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Rasheed Dwyer Claims Commonwealth Games Gold

Rasheed Dwyer Claims Commonwealth Games Gold

Posted by Shanelle Weir on January 14, 2015

Emerging from the impressive and talented class of 2007 at the Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships, Rasheed Dwyer is one of the latest Jamaican sprinters to burst onto the international scene.

The Class 1 100m final in 2007 was won by one Yohan Blake of St Jago High in 10.21 seconds. The promising Remaldo Rose of Camperdown was second in 10.43 ahead of Kingston College's Cawayne Jervis with 10.60. Jason Livermore of Calabar finished fourth with 10.64, ahead of Nickel Ashmeade of St Jago with 10.68, and Calabar's Warren Weir sixth with 10.69. Dwyer was seventh in 10.71 seconds, and Keneil Lee eighth in 10.81 seconds.

From that class, Blake became a World Championships gold medallist; Ashmeade is a Diamond League champion; Weir is an Olympic 200m bronze medallist; Livermore is a Commonwealth Games 200m bronze medallist and 4x100m gold medallist. So it was left to Dwyer to deliver and that he did in 2014.

The 25-year-old actually announced himself by capturing gold in the 200m at the World University Games in 2011 in Shenzhen, China, with a time of 20.20 seconds. Two years later in Russia, he was dethroned, but placed second in 20.23 seconds.

The Camperdown High and GC Foster College student had made his mark, but 2014 would be the year that Dwyer really became a household name in Jamaica, and by extension, the world.

In May at the Jamaica Invitational International Meet, Dwyer edged out American Curtis Mitchell in the 200m, winning in 20.53 seconds.

Dwyer was also a part of Jamaica's gold medal 4x200m team at the IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas where he ran in the heats.

Then at the Jamaican Senior Championships in June, Dwyer impressed with a 20.22 clocking in the semi-final in which he had behind him Warren Weir, who apparently eased up after failing to catch Dwyer off the bend.

The stage was set for the grand finale to determine the Jamaican champion in the absence of Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake.

Dwyer would repeat his win over Weir to become the Jamaican 200m champion in a personal best 20.04 seconds ahead of Olympic bronze and World Championships silver medallist Warren Weir, who cruised in second at 20.17. Jason Livermore was third in 20.25.

The same three would represent Jamaica at the Commonwealth Games in July and they duly swept the podium in Scotland in another historic performance similar to the sweep at the 2012 Olympics by Bolt, Blake and Weir.

In a repeat of the top three in the Jamaican trials, Rasheed Dwyer got the better of Weir, with teammate Jason Livermore taking bronze. Dwyer clocked 20.14 seconds with Weir never getting close enough to challenge and finishing 0.12 seconds behind in 20.26. Livermore helped rewrite the history books by finishing third in 20.32 seconds. This sweep had never been done at these games.

"Words cannot explain how I am feeling right now. I am now Commonwealth Games champion and I know this is going to be a stepping stone to my career," he was quoted as saying.

Stepping stone was right as Dwyer would sparkle even further in September, this time representing the Americas team at the IAAF Continental Cup where he would dip below the 20-second barrier for the first time to end his year in style.

Running out of lane seven, Dwyer sped off the curve in front and was pipped on the line by teammate Alonso Edwards of Panama. Both were timed at 19.98 seconds, which is a personal best. He also had behind him Christophe Lemaitre of France in fourth in 20.28, representing Europe.

So it was a wonderful year for Dwyer, who said the sky's the limit for him once he follows instructions.

DWYER... I am now Commonwealth Games champion and I know this is going to be a stepping stone to my career.

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