Athletics: Special Events 2009 Preview-New jewels expect to shine again next year


Local athletes will be in action in track and field events for the first time on January 24

The Special Events series will present them with the opportunity to once again showcase their talents and fine-tune their techniques before they line up for normal events.

Instead of four series as has been the case over the previous years, there will be only three in 2009 and the dates have already been set – Special Events 1 on January 24, Special Events 2 on February 14 and Special Events Final on February 21.

All three competitions are scheduled to start at 3pm and all the actions will take place at the local athletics garden – Stad Popiler.

Schools, clubs and individuals are invited to compete in 60m, 150, 300m, 600m and 1 mile races as well as all the field events – hammer, discus, shot putt, long jump, high jump, triple jump and javelin.

Strongman Selwyn Beauchamp paved the way for the juniors by getting the first track and field record of the 2008 season during the Special Events Two competition on Saturday February 9.  On that day, he got his techniques right to release the shot with maximum forward velocity and the result was a new Seychelles record of 15.50m – a distance he improved to 15.56m on Friday March 3.

Only sprint records were beaten in this year’s series and the record breakers were Marius Vinda, Yannick Ernesta over 60m and 150m. They got both manual and electronic best times as they re-wrote the record books.

Meanwhile, the other local track and field competitions Seychellois athletes can look forward to compete in next year are the Pentathlon (reserved for boys and girls under 16 years old) on March 7, Patron’s Cup on March 14, HomeBoyz’ Decathlon and ‘Octathlon’ on March 28, Athletics Cup on April 4, Inter-Island Track and Field meet on La Digue on April 18, River Star Meet on May 16, Youth and Junior Championship on June 6, National Open Championship on July 17-18, and Relay Festival on August 22.
There will also be road races of different distances.

At international level, there will be the Regional Cross-country in Mauritius on March 1, Senior African Athletics Championship in South Africa on March 13-14, IAAF World Cross-country in Aman, Jordan on March 28, Cadet/Junior Championship in South Africa on March 28-29, Mauritius International Meet on April 18, second Coupe de l’Océan Indien in Mayotte on May 9, Southern Region Youth Championships in Lesotho on May 13-14, African Junior Championship in Equatorial Guinea on July 2-5, IAAF World Youth Championships in Bressanonne, Italy on July 8-12, IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany on August 15-23, World Athletics Finals on September 12-13, Jeux de la Francophonie in Lebanon from September 26 to October 6, and IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships on October 4.

G. G.

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