Jamaica grab 3 gold, 2 bronze on day 1 of CAC Games

Jamaica grab 3 gold, 2 bronze on day 1 of CAC Games

Saturday, July 06, 2013

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Jamaica won three gold and two bronze medals on what was a difficult first day of the XXIV Central American and Caribbean Senior Track and Field Championships in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico, yesterday.

Andrew Fisher of the University of Technology (UTech) and Sherri-Ann Brooks won the men's and women's 100m titles, respectively, while Chad Wright took the men's discus title.

Hosts Mexico lead the medals table after the first day with 14 medals  seven gold, four silver and three bronze, followed by Jamaica's five, while Trinidad and Tobago, Honduras and St Lucia have won a gold medal each so far.

The Jamaican athletes, who had been complaining about food and sub-par conditions since arriving in Mexico on Wednesday, had two significant setbacks yesterday.

The start of the meet was delayed by two hours after the Popocatepetl volcano spewed ash, steam and glowing rocks interrupting air traffic and the normal schedule.

There was also a setback, as the team's uniforms for the athletes to compete in did not arrive in time and several athletes were unable to compete as they did not have backup team kit.

In the absence of an explanation from the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), an official from Puma, the gear supplier, told the Jamaica Observer that in addition to a late order for the gear, several other unfortunate events conspired to make the shipment late.

Puma's Pascal Rolling told the Observer in an e-mail yesterday there was "no space" on flights available for a couple of days, and that "carrier mistake in Miami so that footwear and bags arrived, but apparel remained in Miami".

Additionally, Rolling said: "We offered JAAA to pay for people to fly to Mexico today (yesterday) and hand-carry goods. They are working on it."

Meanwhile, Fisher won his first major title, while Brooks improved on Jura Levy's silver won two years ago in the short sprint.

Fisher, who was part of the UTech team that won the College men's 4x100m at the Penn Relays earlier this year, ran 10.14 seconds (0.5m/s wind) to beat the Barbadian pair of Andrew Hinds and Ramon Gittens, who were both timed at 10.19 seconds.

Earlier in the semi-finals Hinds had won his heat in 10.07 seconds, the fastest going into the final, while the other Jamaican, Oshane Bailey, ran 10.30 seconds for second in his semi-final and did not advance.

Brooks, the former Commonwealth Games champion, clocked 11.21 seconds for the women's gold, beating Dominican Republic's Marielys Sanchez (11.24 secs) with another Jamaican Aleen Bailey taking the bronze in 11.34 seconds.

Bailey had won her heat in 11.31 seconds, the fastest time in the morning's heats, while Brooks qualified after taking second in her heat in 11.38 seconds behind Sanchez's 11.37 seconds.

Wright, who is still seeking the Olympic Games 'B' qualifying standard of 64.00m, won the discus with 60.79m to make it three in a row for Jamaica after Jason Morgan had won the previous two titles.

Mexico's Mario Cota and Trinidad and Tobago's Quincy Wilson, who were second and third behind Morgan last year, retained those standings with 58.58m and 55.83m, respectively.

US-based two-time national women's high jump champion Saniel Grier-Atkinson was third with a best clearance of 1.84m behind two St Lucians, Lavern Spencer, who set a championship record 1.95m, and CARIFTA Games Under-20 champion Jeanelle Sheper, who achieved a World Championships 'B' qualifying standard of 1.92m.

Jamaica's Jermaine Jackson was fourth in the men's long jump with a wind-aided jump of 7.72m (2.1m/s).

Orinn Powell was fifth in the men's javelin in 67.10m.

Meanwhile, Jamaicans qualified for several other finals on today's second day with good performances.

The men's 4x100m team stayed on course to retain their title after running 39.15 for second in their semi-final heat, beaten by Trinidad and Tobago (39.03) with Barbados third.

Defending champion Eric Keddo advanced to the final of the men's 110m hurdles after placing second in 13.62 seconds in his semi-final heat, beaten by Shane Braithwaite's 13.60 seconds with Cuba's Yordan O'Farril third in 13.64 seconds.

Quarter-milers Omar Johnson and Akheem Gauntlet both advanced to the final of the men's 400m, while Holmwood Technical schoolgirl Chris-Ann Gordon and Bobby-Gay Wilkins also advanced to the women's final.

Johnson ran 46.55 seconds in his semi-final, while Gauntlet clocked 46.79 seconds in his semi-final race.

Both Jamaican women were second in their respective heat, Gordon ran 52.78 seconds in her heat, while Wilkins clocked 53.75 seconds in her race.

Also today, Jamaicans are scheduled to take part in the women's 100m hurdles, the men's shot put, women's triple jump and women's discus throw.

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