O'Dayne Richards leads medal charge at NACAC Champs

Observer writer

Friday, August 10, 2018

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Newly crowned Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games gold medallist and record holder O'Dayne Richards, silver medallist Ashinia Miler and triple jumper Jordan Scott will be hoping to get Jamaica's medal hunt off to a good start today as the third NACAC Senior Championships gets underway at Varsity Stadium in Toronto, Canada.

Jamaicans will be involved in only two finals today — the men's shot put and triple jump. But it will be a packed schedule, with 24 of the 40 athletes named earlier this week, down to compete on the first day of the three-day championships that ends on Sunday.

In addition to the two finals, Jamaicans will be involved in the first round of the men's 100m, the semi-finals of the men's and women's 200m; semis-finals of the men's and women's 400m; the semi-finals of the women's 800m; the semi-finals of the men's and women's 400m hurdles, the men's 110m hurdles and women's 100m hurdles as well as the qualifying round of the men's long jump event.

There will be two sessions today but one session each tomorrow and on Sunday.

Jamaica won just nine medals in 2015 — including three gold— the last time the championships were held, in San Juan, Costa Rica. Women's triple jumper Shanicka Ricketts is the only champion returning to the event this weekend.

There will be cash prizes on offer to the top three finishers in each event with sponsors' bonus prizes going to the top three in the men's and women's 100m, 4x100m relay women's pole vault events.

The winners of each individual event will get Can $2,000, second place Cab $1,000 and third place Can $350 while the top three in the relays will get- Can $4,500, Can$2,000 and Can $1,000, respectively.

The bonus prizes from Puma will be Can $6,000 for first place, Can $3,000 for second place and Can $1,000 for third place.

Both Richards and Miller will be confident they can get back on the podium after last week's exploits in Barranquilla, Colombia where they both got past the old CAC championships record and won gold and silver, respectively.

Richards went over the 21-metre mark for the first time this year in Barranquilla with a winning throw of 21.02m, while Miller took silver with 20.19m.

Scott also had a big personal best 16.82m in the triple jump in Colombia but had to settle for fourth place will also be hoping for another good outing.

Ramone Bailey who had yet another dramatic last jump victory at the CAC Championships and Tajay Gayle who was fourth in the Commonwealth Games in March will hope to qualify for Sunday's men's long jump final.

IAAF World Cup of Athletics champion Tyquendo Tracey and Kenroy Anderson are down to take part on the qualifying rounds of the men's 100m where CAC Champion Nesta Carter is named as the reserve.

Tracey looks to be in his best ever form after he twice went under the 10.00 seconds mark in the same day in the 100m at the London Diamond League meeting last month.

The first round of the men's 200m will also be run in the morning session with Jahnoy Thompson and Nigel Ellis flying the Jamaican flag and will both hope to qualify for the semi-finals set for later in the day just after the women's semi-finals.

Shericka Jackson and CAC medallist Jodean Williams will take part in the women's half-lap race with the finals of both set for Sunday.

The semi-finals of both the women and men's 400m events will also be run in the morning session. Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Stephenie Ann McPherson and Christine Day will line up in the women's quarter-mile with Demish Gaye and Fitzroy Dunkley taking part in the men's race.

Commonwealth Games champion Janieve Russell and Leah Nugent are down to run in the semi-finals of the women's 400m hurdles, with Annsert Whyte, who was second in the CAC Games, and Shawn Rowe, lining up in the men's semi-finals.

Natoya Goule, the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist who lowered her own national record, and Simoya Campbell will take part in the women's 800m semi-finals.

Danielle Williams, World Championships gold medallist in 2015, who ran her second fastest time 12.48 seconds earlier this year, and Yanique Thompson are the Jamaicans entered in the 100m hurdles.

World Championships and Olympic Games medallist Hansle Parchment will be the only Jamaican in the 110m hurdles and will hope to qualify for the final set for tomorrow.

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