FINAL MEDAL COUNT
Gold Silver Bronze Total
Jamaica 33 22 11 66
Barbados 9 8 11 28
Bahamas 8 11 11 30
Trinidad 8 12 9 29
Guadeloupe 3 1 2 6
Turks & Caicos 2 0 0 2
French Guiana 1 0 0 1
Martinique 1 0 1 2
Grenada 1 2 3 6
St Kitts/Nevis 1 0 2 3
Bermuda 0 3 3 6
Dominica 0 2 2 4
St. Lucia 0 2 1 3
Cayman Islands 0 1 0 1
Suriname 0 1 0 1
Netherland Ant 0 0 3 3
Antigua/Barbuda 0 0 2 2
British VI 0 0 1 1
Motivated by what they took as a challenge coming out of Jamaica that no country would leave the 2011 Carifta Games with gold, the Bahamians journeyed to Montego Bay with 70 athletes to take the lion’s share of medals and end Jamaica’s quarter-century hold on the Games. Their mission seemed on track when, on the first day, they stormed three of the four 100m finals up for grabs and Jamaica won only one.
Fast forward to the third and final day of the Games, and Jamaica was enjoying a gold rush. While the Bahamas seemed to have been focusing on the flat sprints, Jamaica was digging deep into the hurdles and field events. The medal rush culminated with three victories of the four mile relays – a record in one and a near-record in another – as the curtain came down on Games. The Bahamas won the eighth relay and final event on the track, the Under-20 boys 4x4, in a new Bahamas junior record of 3mins, 07.14secs but, based on the IAAF rule, was disqualified for running on the left line of his lane, which belongs to the runner on his left.
Ashinia Miller: shot put record.
And so, Jamaica emerged Carifta champions for the 26th time in a row with 66 medals ahead of the gutsy and vastly improved Barbados with 27 (and 2nd based on the quality of medals) and the Bahamas, 31.
Anthonique Strachan of the Bahamas, who won the Girls Under-20 100m before equaling the 200m record in a preliminary, came back to win the 200m final in 23.17secs, and copped the Austin Sealy award for her outstanding performance at the meet. Strachan later said she went to collect [medals], and she did. She will be back next year in Bermuda.
Among the most memorable performances on the final day was Jamaica’s Ashinia Miller who threw 19.47m to erase Trinidad and Tobago’s Quincy Wilson’s 2010 record of 18.67m in the Under-20 Boys shot put. Miller, whose previous best throw was 18.28m, also set a new Jamaica record.
In the Under-17 Boys 800m, the top two athletes broke the record of 1:53.72 set in 2005. Barbados’ Jerrad Mason took the gold in 1:51.79 and Bahamas’ Ashley Riley ran 1:53.57 for the silver.
The Under-17 4x4 relay was a race to be remember for the determination and courage of the winners. Jamaica's team with Rohan Walker (5th in the 200m final) on the anchor was given a commanding lead and sent on his way to be chased by T&T’s Machel Cedenio, the under-17 200m and 400m champion. With Walker entering the straight for home soon tiring, Cedenio began closing rapidly and was soon breathing down the back of the tiring Walker, who managed to hold one for the gold in 3:15.19, one-tenth of a second away from record set by T&T in 2005. T&T registered 3:15.35.
The Jamaica under-20 girls then raced to a record-breaking victory in the 4x4, the penultimate race, and erased their country’s 2006 record of 3:31.90. The squad of Olivia James (the 400m champion), Janieve Russell (the 400m hurdles champion), Simoya Campbell (the 800m champion ) and Chris-Ann Gordon (the 400m silver medalist) stopped the clock at 3:31.47, leaving T&T for the silver (3:39.88) and Bahamas with superstar quarter-miler Shaunae Miller anchoring for the bronze (3:41.05).
Following splits of 53.1, 53.4, and 53.8 for the first three runners, Gordon was left with little work to do. However, the 16-yr-old Gordon who came into the Games with a personal best of 51.81secs this year, did not leave anything to chance. She kept her foot on the gas, ran a scorching 51.2 for the anchor and pocketed her first gold at Carifta. Russell later said a record was not in the plan, but the team went out full of courage after the younger girls had set the pace.
Although Carifta saw several records and outstanding performances, the action that baffled many a spectator was in the Under-17 Boys 200m final when Jamaica’s Jevaughn Minzie handed the race to T&T’s 400m winner Machel Cedenio. Leading up to some 40m from home, Minzie, with arms outstretched, turned as if to celebrate and call the chasing Cedenio and lost ground. Cedenio blew by him in a split second for the gold, in 21.43. Minzie managed second in 21.60.
Minzie soon returned to run the second leg of the Under-17 Boys 4x4 relay and help put the team in a commanding lead. After their victorious run that came within a hair’s breath of breaking the record, Minzie, who volunteered to run the 4x4 only an hour after running the 200m final, said he had learned his lesson and just had to make up for losing that 200m gold.
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