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TrackLife International

G. C. Foster’s Demish Gaye A Promising ¼-Miler

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Jamaica’s Intercollegiate 400m champion Demish Gaye is serious about his intentions this season. After convincingly winning the men’s Olympic development 400m race at the Jamaica Invitational International (JII) world challenge meet in Kingston last weekend, the rising quarter-miler, a student at the G. C. Foster College of Physical Education & Sport in Spanish Town, said he was training hard to make the Olympic team in June.

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Gaye at the Penn Relays. Kelvin Campbell photo

Gaye, who until Saturday, had the fastest time of 45.57secs for the distance and the fourth fastest time in the world since the start of this season, not only ran 45.61 but also did it in fine style to defeat former national champion Javier Bell (46.04). Shortly after Gaye’s victory, Javon “Donkeyman” Francis, running against a quality 400m field, won in 44.85 to make him the fastest Jamaican over this distance for the year, pushing Gaye into the number two spot.

The emerging athlete recently experienced international competition as a member of Jamaica’s 4×4 relay team that placed fourth at the U.S.-hosted World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon, behind the US, the Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago and ahead of Nigeria and Belgium. Early in April, Gaye was judged the performer of the Intercollegiate track and field Championships, where he clocked a personal best 45.57 in the men’s 400m to erase the previous record of 45.93 set in 2014 by national record holder Rusheen McDonald.

A staple on G. C. Foster’s mile relay team at home and abroad, the smooth strider has had a string of sub-46s but has not yet been seriously tested in the flat 400. However, he is in impressive running form, is confident while in his own zone on the track, and maintains his composure from gun to tape as he strategically goes by his rivals.

Trained by national coach Maurice Wilson, Gaye is consistent and seems set to lower his time to the 44 range by the Jamaica Trials in just over a month. Such achievement would more than likely allow him a place on the team to Rio as an individual 400m representative as well as put him in the relay pool.
Given the status of Jamaica’s men’s mile relay, he would be a welcome addition to relieve the burden being carried by the “Donkeyman” since the 2013 World Championships, when he took the team from fifth position to second.

Incidentally, on Saturday, Gaye defeated Ricardo Chambers and Riker Hylton, who collectively have represented Jamaica at the Olympics and World Championships but were relegated to the Olympic development group at the JII.

Is 23-yr-old Demish Gaye, therefore, Jamaica’s 400m find of 2016?

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