Athletics

Demish Gaye revels in first National 400m title

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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Demish Gaye made his first World Championships team in 2017, finishing second to Nathan Allen at the National Championships and was just happy to have managed to qualify.

In 2018, he was second again at the National Championships, this time to Christopher Taylor, but this time not quite as happy.

A much more experienced Gaye, who has learned a lot over the past two years, finally achieved the status of National champion with a dominant performance at the JAAA/SVL National Championships on Sunday.

Getting out to a faster than usual start, the Sprintec athlete powered down the backstretch and came off the final turn ahead of the field. Running in his usual upright stance, Gaye drove for home, leaving the field in his wake to register his first sub-45 clocking for the season, as he won in 44.83s.

Terry Thomas of Racers Track Club was second in 45.47s, while former National champion Javon Francis was third in 45.60s.

Gaye revealed in a post-race interview that being National champion was a main part of his ambitions this year.

“It's a great feeling, I came second two years back-to-back, so I came out here for the win tonight.”

The 26-year-old also achieved another main objective when he broke through the sub-45-second barrier in the final.

“I wanted to go sub-45, I knew I had it in me, so it was just to get the race plan and the race strategy right.

“All season I have been running, I have been getting out slow, but I have been finishing strong, so the thing was to get out there, get out fast and finish strong,” said Gaye.

Having battled with injuries since the start of the season, the newly minted National champion is looking to push on as he prepares for his second World Championships in Doha, Qatar, later this year.

“For the first part of the season it was up and down because I had some injury concerns but the season is long, so I knew I had some time. Right now it's about racing and staying in shape,” he reasoned.

Doha will be his second World Championships and Gaye is definitely looking for a better performance than two years ago in London.

“Definitely, I am targeting a new personal best and a spot on the podium. I know it won't be easy because the 400m is very competitive right now, but I back myself to do well and trust in the work of my coach going into Doha.”

The former GC Foster College athlete has a personal best of 44.55s and may need to go faster in Doha to fulfil his dream of a spot on the podium.

— Dwayne Richards


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