LONDON, England – Antigua & Barbuda’s 200 metres sprint specialist Brendon Christian is the country’s last chance at medalling at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Christian first competed for Antigua & Barbuda at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece in which he reached the quarter-finals.
Four years later at the 2008 Games in Beijing, China, he made it as far as the semi-finals, but placed fifth.
This year, Christian ran a season best 20.63 seconds to qualify for the semis, but he will have to boost his speed if he intends to go further.
He will run in the second of three heats which commence at 3:10 pm today.
Karin Clashing O’Reilly was the first of the nation’s Olympians to exit the big party. She failed to advance in the 50 metres freestyle swim last Friday.
Afia Charles bowed out in the first round of the women’s 400 metres also on Friday, and ambassador Daniel “Bakka” Bailey made it to the semi-finals of the 100 metres dash on Saturday, finishing second to the king of sprint, Usain Bolt in his first round heat.
But that was as far as he got for in the semis, the level of competition increased dramatically. Bailey ran 10.12 seconds in the first round, but slowed in the semis with 10.16.
Meantime, the repeat men’s Olympic 100 metres champion Bolt says he has told compatriot and training partner Yohan Blake not to think about winning the men’s 200 metres later this week.
The men’s 200 metres got underway at the London 2012 Olympics with the heats on Tuesday, with both Jamaicans easily advancing to Wednesday’s semi-finals.
Blake shocked Bolt in both sprints at the Jamaica Olympic Trials in June but Bolt warned there would be no repeat of those results this week.
“I heard him (Blake) saying a few things about the 200 metres but I told him after the trials that I am not going to let him beat me over 200 metres,” Bolt said here.
“(He) has a lot more work to do if he is going to beat me over 200 metres. (That is) because that’s my main event and I am not going to let myself down when it comes to the 200 metres. I am more serious and determined.”
Last year, Blake went close to Bolt’s 200 metres World record of 19.19 by running a stunning 19.26 seconds, the second fastest time ever.
In Sunday night’s 100 metres final, Blake equalled his personal best of 9.75 as he took silver.
Bolt, who is seeking an unprecedented repeat sprint double after successfully defending his 100 metres title, said winning the 200 metres title was important to his objective of becoming a legend.
“I told him I want this year so I am not going to give him this one,” Bolt said.
“Maybe next year or the year after that, but right now I need this to become a legend so I am working hard.”