Hosts capture 27th consecutive CARIFTA crown
Adrian Frater, News Editor
Host nation Jamaica extended their amazing winning streak in the LIME CARIFTA Games to 27, when they ended last night's 40th edition of the championship at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in St James with 66 medals.
Jamaica's winning medal haul, included 33 gold medals, 21 silver and 12 bronze.
While the medals were less than the 72 garnered in the Cayman Islands last year, this time around the locals won more gold medals.
With the triple jump open final results pending, the top three finishers behind Jamaica were: Trinidad & Tobago 32 medals - 10 gold, 13 silver and nine bronze; The Bahamas 31 - nine gold, 11 silver and 11 bronze; and Barbados 27 - nine gold, eight silver and 10 bronze.
Starting the day with 37 medals - 21 gold, 13 silver and three bronze, the Jamaicans launched the day with a bang when Ashina Miller won the boys' Under-20 shot put with a record-shattering 19.47 metres. His Calabar High School teammate, Traves Smikle, took the silver.
Jamaica's early morning gold rush continued with Petergay Reid winning the girls' Under-20 high jump with 1.78m; and Gleneve Grange following with victory in the girls Under-17 discus, with a winning throw of 40.98m.
In the afternoon session, Jamaica started with a silver medal, as Alethia McLaughlin was upstaged by Barbados' Cindy Forde.
However, things began to quickly get better for the locals when Simoya Campbell took the girls' Under-20 800m gold.
Jamaica added two more gold medals in short order, with Yanique Thompson winning the girls' Under-17 100m hurdles (13.76) and Chrisdale McCarthy following up with victory in girls' Under-20 100m hurdles.
The boys finally joined the fray when a confident Stefan Fennell sped away from the field to land the boys' Under-20 110m hurdles for Jamaica in a time of 13.79.
However, disappointment was to follow for Jamaica as Jevaughn Minzie, with a clear lead in the boys' Under-17 200m, started show-boating and was passed for the gold medal by Trinidad & Tobago's Cedenio Machel, who clocked 21.43.
In the boys' Under-20 200m, where the Jamaicans were eyeing gold, Odail Todd could only manage third, falling prey to Delano Williams ( 21.04) of the Turks & Caicos and Moriba Morain (21.05 ) of T&T. Todd clocked 21.08.
The excitement turned fever-pitch with the start of the relays, which saw Jamaica coming up big in the girls' Under-17 4x400m, clocking a smart 3.42.33 to take the gold ahead of Barbados and The Bahamas; and the boys' equivalent, which the Jamaicans took ahead of T&T and The Bahamas in a winning time of 3.15.19.
It was near pandemonium in the penultimate track event, the girls' Under-20 4x400m, when the team of Shantal Duncan, Chris-Ann Gordon, Shericka Jackson and Olivia James combined to take the gold by smashing the previous record of 3.31.43, with a smashing 3.31.09-clocking.
The crowd was, however, brought back down to earth in the final event when The Bahamas won the Under-20 4x400m in fine style, winning in a time of 3.07.14 to upstage both T&T and Jamaica, respectively.