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Walter hails improved show at Youth Games

Published:Sunday | August 31, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Jackie Walter
Jamaica's four medallists at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, who arrived home early yesterday morning. From left: Natalliah Whyte, 200m gold medallist; Jaheel Hyde, 110m hurdles gold medallist; Obrien Wasome, long jump silver medallist and Martin Manley, 400m gold medallist. -Photo by Shayne Fairman
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Shayne Fairman, Sunday Gleaner Writer

Jackie Walter, chef de mission for Jamaica's team to the second Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Nanjing, China, applauded their improved performance shortly after the delegation touched down at the Norman Manley International Airport just after daybreak yesterday.

"This is certainly better than our last performance where we won one medal. We had some outstanding performances with gold and silver, despite other shortcomings. But we are satisfied, the team did well," Walter underlined.

Team Jamaica won three gold and one silver medal. The gold medallists were: Jaheel Hyde, who clocked a World Youth Best 12.96 seconds in the men's 110m hurdles; Martin Manley, winner of the men's 400m in 46.3; and Natalliah Whyte, who claimed the women's 200m in 23.55. Long jumper Obrien Wasome had a best of 7.44m to capture silver.

Despite tough competition from the rest of the world, and adverse weather conditions, they are satisfied with their exploits. "It was a good feeling to win in world-record time. Just claiming gold is an honour, but achieving the world record is really great," Jaheel Hyde outlined. He added that he was motivated to go for the world record in ideal conditions. "In the heats, I got close to the record. I went hard to break it because my parents' hard work and commitment motivated me all the way," Hyde told The Sunday Gleaner.

Martin Manley also noted that he hit top form at the right time.

"I gave a great performance. I couldn't ask for better." He added that he took some time to get used to the conditions in Nanjing.

INTENSE HEAT

"The heat was intense. I think that getting used to the change in time (Nanjing is 13 hours ahead of Jamaica) posed the greatest challenges for me," said Manley.

Whyte, the only female medallist, said she performed beyond her expectations.

"I didn't expect to win. I knew my potential, so I had to work really hard. I was going for a better time, but it has been a long season," added Whyte

Long jumper Wasome was thrilled with his podium finish.

"It was an amazing feeling to come home with silver. I put in a lot of training and worked for it," he said.