The women’s 400 metres in Beijing is shaping up to be a two-way battle between Shaunae Miller of The Bahamas and American Allyson Felix in the event. Both athletes are now ranked one and two, respectively, going into the championships. The Bahamian won in 49.92 seconds at the Lausanne Diamond League Meet while Felix clocked 50.05 to win at the United States National Championships. Felix, who has won multiple titles in the 200 metres and who got a wild card to compete in the event in Beijing after being the Diamond League winner last year, opted for the 400 metres instead. World leader Francena McCorory who had her worst race this season at the American Trials where she finished fourth, will now only have relay duties to do. With McCorory out, Felix who finished a close second in the on-lap event four years ago in Daegu, behind Amantle Montsho of Botswana, could see this an easier option than the half-lap event. She could regret this decision, however, as she has Miller to contend with. Like Felix, Miller is blessed with good 200m and clocked a best of 22.14 when winning at the Jamaica Invitational meet in May. As the only sub-50 second 400m runner in the field, Miller must be confident going into the event as she is both a former World Youth and World Junior champion. Two years ago as a teenager, she finished fourth in Moscow in the 200m. Without a doubt, Felix is one of the most talented athletes in the world and has played important roles on the United States 4×100 and 4x400m relay teams. She must be pretty confident here and a repeat of her 2011 form in the event where she clocked a personal best of 49.59 could see her getting the better of Miller. Jamaica’s Stephenie McPherson and Shericka Jackson should also do well with McPherson poised to win a bronze medal. For gold it looks a straight battle between Miller and Felix, and Felix is given the slight edge to take home her first major 400 metres title. But if she puts a foot wrong, Miller will definitely take full advantage. MY TOP THREE: 1. Allyson Felix (USA), 2. Shaunae Miller (Bahamas) 3. Stephenie McPherson (Jamaica). -Raymond Graham MILLER CONFIDENT
Fallout over airlineOne day after the Director of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Egbert Field came out saying that the Guyana Airways Corporation (GAC) never filed an application with the Authority to operate in Guyana, the airline has lashed back saying that the GCAA is doing nothing but trying to create discourse and is being vindictive in its ways.Guyana Airways CEO Collin AbramsIn response to the statements made by Field, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the airline, Collin Abrams during a telephone interview with Guyana Times on Monday morning said the GCAA is being vindictive, especially since the airline recently won a court order against the Government and because the Director happens to be affiliated with Fly Jamaica.“For him to say that, it’s vindictive and I don’t know why he’s got this smear campaign against Guyana Airways,” Abrams argued.According to the airline’s CEO, GAC met with the Civil Aviation Authority back in March 19, 2018, and the two were locked in discussions concerning the operations of the airline.However, it was five months after the initial talks that the airline was greeted with a court order, which documented that the name of the airline had been removed from the registry; it also ordered a resubmission of documents for the proposed operations.“We filed a pre-application…then we filed a PASI (Pre-application Statement of Intent) -that’s the pre-application stage and after you filed that…we were supposed to file the actual AOC (Air Operator Certificate) application, but we could not have filed the application until we had everything in place (such as) contracts for the aircraft, ground handling, hire contracts, every single thing had to be in place before you could submit the AOC application,” Abrams explained.He went on to say that the airline was hoping to resume its application from where it left off. “Five months later when we were in the midst of our process they (GCAA) interjected themselves, telling us, in a legal matter, that they stopped the entire process,” Abrams recalled.GCAA Director Egbert FieldNonetheless the CEO said that GAC will be hand-delivering that court order, where they won the case against the Government for the use of the airline’s name, to resume the process.On Saturday Field said the airline never filed an application to operate in Guyana.Although it has been in the air that the proprietor of the airline had submitted his application for operations, the director noted, “They’ll have to submit an application. They never did submit an application before and I want to make it pretty clear.”According to him, Guyana Airways filed an ‘intent of operations’ on the work they intended to pursue. Guyana Airways was hoping to begin operations in February 2019 as was related by its CEO.His dream may once again be postponed as this may not be possible since it takes at least 12 or 13 months before an airline’s application is approved due to the processing requirements.This period, Field said, is “absolutely important” as officials would use this phase to ensure that all aspects of the operation are covered such as training for staffers, evaluation of personnel and the documentation of the airline, essentially the operations manual, flight attendant manual, weight and balance manual, maintenance manual and several others, to outline the procedures for the specific section.Government had taken the private airline to court this year for using the name which was used by two other companies which no longer exist.The inconvenienced businessman explained during a previous interview, “Two years after we’ve been registered and putting all this together and spending all this money, they just snuffed the life out of us without a hearing, without anything. We just had a marshal show up at our secretary’s home and that’s it, so they kinda murdered us.”According to him, 110 flight attendants have already been hired for the two airlines which will soon provide flights to Cuba, Barbados and Trinidad for now and will extend its services to the United States of America when Guyana becomes authorised to do so.