If there was any concern about the level of Barbados’ athletics development, that anxiety should have been put to rest during last week and the weekend when one youngster smashed a national record then broke a new barrier, and another runner came close to eclipsing a milestone.
During the American National Collegiate Athletic Association 2019 Outdoor Track and field Championships that ended last weekend, Jonathan Jones wiped out Elvis Forde’s 1984 Barbados record of 45.32 seconds in the 400 metres in the NCAA heats and posted a Barbados first sub-45 seconds blast of 44.64 seconds for fourth place in the final Saturday night.
In those same Championships another young Barbadian, Mario Burke, ran a time of 10.98 seconds in the 100 metres heats and appeared set to break the national record of Olympic bronze medal winner, Obadele Thompson’s 9.87 seconds but fell short with a clocking of 10.06 seconds for sixth place in the final.
Thompson’s national record has stood since he copped Barbados’ first Olympic medal in the 2000 games in Sydney.
During this NCAA event both Jones and Burke qualified for the Tokyo, Japan 2020 Olympics by running below set time for entry into the games.
Jones, 20, a freshman at University of Texas, also specialises in the 200 metres.
Burke, 22, who won a bronze medal in the 100 metres at 2016 World Junior Championships in Athletics in Poland, is a University of Houston senior.