JOA hails performances of field athletes at Commonwealth Games
Lamara Distin of Jamaica clears the bar in the high jump at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday in Birmingham, England. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) says the growth and development of field sports in Jamaica is evidenced by the impressive performances of Jamaican field athletes at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

In a release, the JOA cited gold medal performances of Shanieka Ricketts in the triple jump and Lamara Distin in the high jump as crowning moments of the advancement of Jamaicans in the field sports.

"Shanieka Ricketts' admirable performance in accomplishing that gold in the triple jump - her first major title - and in so doing writing her name indelibly in the history book of the Commonwealth Games demonstrates that our footprints go deep and are well established in the sand," JOA President Christopher Samuda said.

Kimberly Williams, a celebrated medalist, and Ackelia Smith, who leapt to a personal best at the Games, also represented the nation well in the finals of the triple jump and "exemplify the character and mettle of our national ambassadors who are establishing milestones and creating legacies in sport," Samuda added.

In the meantime, JOA Secretary General/CEO Ryan Foster said Saturday's golden leap of Distin in the women's high jump and the bronze achievement of Kimberly Williamson in the event were excellent independence gifts.

"At a time when we are celebrating independence it is uplifting to know that landmark achievements in various sports are being established as we, in the JOA, pursue our mandate 'sport for all, all for sport," Foster said.

Travis Smikle meanwhile hurled the discus for bronze in Birmingham. The seasoned campaigner is among a host of talented Jamaican discus throwers which also includes national record holder Fedrick Dacres and Tokyo Olympics finalist Chad Wright.

O'Dayne Richards, a JOA Scholarship awardee who placed sixth in the finals of the men's shot put in Birmingham, is also an experienced campaigner with gold medals in his cabinet.

"We are proud of our women and men in the field events who continue to be an inspiration to generations of youth who aspire to emulate them and who the JOA salute with the greatest of respect," Foster said.

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