Three golds in the sprints for Team Bahamas
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands – The Bahamas matched Jamaica in gold medals in the sprints on Saturday night, taking two of the 400 meters (m) events, and one of the 100m events for three sprint golds medals, all in blazing personal best times. At the end of competition on Saturday, in all of the events, The Bahamas had six gold medals and three bronze for a total of nine medals.
Anthaya Charlton proved that she is the fastest under-17 female athlete in the region, beating her previous personal best by more than a tenth of a second in winning gold for The Bahamas at the 48th CARIFTA Games in George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
Charlton crossed the finish line in 11.51 seconds, easily beating her rivals at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex on Saturday night. Shaniqua Bascombe of Trinidad & Tobago was a distant second in 11.72 seconds, and Ulanda Lewis of St. Vincent and the Grenadines finished third in 11.91 seconds.
“I feel really good about the race. I was a little bit nervous coming into the event but I stuck with it and did what I had to do,” said Charlton. “I didn’t know what the time was, but that is shocking. I’m really happy with it. I would just like to thank everyone for watching and supporting me.”
Wendell Miller and Terrance Jones were both pleasant surprises for team Bahamas in the 400m. In the under-17 boys division, Miller hadn’t even qualified for CARIFTA, according to the standards that were set out at the beginning of the season by the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA). However, he would not be denied, running a huge personal best of 48.45 seconds to win the gold medal in that event at the CARIFTA Games on Saturday night. The Jamaican pair of Tahj Hamm and Tariq Dacres finished second and third in times of 48.54 and 48.70 seconds respectively.
“I just went out there and wanted to prove myself, and I feel like I was able to do that,” said Miller. “I had a lot of energy in me coming into the home stretch so I knew I just had to finish strong. I feel amazing. I just won a gold medal for my country. I feel like I made my coach and my mommy proud and I’m happy with that.”
The under-20 boys 400m final is arguably the race of the games so far. Going into the final on Saturday night, all eight athletes in the final ran 48 seconds or faster in the heats. In the final, three ran under 47 seconds, led by Bahamian Terrance Jones.
Jones stopped the clock in 46.29 seconds, coming from behind in the final 150 meters of the race to collect gold. Jones ran past four runners in the final 150 meters of the race, including chasing down the Jamaicans on the home stretch. Anthony Cox, of Jamaica, was second in 46.36 seconds, and his teammate Evaldo Whitehorne finished third in 46.39 seconds.
“I just went out there and executed my race plan, trusted in God and was able to bring home a old for my country,” said Jones. “I feel pretty good. I came here expecting to PR (run a personal best time) and I was able to do that so I feel good about that. I just want to thank the people of The Bahamas for all the support. I couldn’t have done it without the support.”
In the under-20 boys 100m, The Bahamas had to settle for third and fourth as Adrian Curry stopped the clock in 10.42 seconds for third, and Rico Moultrie crossed the finish line in 10.50 seconds for fourth. It was a 1-2 Jamaican finish in that event with Oblique Seville winning in 10.24 seconds and Ryiem Robertson finishing second in 10.37 seconds.
“My start was pretty good, my execution was good coming out of the blocks and I just finished strong,” said Curry.
Moultrie said: “I feel good about it. I had a good start and just executed right.”
The Bahamas was fourth and fifth in the under-20 girls 400m. Marissa White finished fourth in 54.30 seconds, and last year’s under-17 CARIFTA champion Megan Moss had to settle for a disappointing fifth for her in 54.31 seconds.
The podium finishers were Shaquena Foote of Jamaica, winning in 52.63 seconds, Annakay Allen, also of Jamaica, finishing second in 53.53 seconds, and Rae-Ann Serville, of Trinidad & Tobago, finishing third in 54.18 seconds.
Jaida Knowles had to settle for fifth in the under-20 girls 100m, finishing in 11.79 seconds. World Under-20 Champion Briana Williams, of Jamaica, won easily in 11.25 seconds, almost four tenths of a second ahead of second place finisher Akila Lewis of Trinidad & Tobago. Lewis was second in 11.62 seconds, Kemba Nelson, of Jamaica, finished third, in 11.68 seconds, and Gemima Joseph of French Guiana out-leaned Knowles for fourth, finishing in 11.78 seconds.
In the under-17 boys 100m, the only Bahamian in that final, Davon Johnson, had to settle for seventh, finishing in 11.07 seconds. The only Bahamian in the under-17 girls 400m final, Javonya Valcourt, finished seventh, in 57.09 seconds.
In total, The Bahamas picked up three gold medals in the sprints on Saturday night to match Jamaica’s three sprint gold medals on that same night.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting