Gaye - from obscurity to top contender

May 28, 2016
Gladstone Taylor/ Photographer G.C. Foster College's Demish Gaye winning the men's 400 metres in 45.57 seconds at the NCB Intercollegiate Track and Field Championships at the National Stadium.

Demish Gaye, the 400 metre runner has emerged from obscurity to become a contender for a spot on Jamaica's Olympic team to Rio de Janeiro.

Described as an immense talent by Maurice Wilson, his coach Maurice Wilson at the GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport, the 23-year-old Manchester native is quietly hoping to be among those to earn the right to black-green-and-gold in Rio.

Gaye has crammed a lot into his breakthrough campaign. Despite a late introduction to athletics, he caught the eye of national selectors with a smart 400 metre win at the Gibson-McCook Relays. His time - 45.75 seconds - gained him selection to the national team to the World Indoor Championships.

Since then, he has won the Inter-Collegiate title in 45.57 seconds and the Jamaica International Invitational Development race in 45.61 before racing to a personal best of 45.30 as the runner-up to Machel Cedenio of Trinidad and Tobago at the recent Cayman Invitational.

Wilson was pleased with Gaye's effort.

"It was his very first big time overseas individual race and the fact that he was able to execute ... he made a couple of errors on the backstretch where he was continued running too hard from the start but those are things we can fix over time with higher level competition," said Wilson.

As things stand, Gaye is the second fastest Jamaican 400 metre runner of 2016 with Javon Francis atop the performance list at 44.77 seconds. He has also logged a 200 metre time of 20.82 seconds.

The newcomer is cautiously targeting the June 30 - July 4 National Senior Championships.

Asked if he could see himself in Rio, he said, "I'm working hard for it so let's see."

Wilson described him as disciplined, humble and respectful.

"I'm extremely happy that we've been able to find another youngster with the talent, especially for the 400 metres in which we are trying to put that nice little nucleus together."

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