Continue to honour our athletes – Turner
When Inez Turner went up to receive her plaque at the JAAA/Jamalco Puma Development meet on Saturday, the former national junior and senior 800 metres champion paused the photo opportunity and asked the organisers to invite the Vere Technical team to take part in the proceedings.
Turner made it clear and insisted that the athletes from her alma mater should get up close and personal with the former standout as it is important in motivating and maintaining the strong history and preservation of the sport.
“I am very pleased for this accolade, and every time I come back to this field, where it all began, I feel honoured. Doing something like this helps upcoming athletes know who were the pioneers who left a legacy. They may have heard the name, but to have them see us and honour us will motivate future athletes to strive for great things,” Turner said.
The Olympian was among five track and field stalwarts who received honours at the JAAA/Jamalco Puma Development meet, which was held at the Jamalco Sports Club in Clarendon on Saturday.
Turner, the 1994 Commonwealth Games 800m champion and current head coach at Fayetteville State University in Arkansas, was the first Jamaican woman to break the two-minute mark, and she is hoping that the country will continue to churn out record breakers with the immense talent on display.
“Jamaica has a lot of talent, and we can take middle-distance running to the next level just like we are doing in the sprints. These kinds of occasions are important because it lets the younger athletes know that we were once in their shoes and we started out running on this very grass track,” she said.
Among the other honourees receiving plaques were the immediate past president of the JAAA, Dr Warren Blake, former national 400m champion Michael McDonald and former national 800m record holder Seymour Newman. The late Olympian Neville Myton was also honoured and his plaque was collected by his niece Tesonia Webster-Lawrence.
In the meantime, Edwin Allen High made it a clean sweep in the 800m event named in honour of Turner.
Rickeisha Simms took the event in two minutes 22.85 seconds, with her teammate Monique Stewart second in 2:23.78 and Kevongaye Fowler third in 2:26.01.
Carlando Chambers of St Jago High secured the men’s equivalent by claiming the Newman-Myton Challenge Cup after clocking 2:00.09. Franklyn Tayloe of Foga Road was second in 2:01.15, with G. C. Foster’s Roy Miller third in 2:02.68.
Bellefield High secured the inaugural Mixed 4x400m relay after clocking 3:51.30 to claim the Michael McDonald Trophy. Holmwood Technical were second in 3:53:78, with Bustamante High third in 4:02:82.