Boys close World Juniors with 4x400m bronze
Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer
JAMAICA picked up one more medal on yesterday's final day of competition at the World Junior Championships at the Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, as the boys' quartet of Twayne Crooks, Martin Manley, Nathon Allen and Jaheel Hyde finished third in the 4x400 metres to claim the bronze medal in 3:06.31.
The United States swept the relays as for the fourth time at the meet, they registered a world-leading time to take the event in 3:03.31. Japan finished second in 3:04.11.
Jamaica finished 11th overall with six medals - one gold, two silver and three bronze, four positions lower than the seventh two years ago in Barcelona, Spain, despite winning one more medal.
"The disappointment in the flat 400 metres inspired me as my coach Hawthorne sent me a picture with himself and Kirani James smiling and this really motivated me," said Manley.
Hyde, who won the 400 metres hurdles gold, was also pleased.
"I am happy for the team as I did my best on the anchor leg, but those guys were just better than me on the day. But I am happy and this is my second medal of the meet," he added.
The girls' quartet of Dawnalee Loney, Tiffany James, Asaine Hall and Geneekee Leith was disqualified after finishing fifth - the first time since 2002 that Jamaica were finishing outside the medals in the girls' 4x400m.
The United States won in a world leading 3:30.42, as Great Britain (3:32.00) took silver, with bronze going to Germany in 3:33.02.
Earlier, high jump finalist Krista Gaye Taylor finished 11th with a disappointing 1.73 metres, failing in the process to match the 1.82 metres she cleared in advancing to the final.
Head coach Michael Carr had high praises for the team.
"It was a challenge from the beginning, but give God thanks and praise as there is a saying 'when the going gets tough the tough gets going' and I think the team picked up well after a rough start."
Asked if the team could have done better with better preparations, he said: "The possibilities exist, but at this point we do not know as it was very tough on some of the guys who arrived late for the meet, especially the sprinters, and the bad weather on Wednesday had a bad effect on them not reaching the finals. But as the climatic condition improved so did the team.
"Probably we could have been a bit better prepared, but the onus is on the individual coaches as they knew once their charges finish in the top two at the National Championships it was likely they would have been on the team."