Hawthorne pleased with Pan Am performances
Head coach Donald Hawthorne says he is overjoyed at Jamaica’s record medal haul here at the Pan American Games.
The black, green, and gold finished with 19 medals overall, 17 in track and field. That puts the nation 13th on the overall medal table and third on the track and field-specific standings.
Hawthorne said his athletes did the nation proud.
“I think we have done quite well, apart from a few little glitches and the weather conditions, which were not quite so favourable. We think we are still holding our own as Jamaicans, and we’re still holding Brand Jamaica high,” Hawthorne told The Sunday Gleaner.
Most of the athletes that participated at the Videna Sports Village complained about the coldness of Lima’s winter this week, but Hawthorne commended them for how much they gave in what he describes as trying temperatures.
“It was somewhat difficult,” he said, “But guess what happened? When the going gets tough, the tough get going, and that’s how Jamaicans are. We really stuck to the task, and amid, all the conditions that we faced, we still were able to do great things.”
Hawthorne said that despite the rumours of discontent among members of the camp, team morale was high throughout the Games.
“The mood is one of happiness,” he said. “Although we thought we could’ve done just a little bit better, we have to give thanks for what we have got so far.”
Jamaica added one more medal to its tally yesterday when the unfamiliar quartet of Stephenie-Ann McPherson, Tiffany James, Natoya Goule, and Roniesha McGregor, running in that order, earned a bronze in the women’s 4x400m relay final.
They finished in 3:27.61, behind winners USA, 3:26.46, and runners-up Canada, 3:27.01.
McPherson, the most experienced member of the team, praised its efforts.
“They are young, and when I was young, it was the same thing. You have to learn each time you make a team. We came out here just to put our best foot forward, and we did that, and we are thankful for the bronze. It’s a young team, and in the next four years, it’s these girls that are going to run when I retire, so they have to learn.” McPherson said.
The men’s equivalent of national 400m record holder Rusheen McDonald, Romel Lewis, Terry Thomas, and Javon Francis, running in that order, could only muster a sixth-place finish in a time of 3:06.83. Colombia took the gold in 3:01.41, ahead of the USA, in 3:01.72, and Trinidad and Tobago, who took bronze in 3:02.25.
Earlier in the day, the Jamaican duo of Clive Pullen, 16.35m, and Jordan Scott, 16.13m, finished fifth and ninth, respectively, in the men’s triple jump final. USA’s Omar Craddock took gold with a distance of 17.42m as the Cuban pair of Jordan Díaz Fortun, in a season’s best 17.38m, and Andy Díaz Hernández, 16.83m, took silver and bronze, respectively.
Jamaica’s final medal count stands at 19, consisting of six gold, six silver, and seven bronze.
Jamaica’s medal breakdown:
Fedrick Dacres – Men’s discus throw
Elaine Thompson – Women’s 100m
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – Women’s 200m
Shericka Jackson – Women’s 400m
Natoya Goule – Women’s 800m
Danniel Thomas-Dodd – Women’s shot put
Demish Gaye – Men’s 400m
Traves Smikle – Men’s discus throw
Tajae Gayle – Men’s long jump
Aisha Praught-Leer – Women’s 1500m
Shanieka Thomas-Ricketts – Women’s triple jump
Yona Knight-Wisdom – Men’s 1m springboard dive
Kemar Mowatt – Men’s 400m hurdles
Megan Tapper – Women’s 100m hurdles
Rushell Clayton – Women’s 400m hurdles
Jamaica – Women’s 4x400m relay
Kimberly Williamson – Women’s high jump
Tissanna Hickling – Women’s long jump
Ricardo Brown – Men’s +91kg super heavyweight boxing