National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago

media_artricles :: 2018


Shukla, Hagley win national UWI titles

Personal best for TT women’s champ as…

Jelani Beckles :: Newsday :: 29.10.2018

SAMANTHA Shukla and Matthew Hagley were crowned the national winners of the 2018 UWI SPEC International Half Marathon, yesterday. 

Shukla finished second in the women's category, but was the first TT woman to finish and recorded a personal best time of one hour, 21 minutes and 56 seconds (1:21:56). Defending women's TT champion Tonya Nero did not compete as she is studying in the US. Celine Lestrade was second among the local women to finish, when she stopped the clock in 1:32:40. Colombian Palmenia Raquel Agudelo Berrio won the women's category in 1:20:35. Hagley was third overall and the first local athlete to finish in 1:13:22. Shirvan Baboolal was second among the TT men in 1:13:39 and Sherwyn Stapleton was third in 1:14:39. The overall and men's champion was Venezuelan Didimo Armando Sanchez Mendoza in 1:08:49. 

Shukla was satisfied with her effort. "I am very thankful to God that he was able to strengthen me and bring me with such a high placing and a personal best time of one hour and 21 minutes." Shukla was 12 minutes faster than last year after clocking 1:33:16 in the 2017 edition, which saw her finish outside the top five among the women.

Discussing her strategy during the race Shukla simply said, "Focus on God, stick to a pace and let him pull me through."

Shukla said the top runners in the women's category were together for the first half of the race, but eventual winner Berrio opened a gap and never looked back. "We were all together and she was able to break out earlier than I was. She just built a sudden gap and I was just able to work on my pace and I was able to break free from the third person, but I was not able to close as good as I thought I would, but I am thankful with my second place finish."

On her upcoming events Shukla said, "There is Shine 10K at the end of the November, but I don't know if I will be considered for a half marathon by the National Association, we will have to wait and see."

Hagley, who won the national men's title last year, thanked all those who made his victory possible. Hagley said, "The support from my family and friends (was great), as well as my coach, everyone was rooting for me to do well today. I wanted to do well today. I am not satisfied with the time I got which is 1:13, however, I am satisfied with the placing...I am still thankful and I thank God for carrying me through this and everybody who supported me." Hagley improved on his placing after finishing fourth overall in 2017 in 1:13:44.

Hagley said it is only so much one could do when preparing for a challenging race such as the UWI Half Marathon. "It was a difficult race. To me training and preparing yourself mentally for this race, you cannot prepare yourself for it. However, as best as you can prepare, prepare yourself. However, on race day it is just to go through the paces (and do) what you have been doing through training for the past months or weeks and just come and have a good race and pray to God all goes well."


Shukla, Hagley win national UWI titles - Personal best for TT women’s champ as…
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National female winner of the UWI SPEC Half Marathon, Samantha Shukla approaches the finish line, in St Augustine yesterday


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