Croal caps national sprint double with 200m personal best

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Jaleel Croal leads Wanyaé Bell, left and Khybah Dawson to the line in 21.14 seconds. Bell ran 21.81 and Dawson, 21.92

By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

Talent Ex’s Jaleel Croal capped off a national championships sprint double with a 200m personal best on Saturday, as he pulled Sprint Tech’s Wanyaé Bell and Top Notch’s Khybah Dawson under the 22.00 second barrier, marking the first time in the 50-year BVI track and field history, that three athletes have run in the 21 seconds range in the same race.

Croal covered the half lap in 21.14 seconds (-1.2 mps), lowering his 2019 best from 21.20. Bell shaved his personal best from 21.85 seconds to 21.81, with Dawson—coming off a lifetime 7.39m (24’3”) Long Jump (-3.0) best—placing third in 21.92, after a personal best 21.71 (-0.7) in the semis. Dawson, a 2019 Carifta Games U17 Boys Long Jump silver medalist, improved his mark from 7.36m

“I’m elated right now. I feel like I proved myself, because a few weeks back, I ran that same time and got disqualified because I false started,” Croal who won the 100m in 10.64 seconds (-0.6) on Friday night after an 11.24 semi, reflected after the race. “Now that I’ve run it again, I feel like I proved myself that I can do anything right now.” Teammate Mikkel Bassue followed Croal in the 100m in 10.77, with Bell third in 10.82.

While he didn’t have external competitions because of Covid, Croal said his competitors—Bell, Dawson, Vadley Sylvester, Mikkel Bassue, Malik John and K’Cei Moses—have been improving which makes him push even harder. He noted that they’re stepping up to his level which he really enjoys and would like to travel with them abroad for competition.

“K’Cei has been a good training partner and hasn’t been out because of injuries,” Croal said. Khybah, he makes me punk out of the 400. He’s a very good runner. I just feel he’s better than me and I just come out there and show my heart and get the race done.”

Bell said he was a bundle of nerves in the 200m final. “It was nerve racking,” he said. “I wanted to win the race but I knew I had good athletes in my range.

Dawson said he thought that he would have run faster but he was also thinking that he had to do rehab and therapy as it was his first race back from an injury. “I was ready for the competition and being back with these guys,” he said.

Other Highlights

In his first race after establishing an 800m National Youth Record, Jahshani “Jahferre” Farrington, won his specialty in the rain, covering the circuit in 2 minutes, 02.47 seconds. “It was drastic, having to run, wipe your eyes and breathing, it was slowing you down,” Farrington, who ran in the rain for the first time said. “It was tiring at the end. I wanted to try the same strategy as the last time, but this was really tiring. I really worked hard for this one.”

Virgin Gorda’s Kaelyaah “Kae” Liburd, became the 10th BVI female under 55.00 seconds, when she dropped 54.93 on the board in the 400m, landing at No 9 on the All Time List. In the process, she turned back 2019 Carifta Games U17 Girls silver medalist Akrisa Eristee, who was second in 56.54.

Field Events

New Mexico Jr. College graduate Djimon Gumbs, returned home to take a Shot Put/Discus Throw double, beating twin brother Diamante in both events for the first time this season. Djimon uncorked a personal best 16.88m (55’4½”) effort in the Shot, to Diamante’s 15.32 (50’3¼”). Djimon also recorded his fourth best mark of the season of 48.78m ( 160’0½”) to win the Discus. Diamante recorded a fourth round 45.84m (150’4¾”) effort, to finish second.

Anegada’s Kimberly Smith, cut the sand at a personal best of 5.58m (18’3¾”) to win the Long Jump. 

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