Talented Bajan runner gets US break

Talented Bajan runner gets US break
Barbadian Kyle Gale at a secondary school competition.
Photo by George Allayne

The young Barbadian runner, Kyle Gale, who almost broke an Usain Bolt record, but for a technicality last year has now earned himself a four-year full athletics scholarship worth $37,000 annually with Kansas State University.

In April last year Caribbean Life flagged Gale and alerted readers to him as a youngster to watch following his performance at the 2018 CARIFTA games in the Bahamas.

On March 31, the second day of the event at the Thomas Robinson Stadium, Nassau, Gale burst into what he and all fans thought was the record books by breasting the tape first in the Under-17 Boys’ 400 metres with a new time of 47.07 seconds, eclipsing Bolt’s 47.33 seconds set in 2002.

The jubilation among the Barbadian contingent to the games, and more-so the joy that spread across Barbados at the Saturday evening feat, was erased next morning with the news that Gale was penalised and disqualified for stepping on the inside line of his Lane Five a few times on the curve and coming off the curve while entering the home straight.

The Barbados Nation newspaper has reported that since then several United States coaches sought out the obviously talented sprinter, who opted for Kansas State where he is set to register in August.

Seventeen-year-old Gale is a student of the St. Michael School in Bridgetown.

That school’s coach, Gabriel Burnett, said that with the rush of offers following the Bahamas performance, “we looked at the universities that offered us and we went with what we thought was the best fit for Kyle.”

Burnett said, “the coach came down here and he told us, if Kyle is leaving in a year, two years, three years, he wants Kyle. Kyle is comfortable with him. We know the programme there.”

The scholarship includes accommodation, tuition, books, meals and a stipend.

Before his departure, Gale is expected to thrill local fans in March at the upcoming Barbados Secondary Schools Athletics Championships, which will be followed with CARIFTA Games in the Cayman Islands at the end of April.

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