Sport

Five Stars

Dominant Jamaicans add seven medals at World Summer Games

Sanjay Myers
Sport Reporter
Special Olympics Summer Games In Abu Dhabi

Monday, March 18, 2019

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Gold medals were the order of the day as Special Olympics Jamaica (SOJ) continued its strong showing at the World Summer Games.

However, the biggest mark was undoubtedly left by the silver medal achievement of the inspirational 17-year-old Kirk Wint in the 50-metre race yesterday, at Dubai Police Officers Club.

Racing on all fours from a crouching position — due to deformed lower limbs — against competitors running upright, he incredibly clinched second in 14.89 seconds.

His effort touched the hearts of those around the venue due to the sheer determination, strength and bravery.

“Kirk Wint was remarkable, running the 50m on all fours — on hands and knees — since he is a paraplegic. He created much cheer from the spectators as he raced by the able-bodied athletes to take second place,” Andre Johnstone, the athletics head coach, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

As a 13-year-old Wint was a star at the 2015 Summer Games in the United States. He narrowly missed the bronze in the 50m event, and a day later he won gold in soft ball throw.

Daeshawn Green and O'Brian McFarlane won 200m gold in separate divisions at the Police Officers venue.

Green ran 23.17secs to win the Division 13 race, while McFarlane clocked 24.08secs to top Division 20.

Johnstone noted their performances were all the more outstanding since they were put in outside lanes.

“Both Daeshawn and O'Brian were placed in the eighth lane in both their divisions. When the starter's [buzzer] sounded, they led their respective races from start to finish — all other athletes tried desperately to catch the Jamaicans, but to no avail,” said the athletics coach.

There was more joy for the Jamaicans in Dubai when swimmer Leon Barclay grabbed bronze in Division Eight of the 50m breaststroke in 41.77 seconds, at Hamdan Sports Complex. Japan's Taiga Teshima won in 40.23, ahead of Egypt's Ayman Sabour (40.87).

Swim coach Gabriel Heron was pleased Barclay was able to shave almost two seconds off the best time he recorded during preliminary runs.

“Leon did really well, starting with the slowest time in his finals at 43.74. And he worked hard to get the bronze, cutting two seconds off [that time],” he said.

It was a good comeback from Barclay after he finished outside of the podium spots in Division 16 of the male 50m freestyle on Saturday at the same venue. In that race, he had led for much of the way before fading into fifth position.

The medals in athletics and swimming yesterday lifted SOJ's tally to 11, including five gold, three silver and three bronze with three days of competition to come. Jamaica won 29 medals at the last World Summer Games four years ago.

—Sanjay Myers


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