GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands – Jamaica won all eight relays on the final night of competition – all of the 4x100m and all of the 4x400m events – and really dominated on Easter Monday as the 48th CARIFTA Games wrapped up at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
In total, Jamaica won 14 of the 15 track events on the final night of competition, and collected a whopping 85 medals – 36 gold, 33 silver and 16 bronze. The Bahamas finished a distant second with 26 total medals – nine gold, seven silver and 10 bronze, and Trinidad & Tobago was third, ending the meet with 24 total medals – five gold, seven silver and 12 bronze.
The Bahamas’ under-20 boys relay team of Shaun Miller, Matthew Thompson, Marckenson Joseph and Terrance Jones, in that order, won the bronze, finishing in 3:14.54. Jamaica won in 3:07.82, and Barbados finished second in 3:08.98.
The under-20 girls 4x400m relay team of Marissa White, Jasmine Knowles, Gabrielle Gibson and Megan Moss, in that order, won the silver medal in 3:40.51. Jamaica once again won gold, finishing in 3:36.76. Trinidad & Tobago captured the bronze medal, finishing in 3:41.67.
The Bahamas’ under-17 girls 4x400m relay team of Javonya Valcourt, Collinique Farrington, Shaunece Miller and Reshae Dean withdrew as apparently one of the scheduled runners was not in condition to run.
The under-17 boys team of Tergenus Lovinski, Wendell Miller, Omar Kelly and Mateo Smith, finished fifth in 3:32.26.
Individually on Easter Monday, Mitchell Curtis won his second medal of the weekend, finishing with the bronze in the under-17 boys 3,000m. He won gold in the 1,500m on Saturday and recorded a time of 9:16.86 for the bronze in the 3,000m. Matthew Gordon, of Guyana, won the gold medal in 9:12.43, Nathan Armstrong, of Bermuda, finished second in 9:13.13, and Curtis claimed the bronze. The other Bahamian in that race, Denzel Sawyer, was 10th in 10:42.70.
“I tried to take the lead and go for it – tried to create separation. Obviously, that didn’t happen but that is how races go sometimes,” said Curtis. “I’m still happy to represent my country and pick up the bronze. The intensity started right before the bell lap. I tried to switch up my race strategy but I guess I just gassed myself out. It’s a tough race.”
In the open boys 5,000m, the other Curtis brother, Gabriel, won a silver medal, finishing in 15:23.15. Jamaican Kevroy Venson won the gold in 15:21.30, Curtis was second, and Fabian Campbell, of Jamaica, won the bronze in 16:00.03. Gabriel Curtis won bronze in the 1,500m on Saturday.
“I wanted to push the pace a lil bit and maintain it, but there was a lil back and forth going on. Jamaica would take the lead and slow down on purpose so I tried to get around them without using up too much energy, but during the race, I made a decision to just sit back and wait for the last lap and a half,” said the older Curtis. “I thought he (Venson) was going to be a lil drained going into that last lap, but that’s Jamaicans. I still have some things to learn. It’s a long race.”
Curtis was still able to split the two Jamaicans.
Anthaya Charlton won her third medal of the meet in the under-17 girls 100m hurdles. She finished in a personal best time of 13.83 seconds. It was another 1-2 Jamaica sweep as Kay-Lagay Clarke won the gold medal in 13.68 seconds, and her teammate Crystal Shaw won the silver medal, in 13.72 seconds.
“Coming into the race, I had the third-fastest time. I’m not really a hurdler so to come out with a bronze medal is a good feeling. I was hoping for a gold in the hurdles as well but I’m not disappointed. I’m really happy with the time and the result.”
The other Bahamian in that race, Reshae Dean, was disqualified for a false start.
The Bahamas also picked up a bronze medal in the under-20 girls 100m hurdles. Gabrielle Gibson finished third in 13.80 seconds. Ackera Nugent, of Jamaica, won the gold in 13.24 seconds, Sarah Belle, of Barbados finished second in 13.55 seconds, and Gibson claimed the bronze.
In the under-17 boys 110m hurdles, Otto Laing was fifth in 14.56 seconds; and in the under-20 boys race, Oscar Smith finished sixth for The Bahamas in
Jamaica went 1-2 in all of the short hurdles with the exception of the under-20 girls where one of their athletes hit a hurdle and stumbled to sixth. The other Jamaican won gold in that race.
The Bahamas picked up two more silver medals in the 4x100m relays.
The Bahamas’ under-17 boys 4x100m team of Mateo Smith, Wendell Miller, Otto Laing and Davon Johnson won a silver medal in 42.18 seconds. Jamaica won the gold in 41.59 seconds, The Bahamas was second, and Trinidad & Tobago finished second in 42.25 seconds. Anchor leg Johnson said that it was good way to end the meet for them, given the shortcomings they suffered in the short sprints. Team Bahamas was shut out in the 100 and 200m in the under-17 boys division.
“First of all, I just want to thank God for multiple blessings,” said Johnson. “That silver medal was real important to us. For me, I didn’t do what I was expected to do in the 100 so to come out here with a silver medal is a good feeling. We put this team together about two weeks ago, and we kept practicing. I just thank God for the silver medal.”
It was silver in the under-20 boys 4x100m as well, and this was even closer as Ryiem Robertson, of Jamaica, just outleaned Joel Johnson of The Bahamas for the gold. Jamaica won in 39.46 seconds, and The Bahamas’ team of Ure Mills, Rico Moultrie, Adrian Curry and Johnson, in that order, finished second in 39.49 seconds. Barbados settled for the bronze in 40.18 seconds.
“I just wanted to come out of the block strong and get the stick to my teammate quickly,” said lead-off leg Mills. Moultrie said he tried as hard as he could, and it felt great keeping The Bahamas in contention. Curry said the bend was easy for him, and it was all about giving the stick to Johnson in a good position and allow him to go after the gold.
Anchor leg Johnson, who won gold in the open 100m a year ago, said: “For me, I just wanted to come out here and represent The Bahamas to the best of my ability, and it’s good to bring a medal back. You always want to come out with the gold, but this serves as motivation to come back even stronger.” Johnson was battling an injury all season, and appears to be near 100 percent now.
The under-17 girls team of Javonya Valcourt, Collinique Farrington, Shaunece Miller and Anthaya Charlton, in that order, finished fourth in 47.56 seconds. Jamaica won the gold in 45.63 seconds, Trinidad & Tobago finished second in 45.73 seconds, and Bermuda won the bronze in 47.47 seconds.
The Bahamas’ under-20 girls 4x100m team missed out on the bronze as well. The team of Kayvon Stubbs, Megan Moss, Vinajah Adderley and Jaida Knowles, in that order, finished fourth in 42.58 seconds. Jamaica one again won the gold, finishing in 44.25 seconds, Trinidad & Tobago was second in 45.11 seconds, and Barbados won the bronze in 45.52 seconds.
Shaunece Miller just missed her second medal of the weekend, finishing fourth in the under-17 girls triple jump. She had a best jump of 11.46m (37’ 7-1/4”). Anne-Sophie Tassius, of Guadeloupe, won the gold with a leap of 12.50m (41’ 0-1/4”), Jamaican Kay-Lagay Clarke finished second with a leap of 11.69m (38’ 4-1/4”), and Princess Browne, of Guyana, won the bronze medal with a best jump of 11.52m (37’ 9-1/2”).
Keyshawn Strachan also missed capturing his second medal of the meet, finishing fourth in the under-17 boys discus. He finished with a best throw of 45.68m (149’ 10-1/2”). It was another 1-2 sweep for Jamaica as Kobe Lawrence broke the CARIFTA record with a massive throw of 53.32m (174’ 11-1/4”), and his teammate Christopher Young finished second with a throw of 51.34m (168’ 5-1/4”). Jayden Scott, of Trinidad & Tobago, won the bronze medal, with a throw of 47.50m (155’ 10”).
The Bahamas had one competitor in the under-17 boys triple jump on Monday. Stephen Farquharson finished sixth with a leap of 13.04m (42’ 9-1/2”).
In the under-17 girls discus, Annne-Marie Oriakhi struggled and ended up with a best throw of 29.72m (97’ 6”). She finished 10th. The Jamaican athlete, Cedricka Williams, broke the CARIFTA record, with a toss of 47.94m (157’ 3-1/2”).
Team Bahamas is scheduled to return home at noon today on a Bahamasair chartered flight.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting