Jamaica's junior athletes made a strong start to the 48th annual Carifta Games at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in the Cayman Islands on Saturday with 30medals.
The medal haul for Jamaicacomprises ninegold, 14silver, and sevenbronze.
The Bahamas were well behind in second placewith a medal haul of nine, which comprises six gold and three silver.
Guyana (three medals - two gold and a bronze), Trinidad and Tobago (seven medals - one gold, three silver, and three bronze) and Bermuda (two medals - one gold and one bronze) complete the top five on the gold medal table.
Double World sprint championBriana Williams was the Jamaican star on the opening day with an easy victory in the Girls’ Under-20 100m final.
TheFlorida-based Williams competing in her first year at the Under-20 level got a bullet start and quickly separated herself from the field to win in 11.25 seconds.
Akila Lewis of Trinidad and Tobago finished second in 11.62, while Williams’ teammate Kemba Nelson of University of Technology came home third in 11.68 seconds.
Williams is trying to repeat her 2018 achievement of winning three gold medals and the Austin Sealy Trophy.
At the 2018 Games in Nassau, Bahamas, Williams completed the Under-17 Girls’ sprint double on her way to three gold medals. She won the 100m in a new championship record of 11.27 seconds and the 200m in 23.11 seconds to secure the only sprint double. Then on the final day of competition, Williams led the Girls’ Under-17 4x100m team to a championship record of 44.95 seconds.
Williams was in doubt of chasing three gold medals in the Cayman Islands because of a tight schedule for the 100m and 200m races. She had decided only to contest the 100m. However, following a change to the 200m schedule, Williams will now contest that event, which begins on Sunday's second and penultimate day with the preliminary round.
Briana Williams following her victory in the Girls' Under-20 100m final
Jamaica secured another gold medal in the 100m as Oblique Seville of Calabar High easily won the Boys’ Under-20 title to add his gold at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships.
Seville came home in 10.24 seconds. It was a one-two finish for Jamaica as Ryiem Robertson of Jamaica College, who had beat Seville at the Carifta Trials, took the silver medal in 10.37. Adrain Curry Jr. of The Bahamas finished third for bronze in 10.42.
In the Girls’ Under-17 100m, Jamaican Glacian Loutin finished fifth in 12.17. The gold medal went to Anthaya Charlton of The Bahamas, who clocked 11.51 seconds. Trinidadian Shaniqua Bascombe (11.72) and St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Ulanda Lewis (11.91) finished second and third.
Jamaica secured a medal in the Boys’ Under-17 100m through Kingston College’s (KC) Bouwajhie Nkrumie, who finished second in 10.71. Devine Augustine of Trinidad and Tobago won the event in 10.62. Jaleel Croal of the British Virgin Islands finished third in 10.80. The other Jamaican qualifier, Adrian Kerr, also of KC, suffered from a poor start and came home fourth in 10.99.
Kai Chang poses with his medal after winning the Boys' Under-20 discus final.
The 1-2 finish for Seville and Robertson in the Boys’ Under-20 100m final was one of eightfor Jamaica on the day.
The Girls’ Under-20 high jump final produced the first 1-2 finish for Jamaica on the day.
Janique Burgher and Daniela Anglin both cleared 1.77m to finish well aheadof third-place Aikah Lewis (1.60) of the host country Cayman Islands.
In the Boys’ Under-17 shot put, Christopher Young won with an effort of 16m to beat his Jamaican teammate Kobe Lawrence, who achieved 15.86m.
The Girls’ Under-20discus also produced a 1-2 finish for Jamaica. Marie Forbes threw 47.63m to beat Kimone Reid’s 44.60m. The two were followed by Grenada’s Kelsie Murrell-Ross, whose best effort was 40.30m.
IAAF World Under-20 discus champion, Kai Chang of Calabar easily won the Carifta Games gold medalwith a winning throwof59.36m, improving on the silver he won last year. Ralford Mullings of KC took the silver medal with an effort of 54.91m. Twin brothersDjimon Gumbs (54.76m) and Diamnate Gumbs (52.85m) of the British Virgin Islands finished third and fourth.
The Girls’ Under-17 1500m final produced the first 1-2 finish on the track for Jamaica. Samantha Pryce won the event in 4:47.34, while Jodyann Mitchell came home second in 4:49.49. The two Jamaicans were well clear of Shaquka Tyrell of Guyana, who finished third in 4:52.2.
Tyrese Reid of Spot Valley High continued his good season, leading home a Jamaica 1-2 finish in the Boys’ Under-20 1500m final.
Reid won the event in 3:56.58 to beat Fabian Campbell, who crossed the line in 3:56.23.
Shaquena Foote following her victory in the Girls' Under-20 400m final.
The Girls' Under-20 400m final produced the other 1-2 finish for Jamaica.
Last year's Under-18 800m silver medallistShaquena Foote, of Petersfield High,competing in her first year at the Under-20 level won the 400m final in 52.63 seconds, beating teammate Anna-kay Allen (53.53).
Foote's victory was the only gold medal for Jamaica in the four 400m finals.
More than 500 athletes from across the Caribbean are taking part in the premier track and field meet in the region.
Jamaica has topped the medal table 41 times and its last defeat was in 1984 when The Bahamas won at home.
Last year, Jamaica won82 medals (43 gold, 28 silver, 11 bronze) in the Bahamas, four medals shy of the 86 they won in 2017 (39 gold, 28 silver, 19 bronze) in Curacao. Their medal count in 2018 was 47 medals clear of their nearest rival The Bahamas, whichhad 35 (6 gold, 14 silver, 15 bronze).
Day two is scheduled to begin at 9:00 am with the Girls’ Under-17 javelin final.