Adrian Frater, News Editor
Buoyed by the earlier record-breaking effort of his Calabar High schoolmate and friend, Traves Smikle - who broke the Under-20 discus record last Friday - Ashinia Miller decimated the boys' Under-20 shot put record to set Jamaica on their way on yesterday's final day of the LIME Carifta Games at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.
Interestingly, it was not only the previous Carifta record of 18.67 metres - which was set by Trinidad & Tobago's Quincy Wilson in 2010 - that Miller smashed with his impressive throw of 19.47m, but he also established a new national junior record in the process.
"I am very pleased about taking the gold medal, as it is an improvement on the silver I won last year," said Miller. "Nonetheless, I still believe I could have gone over the 19.47m I finished with."
For Miller, who shared the medal podium with Smikle, who took the silver with a throw of 18.58m, his gold medal made up for last year's disappointment when he won the silver at the 39th edition of the Carifta Games in the Cayman Islands.
Reflecting on his preparation coming into the championship, the muscular Miller, whose previous best throw was 18.28m, said that under the guidance of his coach, he did some adjustments to his throwing technique and it led to the improvement, which elevated him to the record.
"The work I did on my technique clearly helped, as was seen in my performance today," said Miller. "I will be looking to improve going into next year's Carifta Games."
Miller was not the only athlete to warm the hearts of the Jamaican fans on yesterday's final day, as while he was carrying on his heroics in the shot put, St Elizabeth Technical High School's (STETHS) Petergay Reid and Gleneve Grange were both mining gold in the Under-20 high jump and Under-17 discus, respectively.
Reid, who is in her fourth year at the Carifta Games, jumped 1.78m to win gold, which was the fourth medal of her Carifta career. She had won two gold and a silver in previous appearances.
"I am proud that I won gold for Jamaica, but honestly, I am not happy with the height I won with because I am sure I could have done better," said Reid. "Nonetheless, I am happy I played my part in our effort to keep Jamaica on top."
For Grange, it was double delight, as in winning the discus, she completed an enviable double, having won the girls' Under-17 shot put earlier. She threw 40.98m for the discus gold and had done 12.38m for the shot put gold.