Host country Jamaica applied the brakes on the Bahamas’s sprinting last evening at the 40th Carifta Games in Montego Bay, after the Bahamas dominated the 100m on Saturday, by winning three of the four races in both age categories. Displaying their strength with superb running and smooth baton changes for the most part, Jamaica swept all four sprint relays, breaking the Under-20 Girls record in the process.
The victories were bitter-sweet, though, as Deandra Whitehorne – running a terrific backstetch – picked up an injury, seemingly at the exchange, and Under-20 100m gold medalist Jazeel Murphy met similar fate as he anchored and managed to hold on for victory. Murphy returned this season from an injury he sustained at the March 2010 Champs that kept him out of competition for the rest of the season.
Earlier in the afternoon, Bahamian Anthonique Strachan, who came into the meet with a 23.06 seed, sent a strong message in the Under-20 Girls 200m preliminaries when she equaled Veronica Campbell-Brown’s Games record of 22.93secs. The closest time going into the final today is 23.32 done by Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson in the same race.
Having demolished the sprints Saturday, the Bahamians seemed hot favorites to dominate the relays yesterday, especially with Strachan anchoring one. But that was not to be, as Jamaica, which spent the better part of Friday’s dress rehearsal fine-tuning the relays, went after the Bahamians as if with a vengeance. They left T&T (with 2010 100m champion Michelle-Lee Ahye on the backstretch) in second and Strachan a long way back in third.
Big Javelin Throw
Despite the awesome closing-out performance by Jamaica, the toast of the day might have been T&T’s Keshorn Walcott who erased the 1987 Under-20 Boys javelin record of 65.53m with a massive throw of 72.04m. The 18-year-old first produced 67.81m to erase the record before increasing the distance and putting it further out of reach.
Other finals completed saw Christopher Brown (Jam) winning the Under-17 Boys shot put in a meet record of 17.42m ahead of Trinidad & Tobago’s (T&T) Shervorne Worrell and Kenejah Williams, 15.28 and 15.05, respectively; Jamaica’s Sashagay Marston and Kellion Knibb 1-2 in the Under-20 Girls discus, 45.26m and 42.49m, respectively. Leah Bannister of Barbados was third with 38.09m.
Gleneve Grange of Jamaica won the Under-17 Girls javelin, throwing 35.36m ahead of Dominica’s Chelsea Linton (33.98m and T&T’s Akidah Briggs (33.74m), while 14-yr-old Christoffe Bryan jumped a person best (PB) 2.10m to defeat Norris Bain of the Bahamas (1.90m) and Torino Samuel of St. Kitts & Nevis (1.85m).
In the Under-17 Girls 300m hurdles, Jamaicans Peta-Gaye Williams (41.55secs) and Kimone Green (41.85) were first and second, with Shakera Hall of the Bahamas (42.66) third. At the level up, the 400m hurdles, Janieve Russell of Jamaica won over Katrina Seymour of the Bahamas (58.04) and Kernesha Spann of T&T (59.19).
In the Under-17 Boys 400m, Dario Scantlebury (Bar), D’Mitry Charlton (Bah) and Jahvere Worrell (Bar) grabbed the top spots with times of 54.23, 54.98 and 55.42, respectively. The Under-20 category saw Jamaica’s Omar McCleod (52.42) winning ahead of ahead of T&T’s Brandon Benjamin (53.22), and Barbados’ Tremaine Maloney (53.48).
Grenada’s Genard Paul (7.19m, 0.2w), Jamaica’s Clive Pullen (7.15m, 0.6w) and Barbados’ Charles Greaves (7.11m, 0.3w) held the top three in the Under-20 Boys long jump.
Jamaica's Xavier Boland won the pole vault open, beating St. Lucia's Shem Edwards on the count back after both cleared 4.40m. Another Jamaican, Kazuma Davis, took the bronze with 4.00m.
Kemar Jones of Barbados won the Boys Heptathlon Open with 4662 points ahead of Grenada’s pair of Andell Joseph (4581) and Lindon Toussaint (4544). Hughnique Rolle of the Bahamas captures the Girls 3000m Open in 10 minutes, 27.32 seconds. She was followed home by Bermuda’s Ashley Berry in 10:44.24 and Grenada’s Kendra Richards in 10:56.28. T&T Nicholas Landeau took the Under-17 Boys 3000m in 8:47.05.
In the Under-17 Girls sprint relay, Jamaica won in 45.75secs, Bahamian 2nd in 46.16 and T&T 3rd in 47.37. Jamaica’s Under-17 boys won in 40.92, T&T was 2nd in 41.13 and Bahamas 3rd in 41.75. Jamaica’s Under-20 girls clocked a meet record 44.08 to defeat T&T 45.80. The Bahamas, with Anthonique Strachan anchoring to third place, was disqualified for passing outside of the zone. And in the last track event of the night, Jamaica’s Under-20 Boys raced to 39.75 ahead of Trinidad 39.91 and the Bahamas 40.29.
At the end of the second and penultimate day, Jamaica led the medal standings with 21 gold, 12 silver and 3 bronze. Barbados was in second with 6 gold, and the Bahamas third with 5 gold. The Games end today with the 200m races and 4x4 relays as major highlights.