Confident that they would go into "the lion’s den” and take gold medals, the Bahamian athletes at the 40th Carifta Games in Montego Bay, Jamaica, launched their mission yesterday, the first day of the competition, by winning three of the four 100m finals, as well as a quarter-mile race.
First, Devynne Carlton clocked 11.91secs (-3.4w) to take the Under-17 Girls 100m ahead of Shauna Helps of Jamaica ( 11.95) and Nelda Huggins, British Virgin Islands (11.98). Next, Delano Davis won the Under-17 Boys in 10.75 (-0.4w) with Jamaica’s Jevaughn Menzie (10.81) and Trinidad’s Nicholas Douglas (10.87) second and third, respectively.
In the Under-20 categories, the Bahamas powered their way to victory again, when Anthonique Strachan ran 11.38 (-0.8w) to beat the defending champion Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad (11.44) and Christina Williams of Jamaica (11.52). “Well, Jamaica is good at track and field but I guess they not good enough,” Strachan said in response to a media question about how she felt about beating the Jamaicans.
Murphy Breaks Losing Streak
The next and final track event of the night, featuring Jamaica’s pair of Jazeel Murphy and Kemar Bailey-Cole in Under-20 Boys 100m line-up, brought spectators to their feet before the race began. Murphy broke his country's losing streak in the sprints when he raced to a personal best 10.27 (-0.2), pulling Bailey-Cole (10.28) into second and Shavez Hart of the Bahamas (10.51) into third.
Prior to the 100m finals, O’Jay Ferguson (46.49) and Stephen Newbold (47.32), both of the Bahamas, were separated by Jamaica’s Javiere Bell (46.89) for second, in the 400m final for boys under 20. In the Under-17 equivalent, the Trinidadian pair of Machel Cedenio (47.38) and Theon Lewis (48.14) came in ahead of the Barbadian pair of Jerrad Mason (48.20) and John Haynes (48.59), ahead of the Jamaican pair Khadeesh Willis (48.65) and Keniel Harrison (49.05).
The Under-20 Girls 400m race, billed as a showdown between Jamaica’s Chris-Ann Gordon and defending champion Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas, was struck by a major disappointed when Miller, who is also the reigning World Juniors and CAC Juniors champion, was disqualified for violating the false-start rule. She owns the Bahamian junior record at 52.45 and was lined up against Gordon, whom she defeated at the 2010 CAC Juniors and who recently produced 51.62 at the Boys and Girls Championships in Kingston.
Jamaica’s went on to finish 1-2 in the race, with Olivia James (52.64) copping a surprise win over Gordon (52.74) and Afia Charles of Antigua and Barbuda (54.23).
St. Kitts Sets Javelin Record
In earlier finals, Adrian Williams of St. Kitts and Nevis hurled the javelin 60.15m for a new Games record in the Under-17 Boys competition and Jamaica’s Travis Smikle won the Under-20 Boys discus with a throw of 62.84m. Jamaica’s Shanice Porter and Nickeva Wilson were first and second in the Under-20 Girls long jump with 6.12m and 5.86m, respectively. Karene Rebus of Guadeloupe was third with 5.74m.
Matthew Wright, Barbados; James Carey, the Bahamas and Ibrahim Hinds, Barbados were 1-2-3 (3 mins, 58.89 secs, 4:03.07, 4:04.38, respectively) in the Under-20 Boys 1500m run. Akela Jones of Barbados won the Under-17 girls high jump with 1.75m; Jamaica’s Shantal Duncan took the Under-20 girls 1500m in 4:41.61; as expected, Trinidad’s Nicholas Landeau won the Under-17 equivalent in 4:04.84; Jamaica’s Lisa Buchanan ran away with the Under-17 1500m in 4:43.88; Jamaica’s Gleneve Grange captured the Under-17 Girls shot put with 12.38m; Guadeloupe’s Laurianne Laurendot, the Under-20 Girls shot put with 13.80m; and Barbados’ Shamar Rock, the Under-17 Boys triple jump, 13.63m (2.4w).
The Games moves into its 2nd day of competition this morning.