Thu | Apr 2, 2020

Jamaica blazes new trail in field events in Doha

Published:Monday | October 7, 2019 | 12:10 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter
World champion Tajay Gayle celebrates winning the the men's long jump with a leap of 8.96m at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships.
Silver medalist in the men discus, Jamaica's Fedrick Dacres, celebrates his second place at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Danniel Thomas-Dodd celebrates her silver medal after her final throw in the women's shot put finals at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships. Dodd placed second in the event with a throw of 19.47m.
Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts celebrates silver in the women’s triple jump event at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships yesterday.

Doha, Qatar:

With sprint legend Usain Bolt now retired and many of his contemporaries at the back end of their careers, there have been concerns that Jamaica’s track and field could be sinking into a dark phase again.

Fears were heightened in 2017 after the country registered its lowest medal tally at the World Championships since 1987 when it won only four medals at the London World Championships – one gold and three bronze.

But the 2019 championships have proven otherwise, as not only has the black, green and gold maintained a presence on the track, but the island’s athletes have also ventured into uncharted waters in the field events, securing 12 medals – 3 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze.

For the first time in Jamaica’s rich athletics history, the island won the men’s long jump at a World Championships or Olympic Games as Tajay Gayle leaped to 8.69 metres – the longest jump since 2009 – to claim gold on the second day of the Doha championships.

The former Papine High student athlete also broke his idol James Beckford’s 22-year-old national record of 8.62m.

Fedrick Dacres achieved another first for Jamaica when he hurled the disc 66.94m to win silver in the men’s discus throw final.

Dacres came into the meet with the second farthest throw (70.78m) this season. He was beaten by Sweden’s Daniel Stahl (67.69m), who also has the world-leading throw in the event at 71.86m.

“I think this medal shows that anything is possible when you don’t limit your mind to what you see around you,” Dacres said after the event last Monday. “When I was growing up, there was no one doing this (winning a medal in discus throw), but it can be done if you have the right guidance.”

Danniel Thomas-Dodd also shared similar sentiments after winning Jamaica’s first medal in the women’s shot put at an outdoor global athletics championships.

“I remember I was at a track meet and this girl said to me that no one from Jamaica ever did well in the shot put, so it’s best if I just stop, and I kept that with me,” Thomas-Dodd recalled after throwing 19.47m to finish second behind China’s Lijiao Gong (19.55m).

Shanieka Ricketts claimed Jamaica’s fourth medal in the field last night, when she leaped to 14.92m to win silver in the women’s triple jump. Her performance is only bettered by one other Jamaican in history – Trecia Kaye Smith, who won the event in 2005 in Helsinki, Finland.

This is the first time Jamaica has won more than one medal in the field at the World Championships as the athletes secured four in Doha.


Jamaican medallists


Tajay GAYLE – M – Long Jump

Shelly-Ann FRASER-PRYCE – W – 100 Metres

JAMAICA – W – 4x100 Metres Relay



Fedrick DACRES – M – Discus Throw

JAMAICA – M – 4x400 Metres Relay

Shanieka RICKETTS – W – Triple Jump

Danniel THOMAS-DODD – W – Shot Put

JAMAICA – X – 4x400 Metres Relay



Shericka JACKSON – W – 400 Metres

Danielle WILLIAMS – W – 100 Metres Hurdles

Rushell CLAYTON – W – 400 Metres Hurdles

JAMAICA – W – 4x400 Metres Relay



Final medal standings


1 UNITED STATES 14 11 4 29

2 KENYA 5 2 4 11

3 JAMAICA 3 5 4 12

4 PR OF CHINA 3 3 3 9

5 ETHIOPIA 2 5 1 8