Jamaican women smash under-20 4x100 record again
Dominant penultimate session for Team Jamaica in Cali, Colombia
In this file photo, (From left) Tia Clayton, Kerrica Hill, Tina Clayton, and Serena Cole leap for joy after they set aWorld Under-20 record of 42.94 seconds in the women's 4x100m relay final at the World AthleticsUnder-20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya last year. The quartet broke the record again at this year's Under-20 championships in Cali, Colombia, running 42.59 to defend their gold medal.(Photo: Dwayne Richards)

The Jamaican women’s 4x100m relay team smashed their own Under-20 world record to defend their gold medal at the World Under-20 Athletics Championships in Cali, Colombia on Friday.

The team of Serena Cole, Tina Clayton, the 100m silver and gold medallist respectively, Kerrica Hill and Tia Clayton clocked 42.59 seconds to beat their previous record of 42.94 seconds set in Nairobi, Kenya last year.

Another Jamaican team with Brianna Lyston instead of Hill had run 42.58 seconds to win the Under-20 race at the CARIFTA Games but that record was not ratified by World Athletics as only three of the four runners were drug tested.

It was a dominant penultimate session by the Jamaicans in Cali as they won seven medals – four gold, a silver and two bronze. It included first-ever wins in the men’s high jump by Brandon Pottinger; the men’s triple jump by Jaydon Hibbert in a Championship record 17.27m (0.0m/s) and the women’s 200m by Brianna Lyston.

Hibbert’s monster jump is the joint eighth-best of all time in the under-20 age group and just off James Beckford’s national junior record 17.29m set in 1994.

That jump would have placed him fourth at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon last month.

Hibbert surpassed his own previous personal best 16.66m which he set in April. He had gone over 17.00m at the CARIFTA Games but that was wind-aided

Lyston won the gold, running 22.65 seconds (0.0m/s) and Alana Hill took the bronze in a personal best 22.95 seconds as American Jayla Jamison split the two Jamaicans to take silver in a personal best 22.77 seconds.

The men’s relay team picked up a silver medal after running 39.35 seconds with the team of Bouwahjgie Nkrumie, Bryan Levell, Mark Anthony Daley and Adrian Kerr.

They had finished third originally but South Africa, which had crossed the line first, was later disqualified and Japan promoted to the gold medal position and the USA third.

Roshawn Clarke, who failed to get to the final last year in Nairobi, Kenya, took a gallant bronze medal in the 400m hurdles, running 49.62 seconds, hitting the last two hurdles after he held a slight lead.

Ismail Nezir won the gold in a Turkish national Under 20 record 48.84 seconds with Matic Ian Gucek winning the silver in a Slovenian national Under-20 record 48.91 seconds.

Earlier in the session, Jamaica looked well set to get two medals in the 100m hurdle after 17-year-old Kerrica Hill ran a world Under-20 leading and World Youth Best 12.87 seconds (0.0m/s) and Alexis James lowered her personal best for a second straight race with 12.94 seconds (0.2m/s) in the semifinals to lead the qualifiers for Saturday’s final.

Hill broke her own World Youth Best and National Youth Record 12.98 set earlier this year and James, the CARIFTA Games Under-20 champion, lowered the 13.04 seconds she ran in the previous round

Meanwhile, J’Voughnn Blake was sixth in his men’s 800m semi-finals in 1:48.87 seconds and did not advance.

Paul Reid

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