Tina Clayton, Hibbert hailed as standout performers at World Under-20 ChampionshipsWednesday, August 25, 2021
BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
Two of the youngest members of Jamaica's 40-member athletics team, Tina Clayton and Jaydon Hibbert — who participated in the recently held World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya — have been hailed for their standout performances by technical leader to the championships, David Riley.
The two were among the five individuals who Riley thought should earn special mention at the event, which saw Jamaica win 11 medals to equal the second highest number earned at the age-group championships.
Clayton, who won two gold medals, claimed the women's 100m in a stunning new personal best of 11.09s just two days after she turned 17 years old, while Hibbert, who is still only 16 years old and could yet feature in two more championships, won silver in the men's triple Jump to become the first Jamaican male to win a medal in the event at the Under-20 level.
“I think Tina Clayton, in the 100m, did well considering the competitors and it was a good time considering all the factors. Jaydon Hibbert, in the triple jump, was a good performance on the male side,” said Riley.
Two medal-winning hurdlers were also mentioned by Riley, gold medal-winning Ackera Nugent and bronze medal-winning Devontie Archer who ran personal best times of 49.93s in the semi-finals and 49.78s in the final, respectively.
“The sub-50 run by Devontie Archer in the 400m hurdles and Ackera Nugent in the sprint hurdles wasn't particularly fast, but a good performance nonetheless,” noted Riley.
The assault of the relay teams on the medal treasure chest on the last day was also big on Riley's top performances.
“The standout performances would certainly have to be the relays, the last day of the championships. A world record in the 4x100m for women, a national junior record in the 4x100m for men, the 4x400m female team, weakened but not weakened in heart and spirit and they ran really well and won a silver medal. That I thought was a great performance in the overall context of things,” he stated.
Riley thinks that, on a whole, it was yet another powerful performance by Jamaica's junior athletes.
“We were in so many record-breaking events. When you think of Vashaun Vascianna in that world record run in the sprint hurdles (final) we're there. Every time there is something exciting, we're there, so, I think overall, it was a great performance.”
Riley is convinced that the conditions played a part in the performances in the early days of the championships.
“Penn Relays was cancelled for two years in a row, so most of these athletes have never been to Penn Relays. They have not had that experience which would have been a great introduction to Nairobi. So, they have not had that opportunity to compete in cooler temperatures than what they are used to, so that adjustment would have been necessary,” he said.
It should be noted that Jamaica won seven of the eleven medals earned in Nairobi, on the warmest day of the championships.