Rasheed Dwyer joined the sub-20 seconds club and Jason Morgan continued his late-season success, but the Jamaican pair and their Americas teammates could not hold on to the IAAF Continental Cup trophy, as Europe claimed the top prize inside the Grande Stade de Marrakech in Marrakech, Morocco, last night.
After losing the title four years ago to the Americas at the last installment of the Continental Cup, after several of their members tested positive for banned substances. Team Europe underlined their continental dominance, tallying 447.5 points to the Americas’ 390.
Africa finished third with 339 points, while Asia-Pacific had to settle for fourth place with 257.5 points.
Dwyer became the ninth Jamaican to break the 20-seconds barrier in the 200m, stopping the clock at 19.98 seconds, the same time credited to winner and Americas teammate Alonso Edwards (Panama), with Qatar and Team Asia-Pacific’s Femi Ogunode, 20.17, taking third place.
It was one of several strong moments for the Americas team, who tried hard but could not reel in the strong European resistance.
Morgan was in second place with a best throw of 62.70m in the discus, before his teammate, Jorge Fernandez, (Cuba) produced his best throw of 62.97m to take his spot, pushing him down to third, with Europe’s Gerd Kanter (Estonia), 64.46m taking the event.
The Maurice Wilson-coached Dwyer could hardly contain his excitement as he revelled in the realisation of an accomplishment that has long captivated his ambitions.
“The words cannot express how I feel right now; getting this PR is an excellent feeling. I have been trying for this for the longest time, and I have finally got a sub-20 seconds time, so I’m very happy,” Dwyer said. “I was trying all season to get the sub-20, that was the aim as you know, and I got it today and I’m just elated.”
“I’m surprised that it came this late in the season. I was planning to pack it up and go home for the rest of the season, but my coach wanted me to come here to execute a good race, I followed his instructions and was able to come out with a PR, so I am very happy,” Dwyer continued.
Morgan was also pleased with his efforts, despite the 11th hour bump from second-place to third, which in fact cost him US$5,000, with second-place finishers claiming US$15,000 and third place getting US$10,000 in prize money. Individual-event winners receive US$30,000 each.
“I have to thank God, it’s been a long year, this journey has been unbelievable, and I feel good,” Morgan said.
Christine Day, Stephenie-Ann McPherson and Novlene Williams-Mills joined American Francena McCorory to lead the Americas to a dominating win in the women’s 4x400m with a time of 3:20.93. Europe was second in 3:24.12 with Africa taking third in 3:25.51.
Dawn Harper, 12.47 seconds, held off the challenge of Europe’s Tiffany Porter, 12.51, in the women’s 110m hurdles with another European, Cindy Roleder, 13.02, taking third, while Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott took third place in the javelin with 83.52 behind Africa’s Ihab El Sayed, 85.44m, and Europe’s Vitezslav Vesely, 83.77m.
The next staging of the IAAF Continental Cup is set for 2018. The IAAF has received bids from the Czech city of Ostrava and Bydgoszcz in Poland.