Riley pleased with range of medals at World Under-20 ChampsTuesday, August 24, 2021
BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
NAIROBI, Kenya — Jamaica tied their second-best haul at a World Athletics Under-20 Championships when they bagged 11 medals in Nairobi, Kenya.
The championships ended on Sunday with Jamaica claiming seven medals from nine contested finals to add to the four medals gained on the previous four days as they finished strongly on “finals Sunday”.
Technical leader of the Jamaican contingent David Riley was pleased with the overall performance of the team.
“The team's performance...would have been a strong performance, considering the challenges that we had. I think it was a very good performance,” he said.
Riley was more so pleased with the diversity of the medals gained over the five days of competition. A breakdown of the medals earned shows two in the jumps, one in the throws, three in the hurdles, one in the flat sprints, and four in the relays.
“We had a wide spread of medals across different disciplines; we had jumps, we had hurdles, we had throws, sprints and relays. We were in all five relay finals; we earned medals in four, including a gold medal and a world record for the women's 4x100m.
“The other teams ran respectable times, the 4x100m men's team ran a new national record. The 4x400m team ran a very fast 3:05, on the boys' side,” Riley said.
The team was beset with a number of challenges, according to the technical leader, and he praised everyone who played a part in the team's success.
“I think that with all the different challenges we had as a team, it was an all-round great effort from the coaches and the medical staff to pull off this type of a performance,” he noted.
Riley also insisted that the conditions at Kasarani Stadium had a major impact on the athletes at the start of the championships.
“It was very strong, considering the conditions of altitude and temperatures. The kids adapted very well, rose to the occasion, and delivered a performance that we have to be very proud of. They represented NACAC [North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association] very well. They took the challenge to the Africans and indeed, it was a great meet, a great competition for us and over all, I think we have to be proud,” he reasoned.
A number of the athletes who represented Jamaica over the five days in Kenya will now be heading off to tertiary studies while a few are expected to be in contention to make the team to Cali, Colombia, next year.
“We look forward to these athletes going on to their respective colleges and universities on scholarships. Several are returning...to high school and we should have them again next year for the World Under-20. So, it should be a great year next year, but we give thanks for the performance of the athletes this year,” Riley said.