Five days ago at the Bentley University Track in Waltham, Massachusetts, Shaquille Dill qualified for the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships at the 800m with a time of 1:50.78. (The IAAF standard for that event is 1:51.00).
Last evening at the National Stadium, Dill, one of the Platinum Force athletes coached by Gerry Swan, was at his blistering best at the 400 metres. Dill powered his way over the one lap event with a new personal best performance and a new Bermuda Junior National Record of 47.64 seconds.
The 400m discipline, in addition to the 800 metres, becomes the second event at which Dill has surpassed a qualifying standard for the IAAF World Junior Championships. The IAAF standard is 47.95 seconds. Dill is the only Bermudian athlete who has qualified, to date, for the World Juniors.
Dillís 47.64 seconds record performance, watched by Coach Swan, has displaced the previous record of 47.9 seconds set - 36 years ago - by Renalda Swan in 1976. Last eveningís outcome was not by coincidence. Dill and coach Swan had it in their plans to make at attempt at the record and the meet and the good weather conditions last evening provided that opportunity. Adding to the significance of the accomplishment is the fact that it was Dillís first race at the individual 400m this year.
Dill is only the second Bermudian junior athlete to run sub-48 seconds at the 400 metres. His previous best time was 48.33 seconds.
Dill and Taylor-Ashley Bean a double medalist at the CARIFTA Games this year and holder of three Junior National Records all set this year were among the five Platinum Force athletes who competed last evening.