Triple treat - Smith, Carter, Richards strike gold for Jamaica at CAC Games
Jonielle Smith continued her rise in the senior ranks, while Nesta Carter continued his road to redemption, as the pair struck gold in the women and men 100m finals at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, last night.
Smith, who recently lowered her personal best to 11.07 seconds, stopped the clock at 11.04 seconds in illegal wind (+2.3) to win her first senior gold medal. Trinidad and Tobago's Khalifa St Fort, 11.15 was second with Venezuela's Andrea Purica, 11.32 taking the bronze.
Carter, who was recently disqualified from the 2008 Olympic Games after a retroactive doping violation, took the men's equivalent in 10.07 seconds ahead of St Kitts and Nevis' Jason Rogers, 10.15 and Antigua's Cejhae Greene, 10.16.
After watching his team-mate, Ashinia Miller, erased the 16 year-old shot put meet record with his 20.19m effort on his second attempt, O'Dayne Richards knew that his execution had to be impeccable if he was going to add the Central American and Caribbean title to his accolades, he told The Gleaner after the competition.
"That's exactly what happened," Richards reply when asked if Millers' effort had waked him up. "Ashinia Miller is a great competitor but I knew that I had to execute well if I wanted to throw good."
Richards' 21.02m effort on his second attempt secured the gold medal and erased Miller's minutes old record. The performance was also special to the St George's College past student as it was the first time that he was throwing 21 metres this season.
Miller, who got the silver medal, was also pleased with his performance. "I feel good. This is my first season as a professional and it is always good winning a medal for Jamaica," Miller said.
Simoya Campbell missed out on a medal in the women's 800m after failing to lean at the finish line.
The former Bellefield High School athlete, who was awarded a time of 2:03.16, was out- leaned by Barbadian, Sonia Gaskin for the bronze medal with 2:03.13.
Mary Blanco of Cuba won the race in 2:01.63, while Trinidad and Tobago's Candice Brooks won the silver medal with 2:02.26.
Tassana Hickling failed to show up for the women's Long Jump final.
Quarter-milers, Tiffany James and Derriann Hill qualified for tomorrow's 400m final comfortably with times of 53.00 and 53.17 seconds to win their respective semi-finals.
Their male counterparts had to work a little harder, as Rusheen McDonald finished second in his semi-final with 46.64 seconds.
Steven Gayle was also second in his semi-final with 46.74. Both athletes will have their work cut out for them in the final as they qualified with the two slowest times.
LaFranz Campbell squeezed into the men's 110 hurdles final after finishing third in his semi-final with 14.06 seconds. Schoolboy Phillip Lemonious crashed into the first hurdle and failed to finish.
Cannigia Raynor is the first Jamaican performing today as he scheduled to contest the men's Hammer Throw final at 5:00 p.m.
Shanice Love will battle in the women's discus throw final at 6:40 pm.
The preliminary round of the men's and women's 200m will be on today as well at 6:15 p.m.
2014 Commonwealth Games champion Rasheed Dwyer and reigning national champion Jahnoy Thompson will seek qualification for tomorrow's final at 7:10 p.m.
Shasha Lee Forbes, the 2017 World University Games champion, and Jodean Williams will represent Jamaica in the women's equivalent, while Rhonda Whyte and Rushell Clayton will contest the final of the women's 400m hurdles at 8:55 p.m.
The pair won their respective semi-finals comfortably Tuesday with two of the fastest times.
Annsert Whyte and Shawn Rowe will have their work cut out for them though, as Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands, who is ranked third in the world, seems to be in fine form.
McMaster cruised to 48.71 seconds ahead of Whyte yesterday who registered his second fastest time of the season with 48.87 seconds.