J'can U20 athletes sizzle in Cali
...women's 4x100m team smashes world record
Jamaica's 200m gold medal winner Brianna Lyston (centre) is flanked by compatriot, bronze medallist Alana Reid (right) and United States silver medallist Jayla Jamison during the medal ceremony at the World Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia, on Friday, August 5, 2022..

Led by another world under-20 record run (42.59 seconds) by the women's 4x100m relay team, their second official world record in 12 months, Jamaica's junior athletes lit up the Pascual Guerrero Olympic Stadium in Cali, Colombia on yesterday's penultimate session of the six-day World Under-20 Championships. The Jamaicans won seven medals including four sparkling golds.

In addition to the women's sprint relays, Jaydon Hibbert unleashed a monster championship record 17.27m (0.0m/s) effort to win the men's triple jump; Brianna Lyston won the women's 200m in 22.65 seconds (0.0m/s) and Brandon Pottinger won a historic men's high jump gold.

The men's 4x100m relay team took silver, while Alana Reid in the 200m and Roshawn Clarke in the men's 400m hurdles both won bronze medals.

Jamaica moved up to second in the medals tables with a total of 12, including five gold, four silver and three bronze. They are just behind the United States, who have won just one more bronze medal, with Kenya in third with three gold, two silver and three bronze.

More medals could be in the offing on today's final day as Jamaicans will line up in five other finals — the 100m hurdles in which Kerrica Hill and Alexis James are medal favourites; the men's discus throw in which Kobe Lawrence and Christopher Young will fly the Jamaican flag; and Machaeda Linton in the women's triple jump and both 4x400m relays.

Before leaving the island for South America, members of the women's sprint relay team had vowed to break the second world under 20 record they thought they had set at the Carifta Games in April. But the time of 42.58 seconds they ran in Kingston was not ratified by World Athletics as only three of the four runners were drug tested by the island's testing agency JADCO, a breach of the rules.

On a track that was dampened by heavy rain fall that forced an hour-long break in the proceedings, the team of Serena Cole, Tina Clayton, the 100m silver and gold medallist respectively, Kerrica Hill and Tia Clayton, sped around the track with a brilliant display of baton changing to beat their previous record of 42.94 seconds set in Nairobi, Kenya, last year with the same four runners.

Alexis James will get a gold medal as she had run the third leg in the team that ran in the preliminaries.

Hibbert's monster jump is the joint eighth best all times in Under-20 and just off James Beckford's national junior record 17.29m set in 1994. He followed up with a 16.82m (-0.2m/s), both good enough to win the gold.

The winning jump would have placed him fourth at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon last month as he surpassed his own previous personal best 16.66m set in April. He had gone over 17.00m at the Carifta Games but that was wind-aided.

A second Jamaican, Ryan Walters, was 12th with a best of 13.97m (0.2m/s) as India's Selva P Thirumaran took the silver with a personal best 16.15m (0.2m/s) and Estonia's Viktor Morozov was third with a personal best 16.13m (0.4m/s).

Pottinger cleared 2.14m in the rain-interrupted event, as the 18 year-old, who has represented Jamaica at the Carifta level for the past few years, was the only man to clear the winning height following a rain break, moving from third to first.

There was a tie for second between South Africa's gold medal favourite Brian Raats and Bulgaria's Bozhidar Saraboyukov who both cleared 2.10m

The Florida-based son of former Kingston College standout Marlon Pottinger, eclipsed the two World Under-20 medals won by the late Germaine Mason who won silver at the 2000 staging in Santiago, Chile and bronze two years later in Kingston.

Christoff Bryan was fourth at the World Under-20 in Eugene, Oregon in 2014 the same year when David Brown was also a finalist.

The other gold medal came in the women's 200m. Lyston showed off her superior speed, getting to the finish line in 22.65 seconds (0.0m/s), while Reid ran her life time best 22.95 seconds as the American Jayla Jamison took the silver with her 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 who won in Nairobi, Kanya last year and who had crossed the line first on Friday, were later disqualified. Japan were promoted to the gold medal position and the USA took third.

Clarke, who just missed getting into 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 won the silver in a Slovenian national Under 20 record 48.91 seconds.

Earlier in the day, Hill and James lead the qualifiers in the 100m hurdles after sumptuous runs; 17 year-old Hill lowered her own World Youth best and national youth record while equalling the world Under 20 lead with 12.87 seconds (0.0m/s) and James lowered her personal best for a second straight race with 12.94 seconds (0.2m/s) to the qualifiers.

PAUL A REID Observer writer reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

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