Champs schedule change aids middle-distance runners

March 18, 2017
Ackeem Colley of Ruseas (left) coming from behind to beat (from left) Tyrese Reid, Ken Reyes of Jamaica College, and Leon Clarke of St Jago in the Boys under-20 800 metres for at the GC Foster Classics meet held at the National Stadium on Saturday, March 11.

Middle-distance prospects like Cemore Donald of Edwin Allen Comprehensive High School and Ackeem Colley of the Rusea's High School may enjoy changes made to the schedule of Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships.

That's because a revision for the 2017 staging of Champs makes the 800-1500 metre combination slightly easier. Colley, Donald and their rivals no longer have to run twice on Champs Thursday.

 

Traditional

 

The new schedule puts the middle-distance runners on track for the 800-metre heats on Tuesday at 3.25 p.m., for the 1500 heats on Wednesday at 8.35 a.m., with the 800 semi-finals on Thursday at 3.45 p.m.

The 1500 finals remain in its traditional Friday 6.25 p.m. slot and, likewise, the 800 finals start at 4.20 p.m. on Champs Saturday.

Previously, this group got going on Wednesday with the preliminaries of the short race and with the 1500 metre heats and the 800 semis on Thursday.

Those contesting only the 800 also have it easier. In the past, they would have to run their heats, semis and finals on days two, three and five. Now, they trek to the track on days one, three and five.

With Jamaica struggling to make progress in events longer than 400 metres, this small change may help.

Athletes doing the 1500 and 5000 metres have had their busiest day moved from Champs Thursday to Wednesday, with heats in both events. The boon is that they now have Thursday to rest before their respective finals on Friday and Saturday.

The schedule for sprinters isn't very different. However, the usual run for the 400-metre record books in the heats by Christopher Taylor will move from Champs Tuesday to Wednesday.

In the new schedule, the 400-metre heats begin at 1.35 p.m. on Wednesday, with the 200-metre heats going the other way to Champs Tuesday at 6:10 p.m.

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