strong surge that saw him pass Kasey Knevelbaard, of the United States, and Minors before closing in on leader Kamar Etiang of Kenya in a dash for first.
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Etiang held on to win in 3:45.26, while Bartelsmeyer was a close second in 3:45.35. Minors clocked 3:46.82 to take third in a battle with fourth place finisher Knevelbaard who had a time of 3:46.86.
Minors hopes his performance will inspire some young runners in Bermuda.
“Hopefully some kid out here saw me competing and say ‘yeah, I want to do that’,” Minors said. “That’s what I run for.
“I thought I could win but I knew it would be tough and the crowd carried me the last 200 [metres]. Truthfully I wanted to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and any one who is motivated and wants to help me out financially, we can go from there.”
Minors will savour his third-place finish against some quality runners in windy and overcast conditions.
“Today is a new day to learn and get better and today I learnt a lot about myself, my spirit and my fight and I hope I got better today, ” he said.
“I didn’t get a better time but I got better as a man and I hope it continues to be that way. Sub-3:45 was the goal, but I didn’t take into consideration the wind.
“This definitely needs to continue, obviously the money has been put into it and hopefully the right people continue to advocate for it so that it can continue. Now, I’m going to celebrate, Tottenham won so it’s a good day!”
Houston, 32, pulled up with his hamstring injury about 70 metres into the first 100 metres heat, hobbling across the line on one leg as he finished last in a time of 13.36 seconds. The Houston, Texas-based runner revealed afterwards that this would be his last participation on home soil as he enters what will be his last year competing.
“I actually came into the competition with not even a week’s training, I’ve been dealing with injury after injury,” Houston revealed.
“I had a calf injury that kept me out for two months and I missed all of February and all of March. I had one week of training after it healed and came back the next week and my hamstring went.
“I came back to Bermuda, one solid week of training went good, but my body is not recovering properly as I’m getting older. This is my last race on Bermuda soil, I’m about to retire.
“I’ve got my daughter, so much going on and it’s time for me to hang it up after this year. I’m so much better than what I offered today, it’s unfortunate how things unravelled in front of my home crowd.”
Houston added: “I wanted to give more, but this is definitely my final lap here. It’s always good running in front of the home ground, I feel I’ve had a real good career, and have sacrificed a lot.
“I’m blessed for those who have been in my corner, like my coach Devon Bean who is always there when I need him. We talked and had a game plan but it didn’t go as we thought.”
Perinchief, jumping in front of the crowd on the northern end of the grandstand, had just one attempt in the triple jump when he felt his hamstring tighten and pulled out of the competition. His only jump of 15.75 metres, placed Perinchief second among the four jumpers after the first round, but the lanky jumper, who many came to see, never jumped again.
Chris Benard, of the US, placed first with a best jump of 16.57 metres, with Jamaican Jordan Scott finishing second with a leap of 16.37, which he achieved on his first jump.
Kaiwan Culmer of Bahamas was fourth with a jump of 15.82 metres which he achieved at the fourth attempt.
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