Fri | Jun 5, 2020

The big clash that never happened! - Bennett believes Davis and Moore could have run sub-11 at Champs this year

Published:Tuesday | April 7, 2020 | 12:00 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter

The cancellation of this year’s ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships because of the outbreak of the coronavirus has left many unanswered questions.

Chief among them is the question of who is the fastest schoolgirl in Jamaica as athletics fans were eager to see the clash in the Class One Girls’ 100m between defending champion Ashanti Moore of Hydel High School and the Class Two Girls’ 100 and 200 metres record holder Kevona Davis of Edwin Allen High.

Corey Bennett, who coaches Moore, said that the clash could have produced the first female sub-11 seconds run at Champs as he suspected that both girls were in positions to deliver their lifetime bests.

“They both ran 11.1 uncontested, so it would have been interesting to see what they would have brought out of each other,” Bennett said. “I think the potential was there to see a sub-11 seconds -if not sub-11 at least sub-11.1. The record of 11.13 would have been broken at least.”

The mark of 11.13 seconds belongs to Jamaican sprinting legend Veronica Campbell-Brown, who achieved the feat in 2000.

Davis’ personal best of 11.16 is ranked second behind Campbell-Brown on the all-time Champs list while Moore’s 11.17 is ranked third.

The Edwin Allen student ran 11.16 in 2018 and 11.19 in 2019 unchallenged in Class Two while Moore beat the Class One field by more than 10 metres last year when she registered 11.17 seconds.

Both girls avoided each other throughout the development meets this season, further heightening the suspense that has now been dissipated by the advent of the novel coronavirus.

“I thought that Ashanti started the season pretty well. She had a hiccup midway the season. Her times this season were ahead of where she was last year going into Champs, so that made me believe that she was on target or ahead of target. Even her times in training were ahead of where she was last year,” Bennett said.

Moore has a season best of 11.47 seconds, a time she did at the Camperdown Classics.

Davis was having a fairly good season, too. She produced her fastest time of the year – 11.35 at the Carifta Trials.

But Bennett believes the race would have been won by the girl who could make the least mistakes under the pressure that it was generating.

“The race was quite pressuring in the build-up to Champs, and sometimes people don’t operate well under pressure, and that is something that we will never know now,” he explained.

“Both girls did extremely well running by themselves, but we are not so sure what would have happened if they came under tremendous pressure. That, to me, is the downfall of not seeing it.”

The 2020 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships was called off days after Jamaica confirmed its first case of the coronavirus as the Government put a ban on large gatherings to slow the spread of the virus.