Athletics

Foote happy for Williams' Austin Sealy Award success

Holmwood Tech upset Hydel in mile relay

Saturday, April 27, 2019

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PHILADELPHIA, USA — Shaquena Foote is happy that her teammate Briana Williams won back-to-back Austin Sealy Award, as the outstanding athlete at last weekend's 48th Carifta Games, held in the Cayman Islands.

Both young ladies won three gold medals — two individual and one relay — and both were in contention for the prestigious award, when Williams, who ran times of 11.71 seconds and 22.89 seconds, the latter the world Under-20 leading mark of the year so far and a qualifying mark for the IAAF World Championships later this year — got the nod from the panel of media professionals.

Foote won the 400m and 400m hurdles and ran an important leg on the gold medal-winning 4x400m relay team on the final day, and told the Jamaica Observer earlier this week she was pleased with her efforts.

“I think that I did great,” said the Petersfield High student who ran times of 52.63 seconds in the 400m and a personal best 58.05 seconds — fifth in the world in the women's Under-20. “I think I did what was expected in the 400m but I think I surprised myself in the hurdles race I did not know that I would win.”

Foote, who started the hurdles event only this season and is still learning the technique, said she had considered herself a candidate for the Austin Sealy Award.

“I thought that I could win the award,” she said, “but after I saw Briana in the 4x100m relays I thought she would win it. It did not bother me, though. She is my teammate and I am glad she was able to win it.”

Seventeen-year-old Williams had received the award in 2018, after she won the Under-17 sprint double to join a select group of athletes who have won back-to-back Austin Sealy Awards — including Bahamian javelin thrower Laverne Even, who won in 1983-84; Cayman horizontal jumper Kareem Street-Thompson in 1989-90; Trinidadian sprinter Darrell Brown in 1999-2000; Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt in 2003-04; and Bahamian sprinter Anthonique Strachan in 2011-2012.

—Paul Reid


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