Confusion over Dawkins "NR"
COMMONWEALTH GAMES athletics chiefs were set to reassess their history books today, as doubts arise over the awarding of a national record to Sam Dawkins.
The Team Jersey track athlete, running in the men’s 200m at Gold Coast 2018, dipped under 22-seconds for the first time in his career to claim seventh in his heat, but admitted confusion post-race after seeing ‘NR’ next to his time of 21.91s.
Fellow Jerseyman Colin Campbell, a summer and winter Olympian, holds the Island 200m record, having clocked 21.5s in a warm-up event for the Mexico Olympics in 1968. However, those in charge of the Commonwealth Games' national-record database initially believed Tyler Johnson's mark of 22.02s – set at the Island Games in 2017 – was the time to beat.
Johnson also ran 21.83s indoors in January to break Jersey Spartan AC’s 32-year-old record, but international officials were this morning unclear on whether indoor times count as outright Jersey records. Consideration will also be given to Johnson's eligibility, given that he only moved to the Island in September 2015.
Regardless of his time’s significance, Dawkins remains pleased with his second Games outing, after setting a new personal best in the 400m heats on Sunday.
‘I was as surprised as anyone when they put up “NR”, but record or no record I’m so relieved ... I’ve been wanting to get under 22s for ages,’ he said.
‘It’s a shame they restarted my race because my reaction out of the blocks on the first one was rapid. No-one false-started, but someone twitched in the blocks so they brought it back. They gave us our reactions afterwards, and the second time around I was the slowest out of the blocks.
‘But at the end of the day I got a PB, which is all I can ask for. And I’ve got the whole season still ahead.’
Dawkins, who finished behind Canadian Aaron Brown – a 2016 Olympic relay medallist – added: ‘I’ll have a break for a couple of weeks now, because I have done a lot of competing early on. Now I can enjoy it out here and support the guys in other sports.’