Sport

Jamaica take early lead at CARIFTA Games

25 and counting

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, March 31, 2013    

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JAMAICA'S woes in the shortest sprint at the CARIFTA Games over the past three years continued on yesterday's opening day of the 42nd staging of the regional championships at the Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau, The Bahamas as they won just one of the four titles on offer.

Along with the massive upset of two-time boys' Under-20 champion Jazeel Murphy, the drought continued for the Jamaicans, as only Nattaliah Whyte in the girls' Under-17 section managed to win a gold medal.

Despite this, the Jamaicans were well on their way to retaining their overall title, winning seven gold medals among almost 20 won on the first day where 21 finals where completed.

After the first day Jamaica led with 25 medals (seven gold, eight silver and 10 bronze) to be well ahead in the overall medal table. Trinidad and Tobago had three gold medals, followed by hosts The Bahamas with two gold, five silver and four bronze; the British Virgin Islands have two gold, a silver and a bronze, Guyana won two gold and two bronze medals; Barbados won two gold medals; Suriname won a gold and a bronze; Grenada won a gold and a bronze; Guadeloupe and Anguilla won a gold each, Bermuda won two silver medals, Curacao and St Lucia won a silver each, while Antigua won a bronze medal.

Anguilla's Zharnel Hughes won the Under-20 boys' 100m in 10.44 seconds, as Murphy, who had to come from behind, settled for the silver in 10.48 seconds, while Antigua's Tahir Walsh took the bronze in 10.49 seconds.

Whyte sped to 11.88 seconds to win the girls' Under-17 title, beating the British Virgin Islands' Nelda Huggings, 11.94 seconds, with the other Jamaican Shellece Clarke third in 12.00 seconds.

The Bahamas pair of Devynne Charlton (11.60 seconds) and Carmeisha Cox (11.61 seconds) took the gold and silver in the Under-20 girls, as Jamaica's Monique Spencer was third in 11.64 seconds.

Jamaica's Jelani Walker was third in the Under-17 boys' 100m in 10.93 seconds, behind Barbados' Mario Burke, who won in 10.61 seconds, and The Bahamas' Keanu Pennerman's 10.85 seconds.

Jamaicans won both Under-17 sections of the 400m races with last year's 800m champion Tiffany James winning the girls' title in 55.13 seconds, and Martin Manley winning the boys' section in 47.72 seconds.

Christoff Bryan added the boys' Under-20 high jump title — which he won with 2.14m — to the two Under-17 titles he won the last two years, while Demar Robinson was third with 2.11m, same as silver medallist Laquan Nairne of The Bahamas.

Jauvany James won Jamaica's only 1,500m gold medal, running 4 minutes, 06.63 seconds to win the Under-17 boys' title.

Another 20 finals are scheduled for today's second day, starting with the Under-17 boys' shot put and the Under-17 girls' discus in the morning session.

The 200m semi-finals and finals, as well as the 4x100m relays will be run today, along with the intermediate hurdles, where Omar McLeod will be aiming for a third straight gold medal in the Under-20 category.

Yesterday, Jamaica won five medals in the first session, Britny Kerr in the Under-17 girls' high jump at 1.68m, and defending champion Fedrick Dacres in the Under-20 boys' discus throw at 61.27m won gold medals; Chadwick DaCosta in the discus (55.58m) and Janell Fullerton in the Under-17 girls' shot put (13.75m) won silver medals, while Under-20 high jumper Shiann Salmon (1.60m) won a bronze medal.

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