By Anthony Foster in Fort-de-France, Martinique
Jamaica is on course for a record medal haul at the 43rd Carifta Games being held in Martinique. The young Jamaicans dominated the first two days of competition for a haul of 51 medals, which consists of 25 gold, 19 silver & 7 bronze.
On Sunday the penultimate day, inside the Stade Pierre Aliker, the Jamaicans swept the 400m hurdles… but injury to Under-18 100m champion Raheem Chambers in the last five metres of the 4x100m finals, dampened spirits and robbed them of a sweep of the sprint relays.
In the 24 finals down to be contested today, Monday, Jamaica could win a possible 48 gold medals, which would push them pass the 84 medals won in 2004 in Hamilton, Bermuda. At that outing they won 40 gold, 25 silver and 19 bronze. The Games then was highlighted by a world junior 200m record of 19.93 secs set by Usain Bolt.
Jamaica won seven of a possible eight medals in the one-lap obstacles.
With two entries per team, the Jamaicans were going for eight medals, but Durant Crooks, who made the finals earlier, did not start in the Under-18 boys final because of sore muscles.
The seven medals won came in the colours of gold and silver, on the rain-hit afternoon session.
Kimone Green defended her title won in Bahamas with an impressive 58.47secs run. Green, running out of lane one, had the field covered from as early as the backstretch. She straightened and pulled away to win ahead of her Jamaican teammate Andrenette Knight 59.61 and Meghane Grandson, who handed Martinique its first medal of the Games, 60.85.
In the boys Under20 section, Jamaica again finished 1-2 with Okeen Williams 50.99 and Marvin Williams, the world youth champion, 51.22. Ruebin Walters of Trinidad & Tobago was third in 51.68.
Jamaica also pocketed gold and silver in the girls Under-18 400m hurdles finals with Shenice Cohen's 59.72 and Shannon Kalawan's 59.95. Dreshanne Rolle took the bronze in 60.43.
World Youth 110m hurdles champion Jaheel Hyde went the full lap and dismissed his opponents to win in 51.21, over Barbadian Rivaldo Leacock, 51.37 and Kyron McMaster of BVI, 52.85.
“I knew I was the class athlete, so I just came to win the gold medal,” said Hyde, who ran 49.49 to win at the Jamaican High School Championships.
In the sprint relays, Jamaica’s Under-20 boys, anchored by Jevaughn Minzie and included Raheem Robinson, Michael O'Hara and Jordan Chin, topped the field in 39.38 ahead of Bahamas 40.35 and Trinidad & Tobago 40.71.
On the girls side, the Under-20 quartet of Chanice Bonner Kedisha Dallas, Saqukine Cameron and 100m champion Jonielle Smith, topped the Under-20 field in 44.16. Only three countries competed. Trinidad & Tobago finished second in 45.32 and Bahamas third in 45.47.
The Under-17 team of 100m champion Kimone Shaw, Shellece Clark, Shanice Reid and Natalliah Whyte, won in 44.80 ahead of Bahamas 45.91 and BV I 46.30.
In the Under-18 boys finals, Bahamas snatched gold in 40.76, ahead of Jamaica 40.78 and Trinidad & Tobago 42.41.
Jamaica’s team captain Jevaughn Minzie expressed disappointment at not winning all the relays.
“The aim was to sweep the relays. We spoke about it, so we must be a little disappointed not to take all four gold medals. We just hope the injury to our teammate Raheem (Chambers) is not serious,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the multi-discipline finals, Kevin Roberts of Trinidad & Tobago topped the boys Octathlon with 5,696 points and Chelsey Linton of Dominica, the Heptathlon, with 4,648 points.
Javel St. Paul of Grenada 5,258 and Florian Simax of Martinique, 5,222, were second and third respectively in the Octathlon, while Jamaica’s Janel Fullerton 4,588 and Miquel Roach of Bahamas 4,365, collected the minor place medals in the Heptathlon.
In the boys Under-18 high jump, Lusahane Wilson of Jamaica cleared 2.03m for victory, the same height as Bermudan Jahnai Perinchief, who pocketed the silver.
Yanis Esmeralda David of Guadeloupe won the Under-18 girls long jump with 6.24m, over Kristal Liburd of St. Kitts and Nevis 6.01m.
Jamaica also pocketed gold and silver in the Under-20 boys high jump with Clayton Brown and Christoffe Bryan, both clearing 2.16m. Brown on count back took the gold.