Noted pundit gives Briana Williams the edge in star-studded 60m dash at Saturday's Gibson/McCook Relays

By February 24, 2023
Will it be Williams (l) Clayton or Nelson (r)? Will it be Williams (l) Clayton or Nelson (r)?

In the most anticipated clash between several of Jamaica’s rising-star female sprinters - Briana Williams, Kemba Nelson and Tina Clayton-  are set to compete over 60 metres and the 50th anniversary of the Gibson/McCook Relays at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

US$10,000 in prize money has been guaranteed for the winner of the dash that will also include Jonielle Smith, Kerrica Hill, Tia Clayton and Amoi Brown in what promises to be a mouth-watering showdown of exciting young talent.

Since news emerged earlier this week about the potential starters, debate has raged over who will emerge the winner. Will it be Williams, the Tokyo 2020 relay gold-medallist, who boasts a personal best of 7.04 and who opened her season with a 7.22 clocking at the Camperdown Classic two weeks ago, or will it be Nelson, the 2021 NCAA Division 1 Indoor Champion, who is just 0.01 slower at 7.05?

Or, could it be the World U20 100m champion Tina Clayton, who has run 7.24 two weeks ago?

Noted track writer, author and pundit Hubert Lawrence, believes Williams, having already shaken off some of the rust this season, has the edge over her other celebrated rivals.

“Williams has run a 60 already and will be a little more ready for tomorrow’s race,” he opined while analyzing the line-up for Sportsmax.TV on Friday.

“Kemba hasn’t run any races this season and so is now coming back out onto the track since last year. So, it’s sort of a coming out party for her. The Claytons have run before but Williams is just about the best of them.”

Lawrence, who with Michael Grant recently co-authored 50 Days Afire, chronicling the exploits of several of Jamaica’s biggest track stars, says there are other women to look out for in that race. One, in particular, could be a potential dark horse.

“Also in that race is Kashieka Cameron, who ran a 7.3x and looked really good at the Western Relays at GC Foster a few weeks ago. She started out slowly but finished with a rush.

“When I spoke to her she told me she was training really well and even though she is slim she looked like she had a couple extra pounds of muscle compared to the girl who won the Class 1 100m for Edwin Allen at Champs in 2018. So that’s an X-factor.”

The men’s 60m dash could prove to be equaling thrilling with Jamaica’s three fastest men in 2022 -Akeem Blake, Yohan Blake and Oblique Seville – all expected to be among the starters.

The dash should also include Commonwealth Games 200m silver medallist Zharnel Hughes as well as upcoming talents Jeevan Newby and Nigel Ellis.

Lawrence believes that the men’s 60 could be somewhat open based on how well several youngsters have been performing this season.

“On the men’s side, the X-factor is Kadrian Goldson; at the same Western Relays ran 6.57, finished in a rush,” Lawrence said.

Turning his attention to the big guns, Lawrence remarked that there are questions surrounding Seville’s health, which could be a factor in how well he performs on Saturday.

“We know about Akeem Blake, young, fast. Oblique Seville is in the draw, he has not run a race since last year’s Eugene World Championships,” he said.

“If you look back, you saw him there with kinesio-tape on the back of his hamstring and that has caused Coach (Glen) Mills to hold him out of races until he was 100 per cent. Now, he is in the 60m at Gibson. That’s the watching point. Is Goldson the real thing this season and is Oblique Seville all the way back from his injuries and will he put up a performance in the 6.60’s.”

Lawrence added that young Newby could be someone to watch.

“At the Queen’s/Grace Jackson Invitational ran a 6.62 looking back at the end,” Lawrence said.

“He was second at Champs but chose not to go back to high school and has joined the Motorcade Track Club and the sounds I hear coming from them is that Newby is in terrific shape.

“So, Women’s 60, maybe Briana Williams has the edge because she a bit sharper and in the Men’s 60, is Oblique Seville ready to rock and roll in 2023 after a great 2022 season and is Newby going to continue speeding; he and Goldson are the X-factors.”

 

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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