Sat | Sep 23, 2023

Gaye praised for ‘warrior’ effort

Published:Saturday | August 27, 2022 | 12:06 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Demish Gaye.
Demish Gaye.

JAMAICA’S TROUBLE-free run at last week’s NACAC Open Championships had one blot. On the last of three glorious days in Freeport, Bahamas, an untimely injury threatened to topple the team’s medal hopes in the men’s 4x400-metre relay. Lead-off runner Demish Gaye suffered an injury early in the race, but held on to deliver the baton and the team salvaged a medal.

Team manager Dennis May praised Gaye, the 2019 Pan-American Games runner-up, for his courage.

“He said at the end of the 100 metres, he felt the hamstring. This is why he jogged. Most people would have stopped, but he carried the baton in and we were able, even although behind after the first leg, the others caught off and we got the silver medal,” May recounted.

Karayme Bartley, Javon Francis and 400-metre winner, Christopher Taylor, rallied to reward Gaye with a silver medal, with a time of three minutes, 05.47 seconds. Taylor closed the effort with an anchor leg timed in 45.08 seconds.

“Some people were in a quandary about the effort, they didn’t understand what was happening and afterwards I spoke with him and I said ‘most people would have stopped, you know Demish’. He said, Sir, that’s not what I’m here for. I’m a warrior,” May remarked about his post-race chat with the 2017 and 2019 World Championships 400-metre finalist.

“Tremendous heart,” the team leader praised. “I think he has been having some injury issues, stress fracture and everything, and it tells me about the character of the man. Despite all those things, he has decided to come and compete and put his best forward. We can’t ask for more.”

Gaye’s injury has been diagnosed as a minor hamstring strain.

“He’s having it treated and it’s coming along, but, if you ever have a hamstring problem when you’re running, it will slow you down. My thing is, he had the heart to complete,” the team leader added.

The gritty effort contributed to a 24-medal haul of six gold, nine silver and nine bronze medals. The team established a new high for medals won at the NACAC Open, bettering the 22 medals collected by Jamaica in 2018.

The US team took the gold in the men’s 4x400m with a winning time of three minutes, 01.79 seconds.