Taylor, Bloomfield retain titles at Carifta
ST GEORGE'S, Grenada:
DEFENDING 400 metres champions Christopher Taylor and Akeem Bloomfield retained their titles in fine style as Jamaica picked up 18 medals - eight gold, 7 silver, and three bronze - on yesterday's opening day of the 45th Carifta Games in St George's, Grenada.
Taylor, the record holder in the Under-18 boys' one-lap event, was not tested as he won in 47.36 seconds away from Antoni Hoya Small of Barbados, 48.23. Third went to Onal Mitchell of Trinidad and Tobago in 48.72.
" I just came out and did what I had to do to win the event," said Taylor.
Bloomfield ran a relaxed race throughout to take the Under-20 title, just doing enough to win in a season's best 46.02. Jamal Walton of the Cayman Islands was second in 46.23, with bronze going to Kinard Rolle of The Bahamas in 46.88.
"I just came out to win and defend my title as I want to finish competing here, so I can focus on the Penn Relays and World Junior Championships," Bloomfield said after his victory.
Stacey Williams had earlier captured gold in the Under-18 girls 400 m in 54.00, getting the better of Amanda Crawford of Grenada, 54.16, with Britni Fountain of The Bahamas taking third in 54.68. Jamaica's Sanique Walker, the silver medallist a year ago, was fourth in 55.25.
Sada Williams of Barbados prevented a Jamaican sweep of the 400m as she raced to a personal best 52.07 to capture the Under-20 girls' event. Shaquina Dorset of The Bahamas was second in 52.59 while Jamaica's Tiffany James took third in 52.70 ahead of her teammate Semoy Hemmings, fourth in 53.89.
Jamaica also dominated the 1500m winning three out of four. Cemore Donald remained unbeaten this season after capturing the Under-18 girls' event. The Edwin Allen High student won in 4:42.50 ahead of teammate Britnie Dixon.
Ashani Robb won the girls' Under-20 1500m in 4:39.20 while defending champion Shevon Parkes won the Under-20 boys' event in 3:56.72.
Earlier in the morning session, Hydel High's Shian Salmon pocketed Jamaica's first gold medal of the meet. Salmon, the defending champion in the Under-18 high jump, cleared a season's best 1.82 metres to win the event. Teammate Lamara Distin picked up silver with a best of 1.77m. Bermuda's Sakari Famous, also 1.77m, was third.
Jamaica's other medal in the morning session came from Akio Jones, who captured bronze after finishing third in the girls' Under-18 shot put with a heave of 13.87m.
Jamaica should also win several medals today as 19 finals, 10 on the track and nine in the field, will be contested. Track events include the 4x100 metres in both age groups.