Jamaica's juniors reap 26 medals in two days at 44th Carifta Games
Jamaica’s juniors, determined to better last year's 89 medal haul, continue to flex their muscles at the Silver Jubilee Stadium in St Kitts and Nevis, as they look to confirm their stranglehold on regional youth athletics with another dominating display during Saturday's second day of competition at the 44th Carifta Games.
So far Jamaica has amassed 26 medals - 13 gold, six silver and eight bronze - with more prospects for Sunday and Monday.
Akeem Bloomfield, the national junior record holder, was the star of the competition's second day of action, adding ‘Carifta champion’ to his list of achievements, winning the Under-20 boys 400m final in a Carifta record 45.85 ahead of Antigua and Barbuda’s Rai Benjamin, 46.19 and Henri Deluze (The Bahamas), 46.41.
In the Under-18 event, 15 year-old Christopher Taylor outlasted the field to win in 46.64 - also a Carifta record, with Trinidad and Tobago’s Jacob St Clair, 46.73 closing fast in second place and another Jamaican, Devaughn Ellington, claiming the bronze in 47.43.
Shellece Clarke was too good in the Under-18 girls 100m, winning in 11.50 ahead of Tristan Evelyn (Barbados), 11.54 with fellow Jamaican Shaneil English, 11.63 finishing third.
"It's feels pretty great and I’m thankful for the win," Clarke said.
Nattaliah Whyte, the Youth Olympics champion, continued to pile on the medals, winning the Under-20 girls 100m with a time of 11.56 as The Bahamas’ Keianna Albury took second place in 11.64 with her compatriot Jenae Ambrose, 11.74, finishing third.
"I’m grateful, I came out here with a lot of determination and I’m happy that I won here," said Whyte.
Tyreke Wilson, 10.56, was left in the starting blocks and had to settle for a bronze medal in the Under-18 boys 100m behind Javon Martin (The Bahamas), 10.41, and Trinidad and Tobago’s Akanni Hislop (10.47) in first and second places, respectively.
There was also disappointment for Michael O’Hara, 10.33 in the Under-20 boys 100m, who again started poorly and despite a powerful second half of the race, had to settle for second place behind Barbados’ Mario Burke, who crossed the line in 10.21 seconds,
However, Raheem Chambers was solid in his run for third, posting 10.44 to add two more podium finishes for the Jamaicans.
Sahjay Stevens broke the girls' Under-18 shot put record, heaving 16.31m on her fifth effort to win gold ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Akidah Briggs, 15.09m, and Laquell Harris (Bahamas), 14.54m.
Stevens’ mark betters the 16.12m set by Trinidad and Tobago’s Chelsea James at last year’s championships.
US-based Christoffe Bryan equalled the 1999 record of Raymond Higgs of The Bahamas leaping to a height of 2.21m on his way to winning the Under-20 boys high jump competition.
The Bahamas’ Laquarn Nairn, 2.14m and St Lucia’s Ace Louis, 2.11m took the other medal positions.
Demar Gayle’s 53.45m effort was enough to give him the gold in the Under-20 boys shot put as Grenada’s Josh Boateng, 51.14m, and The Bahamas’ Drexel Maycock, also 51.14m, finished second and third.
In the girls' Under-18 1500m final, Jamaica reeled in another two medals with Britnie Dixon, 4:44.39 and Jeima Davis, 4:50.64 finishing second and third behind gold medal winner Mary Fraser (4:41.44) from Barbados.
On Friday night’s opening session, Tamara Moncrieffe’s 13.44m in the Under-20 girls triple jump final was enough for a championships record and a gold medal as she finished ahead of Guadeloupe’s Yanis David, 13.40m, and Danielle Gibson of The Bahamas, who registered a mark of 13.05m.
Devia Brown, 48.78m and Shyledeen Smith, 44.83m secured a Jamaican one-two in the Under-18 girls discus as The Bahamas’ Serena Brown, 44.20 claimed the bronze.