Bajan athletes fail to make Olympic qualifying standards at National Championships – Griffith stuns Burke

By Jherard Morris-Sealy June 30, 2021

No athletes were able to reach Olympic qualifying standards in any events during the Barbados National Championships over the weekend. This was the final opportunity for Barbadian athletes to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, which are less than a month away.

 Some of Barbados’ top athletes such as Sada Williams, Tristan Evelyn, and Johnathan Jones (who have already qualified) did not compete, but there were still a number of locally well-known athletes who turned out in hopes of making it to Tokyo.

One of the most anticipated showdowns was between national record-holder Kierre Beckles and overseas-based Hannah Connell in the women’s 100-metre hurdles. Connell was heading into the event with a season’s best of 13.07 seconds in comparison to Beckles’ 13.51 seconds. In the end, the veteran Beckles, who represented Barbados at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, came out victorious but fell short of the qualification standard after running a time of 13.51.

 The biggest upset of the championships came in the men’s 100-metre finals when favourite Mario Burke was beaten by Kuron Griffith. Burke, who will be representing Barbados in Tokyo, ran a disappointing 10.39 seconds with a wind reading of -1.9. Despite winning the event, Griffith was not able to reach the qualifying standard, finishing in a time of 10.30 seconds. In the women’s 100-metres, Jovanna Gustave finished first in a time of 12.09 seconds, which is also outside of the qualifying standard.

 There is no other opportunity for Barbadian athletes to meet the qualifying standard with the National Championships being the last sanctioned meet before the June 29th deadline for qualification. The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will begin on July 23rd and run until August 8th.

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