Jamaica close Pan-Am Juniors with 17 medals

By Paul A Reid
Observer writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, July 22, 2019

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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — Jamaica equalled their second-best medal haul in a Pan-American Under-20 Championships after winning 17 medals — three gold, seven silver and seven bronze — as the 20th edition came to a close at the National Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica yesterday.

Jamaica added four more medals yesterday — a silver and three bronze — after a third gold and three more bronze on Saturday's programme which ended almost midnight, Jamaica time.

The Michael McIntosh-led team matched the number of medals won in Kingston in 1991, but the 21 medals won in Tampa, Florida in 1999 is still the benchmark by a Jamaican team at these championships.

Jamaica placed fourth on the medal table that was led by the USA which secured 50 — 21 gold, 19 silver and 10 bronze; Canada were second with 17 medals — six gold, eight silver and three bronze; with Mexico third with four gold, one silver and two bronze.

Ten countries won at least one gold while another seven won at least one medal.

The men's 4x400m relay team brought the curtains down in a spectacular manner with a new National Junior Record of three minutes 00.99 seconds, as the team of Evaldo Whitehorne, Jeremy Farr, Bovel McPherson, and Anthony Cox, who took the silver medal, broke the 17-year-old record of 3:04.06 minutes set at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Kingston in 2002 by the team of Sekou Clarke, Usain Bolt, Jermaine Myers and Jermaine Gonzales.

McIntosh said the success of the team was attributed to an all-round effort from the athletes, the coaches and the medical staff.

“Overall, it was a great performance by all the athletes; we could not ask for more than they gave. These athletes gave it their all and to have performed as well as they did at the end of a long season, it was great and what a better way to end it than with a National Junior Record.”

The coach gave credit to the entire coaching staff as well as the medical team, who he said went overtime in their efforts. “We had some issues with injuries; it's been a long season but we managed to get through the meet.”

His coaching staff, he said, “put in a great shift; I am proud of the work put in. We all worked hard for one cause, Team Jamaica”.

While there were expectations from the fans back in Jamaica and the handful that showed up in San Jose, McIntosh said it was typical that at championships some “medal favourite” might not deliver, “but there are always medals coming from other areas where they were not expected as well”.

The men's 4x400m team was the highlight of the final day as they finished behind the USA's new World Junior Record 2:59.30 minutes, while Brazil set a new South American Junior Record 3:02.84 minutes in taking third.

The women's 4x400m team, Rovane Williams in the men's 400m hurdles, and Terrol Wilson in the men's triple jump all took home bronze medals.

The female mile relay team of Daniella Deer, Shaqueena Foote, Lashanna Graham and Kavia Francis ran 3:33.34 minutes for the bronze behind the USA's World Record 3:24.04 minutes, and Canada's 3:30.68 minutes.

Williams ran a season's best 50.29 seconds for third, diving across the finishing line as he was tripped right before he got there, but was celebrating minutes later when the results were confirmed.

“This is great for me, it's been a hard season and I battled injuries and setbacks, but this is satisfying,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Wilson won the fourth medal for Jamaica in the horizontal jumps with his wind-aided 15.99m (2.3m/s) for third in the triple jump.

Also yesterday, Cobe Graham was sixth in the men's shot put in a best of 18.22m, while Ralford Mullings was eighth with a new personal best 18.11m with the 6k shot, his second personal best of the weekend after getting one in the discus throw as well.

Lashanna Graham faded to seventh in the women's 400m hurdles in 59.43 seconds; Raymond Richards was eighth in the men's high jump with 2.03m; while Apolos Edwards was ninth in the triple jump with 15.46m (0.8m/s).

On Saturday night Lotavia Brown created a massive upset, winning the women's triple jump gold medal with a wind-aided 13.22 metres (4.3m/s) and beating Cuba's World Leader Leyanis Perez Hernandez in the process.

Brown won Jamaica's third gold medal of the championships as high jumper Lamara Distin and both 4x100m relay teams added silver medals.

Brown just edged the Cuban, who had three jumps over 13.00m but the best of 13.21m (0.5m/s), with Jamaica's Rhianna Phipps fifth with 12.98m (2.5m/s).

Distin led the high jump for a long time before being passed late by American gold medal winner Sanaa Barnes, who won with 1.83m as the Jamaican settled for silver with 1.81m and another American, Shelby Tyler, took the bronze on countback with 1.78m after a three-way tie for third that included Jamaica's Janique Burgher.

The girls' 4x100m relay team of 100m gold medallist Briana Williams, Shakiera Bowra, Michae Harriott and Brandy Hall were second in 44.36 seconds behind the USA (43.51 seconds), with Canada third in 44.42 seconds.

The men's team of Oblique Seville, Michali Everette, Xavier Nairne and Kevon Stone also took silver in 39.20 seconds behind a World Junior Record run from the USA of 38.62 seconds, while Brazil were third in a South American Under-20 Record 39.42 seconds.

Michael Stephens was ruled out by muscle spasms in his back, the Observer was told.

Xavier Nairne was fourth in the men's 200m in 20.91 seconds (-0.8m/s), as Brandy Hall took seventh in the female final in 24.39 seconds.

Tyrice Taylor just missed a medal in the men's 800m final, placing fourth in 1:49.89 minutes while Tyrese Reid was seventh in 1:54.27 minutes, both Jamaicans led at the half-way mark.

Adrienne Adams was fourth in the women's discus throw with 50.90m, as Cuba's Melany Del Pilar Matheus Morejon set a Pan-Am Record 59.53m.


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