Fagundes stars at AAG Cross Country race in New Amsterdam

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Seasoned campaigner Johnathan Fagundes stopped the clocked at 30 minutes, 17 seconds (30:17.00s) to win the 8km Cross Country race in New Amsterdam on Sunday.

Linden Phillip was over five minutes behind with a time of 35:42.34s, while Calvin Thomas finished third in the male open race with a time of 36:29.25s.

Unlike the longer marathon race, cross-country races are usually not run along roads or paths. Teams and individuals run a race on open-air courses over natural terrain such as dirt or grass.

The male 16-19 category, which was contested over 6km, was won by Antwone Wright (23:19.57s) followed by Jaleel Marks (24:20.26s) and Joshua Thomas (28:54.29s).

The 2km race was dominated by Joshua Lam (6:01.52s) as second and third went to Nicholas Rudder (6:16.18s) and Jamal Warde (6:17.63s) respectively.

The male (13-15) 2km race had nine contestants, with Samuel Henry (5:55.80s) coming out on top followed by Johnathan Seedath (6:05.62s) and Timothy France (6:37.19s).

Of the eight females, who contested the 13-15 2km race, Jenifer Bias produced a time of 12:03.96s to win ahead of Charisa December (12:37.79s) and Shontel Thomas (13:03.27s).

The female (6-12) race was won by Marissa Thomas (3:17.59s), while the boys event went to Zachary Favouite of Ruralites (3:11.97s).

This is the first event the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) hosted since sport events were permitted to resume on November 1, pending the approval of the Minister of Health, and the AAG President Aubrey Hutson indicated they are happy with the outcome.

“From a logistical standpoint, we were able to test our ability to run events with COVID still lingering in air. We would have taken a lot of precautions with all of our athletes during the event in terms of prior to [racing] and post [racing]. We didn’t expect them to be running in masks,” he told News Room Sport on Monday.

On November 29, the AAG will host the 18th edition of the South American 10k, but it highly unlikely any foreign competitors will be present.

According to Hutson, “We are not opening ourselves that wide as yet; the only thing we may extend an invitation to Suriname and that is if their borders are open. We know our athletes are hungry for competition and we are opening up in a small way for them.”

Last year, Kenyan athletes Alex Ekesa and Veronica Jepkostei dominated the event.

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