Batiste bides time for maiden victory

MICHAEL BATISTE used his track speed to good effect to clinch a maiden senior cross-country win in the FNB Winter League at Saumarez Nature Trail on Saturday afternoon.

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Michael Batiste, right, waits for the right moment to pass Danny Ray. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 1358712)

MICHAEL BATISTE used his track speed to good effect to clinch a maiden senior cross-country win in the FNB Winter League at Saumarez Nature Trail on Saturday afternoon.

In what developed into a direct battle between two middle-distance specialists, Batiste sat on Danny Ray’s shoulder for the best part of six one-mile laps before sprinting away in the final 200m to become the series’ third winner and set up a tense finish to the Division One championship at L’Ancresse on Boxing Day morning.

‘Coming into the race I felt reasonably confident that I could put in a half-decent performance, as I’ve been able to string a few weeks of decent training together despite having a niggling achilles problem,' Batiste said.

‘During the race I felt good, and the pace wasn’t troubling me at all throughout the entirety to be honest.

‘After Mike had dropped off the pace at halfway I planned on sitting on Danny’s shoulder and to do enough in the final hundred metres or so to win.’

Wilesmith finished a solid third and Wilen held off Jason James to grab fourth spot, while Louise Perrio came home in 37-21, two-and-a-half minutes behind the winner who was clocked at 34min. 57sec.

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