By E. Glenford Prescott
St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ “sprint queen” Kineke Alexander looked set for gold but won a bronze in the women’s 400 metres at the Pan American Games in Toronto Thursday night as the United States took the gold and silver in a late surge in the final 15 metres.
While her countrymen were still brooding over the disappointment of seeing Courtney Williams exiting the 200 metres in the first round, Alexander led the U.S. duo of Kendall Baisden and Shakima Wimbley for a major part of the distance and looked in contention for the gold but could not match the final burst from the pair of 20-year-olds.
After placing second in her semi-finals behind Baisden in a time of 52.24 seconds, Alexander went to the starting block with the hope of thousands resting on her 68-kilogramme frame and possibly in the knowledge that her tiny nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines was under threat from the misbehaving “Kick’ em Jenny”, an underwater volcano, some 50 miles off St. Vincent that was showing heighten activity.
Her response was to put on a pyroclastic display that just came up short of blowing the dome in the final moments but was still good enough to see teammates and supporters erupt in spontaneous applause as she came home in 51.50 seconds.
It was only SVG’s second medal at the Games, which they first attended in 1991, a trip that was rife with scandal.
The first medal was won by Eswort Coombs in the men’s 400 metres when he placed third in Argentina in 1995.
In Thursday’s final, the 29-year-old Alexander looked unfazed and confident as she took up her position under starters’ orders. But she had to contend with a field of some of the best talents in female middle distance running in the region and was able to give a good account of herself.
Baisden was true to her traditional race strategy, appeared to be running well within herself until the 250-metre mark, when she trailed the powerful striding Alexander. She gained momentum coming out of the curve and was even with a group chasing the leader before she turned on her signature finish to win it in the final 20 meters in 51.27 seconds. Teammate Wimbley (51.36 seconds) just got ahead of the Vincentian who was able to stay ahead of the fast finishing Jamaican pair of Chrisaan Gordon (51.75 seconds) and Anatasia LeRoy (52.00 seconds).
It was said to be the first ever sweep of the top-two spots for Team USA, and it was only the second U.S. gold in Pan American Games history in the event.
That was a very commendable performance by Ms. Alexander , and she is to be congratulated
for her performance . Let me state however that Mr. Prescott , should do some research on the Pan Am Games .
The first Vincentian , to win a medal in the Pan Am Games was Maurice King , who won a Silver Medal in the 1959 Pan American Games that was held at Soldier Field in Chicago . in the 132 lbs class . This information can be gleaned by checking the 1959 Pan Am Games , by googling the 1959 Pan American Games .
What is remarkable about Maurice King’s performance is the fact that he was his own Trainer
and had his own Gym where he trained , He also held ALL the positions in the St. Vincent Weight Lifting Association , by that I mean , President , V.P , Secretary etc .
Yo VERIDICAL! Pan am games 59…SVG would have been part of the Federation, right? I am guessing that’s why Maurice King medal is being overlooked as part of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines medal count in the Pan Am games archives or should I say part of Mr Prescott’s reporting.
But yeah, you are correct, Mr Maurice King’s medal should be included when speaking about Vincy achievement at the Pan Am games.
…I believe and I think most folks hold the view, that if Vincy athletes have a decent running track, we would perform far better on the international stage than what we are doing at the moment. Its amazing given our past sporting achievements and our love for sports; how apathetic are those fools, we elect to high office to run the country.Sports enthusiasts are truly #$%k with those jokers in office.
I hear Gonsalves talking some rubbish about another hotel going at Mt Wynne, really…how about a decent sports arena, with a running track…but no, these f#$kers don’t think in this fashion; they are just concern about making our people be waiters and servants to white people. How about investing in your people and give them the resources to be the next Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Kirani James…and surpass Vincy stalwarts likes, Guy Chow, Pete Morris, Pouie, Coombs,Stellar Boyea and others. Vincyland have been regressing in all the sports that we have excelled in over the years and this is mainly due to the fact that our leaders have totally ignored the area of sports development and just spin top in mud with empty rhetoric.
…Speaking of Bolt, is he ready for the World Championships? I say no!…lol…Gatlin is on fire, I think if Bolt beats Gatlin in this Championship, it would be the “greatest” achievement in his career…ok that’s BS…but it would be some comeback of monumental proportion.
Nicely done Ms Alexander. Keep the Vincy flag flying high. I saw the race and I must say that I was upset that we didn’t get the gold. Ms Alexander had the race in her hand and just ran out of gas in the last 60…clearly a rethink on the race strategy for the future.
What a joke!
This is only the second medal ever won by SVG in the Pan Am Games; the other one was a bronze as well. Two third-place medals since the first meet in 1937. What a glorious accomplishment. I’m so proud my heart is about to burst!
SVG ranks fortieth of all teams that have ever competed in the Pa Am Games — last place or close to it — a meet that generally attracts second tier athletes because it is beyond the notice (and typical pay day) of first tier athletes like Usain Bolt and scores of others who are competing in Europe instead or training hard for the far more prestigous World Games which are coming up soon.
No wonder that Canada, which never scores very high in in the medal count at the Olympics, has won so many medals in the second-class Pan Am Games.
C.ben- David ,
If you read what I stated you would not have committed the same error that the Author of this
Article made , so l recommend that you read I stated about Weight Lifter Maurice King . You
are a genuine Troglodyte .
My opinion is that ALL persons who win Medals in International Sports must be saluted , because of the fact that St. Vincent & the Grenadines is a comparatively small Country , with limited Financial Resources , Trainers ; Facilities etc .
But your malady obviously prevents you from taking the above into consideration , It is very
obvious that write & Type long before your brain gets engaged , and as a result , most of what
you write end up being Nonsense , and that is putting it mildly .
You made so proud to be Vincentian, I am happy for you, just remember keep working hard , and you’ll get gold one day.
Now , the next thing is to get this c- Ben, and this Peter binuse to shut up.
Good stuff girl, and thank you.
Some years ago , Mr. Roy Austin , a Vincentian , who was the USA Ambassador to Trinidad &
Tobago , was the featured Speaker , at the SVG Sports award ceremony , I was in SVG at the
time , and in his address , the Ambassador mentioned that in St. Vincent there should be a building in which well known Sports Personalities in SVG should be honoured . But that has not yet happened .
The gist of what Mr. Austin was stating is that if there is no record of the feats of those who have brought Honour & Glory to SVG , their deeds will be forgotten . Mr. Austin called it a Hall of Fame Building . It seems to me that starting that project may have been forgotten , by all .
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