Best ever finish for Ja at World U20s
Jamaica ended its sojourn at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships on a high as Calabar High School's Kai Chang, with gold in the men's discus; Britany Anderson, with silver in the women's 100m hurdles; and the women's 4x400m relay team with bronze, saw the country picking up three medals on the final day.
Jamaica ended with 12 medals, including four gold, five silver and three bronze, which put them second overall in the medal standing, behind Kenya, who finished with six gold, four silver and one bronze for 11 overall. It was the country's best-ever placing and medal count, as they bettered the haul of 11 garnered at the 2002 Championships hosted at the National Stadium in Kingston.
On yesterday's final day of competition, IAAF World Under-18 100m hurdles champion Anderson picked up the first medal of the day for the country. The unlucky Anderson, showing improvement in every round of her event, and qualifying for the final with the second-best time, despite a slow start in the final, ran on strongly in the end, catching the field quickly. She only lost out in a photo finish with the United States' Tia Jones, as both were credited with the same time of 13.01 seconds, a personal best by Anderson, while American Cortney Jones third in 13.19 seconds. The Jamaica team management appealed the decision, citing that Anderson should have been awarded the win, but to no avail.
Six years ago in Barcelona, Fedrick Dacres gave the country its first gold medal in the men's discus and the feat was matched yesterday. Chang, like Dacres, is coached by Julian Robinson and just finished his first year at Calabar after transferring from Titchfield High School. He created a big upset after his winning throw of 62.36m, a personal best on his second attempt. Despite no marks with his final three throws, he held on for the win. Yauheni Bahutski of Belarus, 61.75m, and Mexico's Claudio Romero, 60.81m, finished second and third, respectively, for the silver and bronze medals.
Jamaica ended its medal collection in the penultimate track event of the day, the women's 4x400m relay, as the quartet of Janielle Josephs, Stacy-Ann Williams, Shian Salmon, and Calisha Taylor picked up bronze after finishing third in a season-best 3:31.90 minutes. The United States was first for the gold medal, in a world-leading 3:28.74 minutes, with Australia finishing second in 3:31.34 for the silver.