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Golden finish - Relay win hands Jamaica unprecedented gold-medal haul

Published:Monday | July 15, 2013 | 12:00 AM

André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

DONETSK, Ukraine:

Boys' 400m champion, Martin Manley streaked across the line, stopping the clock in the boys' medley relay final at 1:49.23 - the fastest time ever in the event - as Jamaica brought the curtains down in record-breaking fashion at the IAAF World Youth Championships (WYC), topping the medal table with six gold and two bronze finishes.

That was one of two gold medals won by the Jamaicans yesterday - after Michael O'Hara stuck to his word - making up for his 100m fourth-place disappointment with a 20.63 world leading time in the 200m final, in a powerful gold medal winning run.

While the United States (17), as well as Kenya and China (11) finished with a higher number of medals, the Jamaicans finished with greater quality, winning more gold medals than any other nation.

It is the first time that Jamaica has topped the medal table at a World Championships at any level.

Head coach Micheal Carr was brought to tears at the end of the championships, as he paid homage to the athletes, management team, and coaches back home.

"Right now, it's a very emotional moment for me," Carr said. "Our journey here was very tough, but from we got here, we got down to business, and the result speak for itself.

"In Jamaica, we named this team 'The Team of Great Achievements' and I'm so proud of the athletes, the coaches and management here and the athletes' coaches back home," Carr added.

Manley was joined in the medley relay by lead-off man Wassem Williams, O'Hara and Okeen Williams on the medal podium, as the Jamaicans won their first WYC gold medal in the event.

The United States finished second in 1:50.14, while Japan were third in 1:50.52.

Earlier, O'Hara stormed out of the blocks in the boys' 200m final and had everyone covered coming off the curve, before powering to the line in a World Youth leading time of 20.63, which made him the island's third youth to win the world title in the 200m after Usain Bolt in 2003 and Ramone McKenzie in 2007.

Brazil's Vitor Dos Santos, 20.67, took the silver medal, while Cuba's Reynier Mena took home his second bronze medal at these championships, after finishing third in 20.79.

Jamaica ended the championships - the eighth since its inaugural staging in 1999 - with eight medals, matching their medal count from that very year, when they finished with three gold, three silver and two bronze medals.

In terms of quantity, the return equalled the country's second largest tally behind Ostrava 2007 and Lille 2011's nine-medal hauls.