Aliann Pompey Invitational: Winston George undone by Kirani James’ brilliance
By Akeem Greene
Kirani James lived up to the expectations by winning a pedestrian men’s 400m ahead of local Winston George at the third edition of the Aliann Pompey Invitational meet held at the National Track and Field Facility, Leonora, West Coast Demerara, on Saturday.
The marquee event of the day was filled with hyped as it matched Guyana’s best against one of the world’s best.
James was not at his paramount by any stretch of the imagination as he gradually seeks to return to his imperious form which won him gold at the 2012 Olympics.
Running out of lane four, James was good out of the blocks but had a laborious first 200m which meant George, who was in lane five, had a glimmer of hope for a stunning upset victory. That glimmer, however, soon faded as the lanky Grenadian took control of the race from the 300m mark, showing his world-class ability by distancing himself from the pack.
The 25-year-old clocked a sub-standard time of 44.99s given he has a personal best of 43.74s in the event and in June he ran 44.35s. Though not filled with any dashing times, the sizeable audience still rose to their feet in recognition of seeing the track star in action.
George, who re-set the national record (45.16s) at the said meet in 2017, tighten coming out the final turn which meant me he clocked 46.13s for third place. Second went to Nigeria’s Chidi Okezie (45.97s) while fourth went to rising talent Arinze Chance (46.82s).
The female 400m went to countrywoman Aliyah Abrams in a time of 52.31s which was followed by Jamaica’s Dominique Blake (52.88s) and Soniqua Walker (53.00s),
The focus was now shifted to the 100m events and local Emanuel Archibald, running out of lane two blazed to a time of 10.29, edging out Trinidad and Tobago’s Kyle Greaux (10.39) and Dominican Republic’s Yancarlos Martinez (10.43s).
The men’s 800m was another event which brought the crowd to life, as they witnessed a classic case of “cat and mouse” between locals Devaun Barrington and Quamel Prince who both dipped below the previous meet record of 1:51.90s.
Neither of the two took the lead for the first 500 meters of the race but Prince finally made a move which held on until the finish. The final 100m he went into overdrive, and executed the characteristic strides to pull at least 15 meters ahead of Barrington when he crossed the finish in a time of 1:48.70 while Barrington, who is more known as Scooby, clocked 1:51.87; Anfernee Hedecker came third with 1:52.98s.
The E-Networks sponsored 200m brought a re-match between Archibald and Greaux and the latter was able to turn the tide and stopped the clock at 20.43s way ahead of Martinez (20.88s) and Winston George (20.87s). Archibald finished ninth with a time of 22.00s.
Meanwhile, Commonwealth Games triple jump gold medallist, Troy Doris did not have the best of outings as he competed in Guyana for the first time.
Early days in his recovery from injury, Doris finished fourth with a best leap of 16.09m. The event was won by American Champion Donald Scott who set a new meet record with a best of 17.22m.
See the full list of results: https://trackalerts.com/