Jamaica dominate Day 1 of Carifta Games with 28 medals
Jamaica’s powerful junior track and field team has taken the early lead at the 2017 Carifta Games at the multi-purpose Ergilio Hato Stadium in Willemstad, Curacao.
At the end of Saturday’s first day of the three-day games, Jamaica took charge with 28 medals, 19 clear of nearest rival Trinidad and Tobago in second place with nine.
Jamaica’s medal haul of 28 comprises 12 gold, 10 silver and six bronze, while Trinidad and Tobago ended the day with four gold and five bronze for their nine medals.
The Bahamas are in third place with six medals (two gold, three silver and one bronze).
Guyana (four medals – two gold, one silver and one bronze), Barbados (five medals – one gold, three silver and one bronze) round off the top five.
Of the 28 medals won by Jamaica on day one, the girls were responsible for 17 (seven gold, seven silver and three bronze), while the boys’ team accounted for 11 (5 gold, three silver and three bronze).
Roje Stona and Fiona Richards were the stars for Jamaica on the day as they both produced record throws in the Under-20 discus throw finals.
Stona produced a record 66.41 metres to win the Boys' Under-20 discus throw. He achieved the record throw with his first attempt to erase the 63.11 metres set by his countryman Chad Wright in 2013.
Stona only registered two marks as following his second throw of 63.60 metres he had three foul throws.
It was a one-two finish for Jamaica as Kevin Nedrick took second place with a throw of 60.38 metres, which he achieved on his third attempt.
Richards was superb as her first four throws went under the previous Girls' Under-20 discus throw record of 53.47 metres recorded in 2002 by Claudia Villeneuve of Martinique.
Richards' best throw on her way to the new record was 54.19 metres. The Jamaican produced that throw twice - firstly with her second attempt and then with her fourth throw.
The other throws that also went under the previous record of 53.47 metres were 54.09, recorded on her first attempt and 54.12, on her third attempt.
Laquell Harris of The Bahamas finished second with 50.42 metres, while the other Jamaican - Gabrielle Bailey finished fifth with 45.47 metres.
Jamaica also produced good performances in the 400-metre events and the 1,500-metre races.
In the 400 metres, Jamaica captured three of the four gold medals.
Christopher Taylor won the Boys' Under-20 400 metres in 45.97 seconds to easily beat Jamal Calton of the Cayman Islands, who clocked 46.46. Dashawn Morris of Jamaica clocked 47.60 seconds for fourth place.
In the girls' equivalent, Jamaica had a one-three finish. Junelle Bromfield won in 53.82 seconds, convincingly beating her teammate Kimorla Mushette and Tiana Bown of The Bahamas, who were both credited with 55.62 seconds. Brown was was adjudged the seond place winner over the Jamaican.
In the Boys' Under-18 400-metre final, Antonio Watson led home a Jamaica one-two finish.
Watson clocked 47.86 seconds for the victory, while his teammate Ramone Lindo clocked 47.99 for his second place finish.
In the girls' equivalent, Jamaican Kimara Francis clocked 54.24 for second place behind Megan Moss of The Bahamas, who denied Jamaica the sweep by winning in 53.69 seconds.
Jamaica swept the 1,500-metre finals and produced one-two finishes in three of the four races.
In the Girls' Under-18 1,500-metre final, Shaquena Foote won in 4:45.51 as teammate Rushana Dwyer finished second in 4:48.15.
In the boys' equivalent, Renardo Johnson took the victory in 4:09.74 with his teammate clocking 4:09.87 for second place.
Only three competitors turned up for the Girls' Under-20 1,500-metre final and Britnie Dixon won in 4:58.79 as her teammate Kara Grant finished second in 4:59.06.
Ackeen Colley completed the 1,500-metre sweep for Jamaica by winning the Boys' Under-20 final in 3:55.83, well ahead of Guyanese Anferne Headecker, who clocked 3:58.22 for second place. Jamaican Shemar Salmon finished fourth in 4:00.04.
Meanwhile, Edwin Allen High star sprinter Kevona Davis won Jamaica's only gold medal in the 100-metre dash.
Davis took the Girls' Under-18 100-metre final in 11.62 seconds in a -1.6 metre per second headwind, while teammate Briana Williams finished third in 11.80.
Joella Lloyd of Antigua finished second with an 11.67 clocking.
In the boys' equivalent, Tyreke Wilson (10.69) of Jamaica finish third to Trinidadian Adell Colthrust, who won in 10.63 seconds.
Jamaicans Aneka Brissett (11.57) and Kasheika Cameron (11.74) were second and fourth respectively in the Girls' Under-20 100-metre final, which was won by Trinidadian Khalifa Fort in 11.56.
The boys' equivalent went to Compton Caesar of Guyana in 10.46, while Jamaican Jelani Walker finished third in 10.61.
Twenty-six coutries and territories in the region are fielding more than 600 junior athletes at the games.
Jamaica have won the games for 32 straight year and 40 times of the games’ 45-year history.
The last Jamaica lost was in 1984 when The Bahamas won at home.
Last year, Jamaica won a record 86 medals comprising 43 gold, 28 silver and 15 bronze.