Forde wins South American 10k

- St. Vincent’s McDowall takes female title

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By Treiston Joseph 

There is no doubt Cleveland Forde is Guyana’s greatest distance athlete and he proved that again on Sunday afternoon with his 13th win of the Guyana leg of the South American 10k that ended at the Children’s Monument in the National Park.

A brilliant afternoon of sunshine produced a tough day of 10k running, but as is usually the case Guyana’s ‘Little Kenyan’ was a class above the rest, breaking away from the pack from Thomas Lands to cross the finish line ahead of his competitors in a winning time of 33:42.0s.

A lead pack of Dennis Horatio, who made a surprising return to the sport, along with Nathaniel Giddings, Cleveland Thomas, Winston Missenger, Anfernee Headecker and even the young Rickie Williams put on an early pace while Forde in his usual styled tucked in.

However, with about 1,000 metres to go and the top three in Missenger, Thomas and Forde battling, Forde upped the ante and made his move for the win.

Cleveland Forde all alone at the finish line

Thomas finished second in 33:51.0s and Missenger third in 34:05.0s. The trio has now swept both legs of the South American 10k with one leg remaining in Panama. Last year’s winner of the event Curtis Cox finished fourth in 34:18.0s, while Junior Ashton of St. Vincent and the Grenadines was fifth in 35:53.0s.

The win for Forde is the first time since the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) started using genuine gold medals three years ago that he has received one, despite winning the event a record 11 straight times at one point.

Forde noted that while he expected more competition, he was “pleased” with the win and noted that he is now focused on improving his times. Meanwhile, on the distaff side, Linda McDowall of St. Vincent and the Grenadines took the race easily in a time of 39:50.0s.

Grenada’s Kenisha Pascal finished second in a time of 40:44.0s, while Maria Urquhart was third in a time of 44:20.0s. Sheama Tyrell finished fourth in 44:28.0s while Ashanti Scott was in fifth in 46:08.0s.

McDowall noted after the race that she hopes for more “competition” next time, but opined that the race should be ran a bit later when the sun is not at its peak.

Headecker was the first male junior to cross the line in a time of 35:11.0s, while Urquhart who brought third in the Open category was the first female junior in the event.

The Male 45-55 Masters category was won by Cox of Trinidad, who was fourth overall in the race, while Llewlyn Gardener won the Male 56 and over Masters category in a time of 43:01.0s. Carla Adams won the Female Masters category in 51:27.0s. The athletes were presented with prizes at a ceremony immediately after the event.

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