Athletics

This one's for me!

Jamaica strike late for two gold medals

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

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Jamaica won two gold medals in dramatic fashion last night as the third day of track and field ended at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games inside the Roberto Melendez Stadium in Barranquilla, Colombia.

Minutes after intermediate hurdler Rhonda Whyte chased down the entire field to win the gold medal on the line, long jumper Ramone Bailey produced snatched gold with a mark of 8.07m (0.1m/s) from Tyrone Smith of Bermuda with 8.03m.

Jamaica added three more medals yesterday as Annsert Whyte took silver in the men's 400m hurdles, while female sprint hurdler Jeanine Williams and female discus thrower Shanice Love both won bronze medals.

Jamaica's medal count in the Games jumped to 18 with eight gold medals, two silver and eight bronze.

Bailey, who had won the last two national senior titles with last round jumps, was up to his old tricks again last night as he led from the first round with 8.00m.

The veteran Smith passed him into first place in the final round with a season's best 8.03m (0.2m/s) coming from fourth place, but the Jamaican, who struggled to find a rhythm during the competition, got it right on his final jump to snatch the gold medal.

Trinidad's Andwuelle Wright was third with 7.94m (0.3m/s).

Not even 15 minutes earlier, a brilliant stretch run from Whyte took her to the gold medal in the women's 400m hurdles in 55.08 seconds as she came from well behind over the final barrier to chase down the entire field.

Whyte, who was nursing a painful ankle injury, just got to the line ahead of a desperate lunge from Mexico's Zudikey Rodriques, who ran a lifetime best 55.11 seconds to take silver and Cuba's Zurian Hechavarria was third in a personal best 55.13 seconds, with Jamaica's Rochelle Clayton just missing a medal in fourth place in 55.30 seconds.

“I am happy that I was able to finish strong, as I normally do,” Whyte said.

“I was running timid as I have a swollen ankle that is causing me pain...I am feeling overwhelmed to win my first senior medal.”

Annsert Whyte ran a season's best 48.50 seconds for the silver medal, but was beaten to the gold by World Champion Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands, who ran a championships record 47.60 seconds with Juander Santos of the Dominican Republic third with a season's best 48.77 seconds to get bronze ahead of Jamaica's Shawn Rowe, who ran 49.30 seconds.

Love improved on her previous personal best 57.77m in the first round when she threw 58.33m then finished strongly with 58.40m, placing behind the Cuban pair of Yaime Perez, who took the gold with a championship record 66.00m, breaking the mark of 64.47m set in 2014 in Mexico by Denia Caballero, who was second last night with 65.10m for silver.

Jamaica's Isheka Binns was sixth with 53.58m.

Love, who was winning her first senior medal, was pleased with her effort and said she had fun.

“I feel really, really happy because it was my goal to throw over 58.00m, so to finish my season with two throws over 58.0m, I am really happy and excited right now.”

The Florida State University student said on her first throw she was just trying to get a mark. “My first throw; was a bit of a nervous throw, it was a safe throw... then I was like, you know what, let me have some fun as I was throwing with the big girls, so I was having fun while competing.”

Jeanine Williams was third in the 100m hurdles final, running 13.11 seconds (1.5m/s) after leading most of the way but hit the last hurdle just as Andrea Vargas of Costa Rica pulled up on her left.

Williams stumble allowed Vargas to get to the line first, in a personal best 12.90 seconds, with Vanessa Clerveaux of Haiti second in 13.07 seconds.

An obviously disappointed Williams later said she was happy for the medal but disappointed that she hit the final hurdle.

“I am happy, but a little disappointed as I was right there until the last hurdle,” she said. “Disappointed but still happy that I got a medal, but I wished I got the gold.”

The US-based athlete admitted she had been having issues with the 10th hurdle through the season.

LaFranz Campbell, the only Jamaican in the 110m hurdles final, finished seventh in 14.12 seconds (1.4m/s) as Barbados's Shane Braithwaite won in season's best 13.38 seconds.

Cannigia Raynor was fifth in the men's hammer throw with a best mark of 65.94m, as Mexico's Diego Del Real Galindo won with a championship record 74.95m.

Twelve more athletes will be seeking to add to the Jamaican medal total on today's fourth day of track and field, in the men's and women's 200m, the men's and women's 400m, women's javelin throw, men's high jump and women's shot put.

Former IAAF World Under-20 champion Tiffany James and Derriann Hill will line up in the women's 400m final before Rusheen McDonald and Steven Gayle go hunting medals in the men's 400m final.

All four Jamaicans qualified for the two finals in the 200m in impressive fashion with the women winning their races in both rounds.

Jodean Williams ran a personal best 22.88 seconds (0.0m/s) to win her semi-final heat after she had won her first round race in 23.04 seconds (0.8m/s).

Shashalee Forbes won her semi-final in 23.02 seconds (0.1m/s) after running 22.99 (1.5m/s) to win her first round heat.

Both Jamaican men Rasheed Dwyer and Jahnoy Thompson qualified for the 200m final today after safely navigating the first two rounds yesterday.

Dwyer, who ran 20.37 seconds (0.3m/s) for second in his first round earlier in the day, returned in the semi-finals to clock a season's best 20.19 seconds for second behind Colombia's Bernardo Baloyes' 20.0 seconds to break the championship record 20.25 seconds set in 2010 by Charundy Martina for the second time in the day after he had run 20.04 seconds in the first round.

That mark lasted for only a few minutes as Panama's Alonso Edward won the second semi-final in 19.96 seconds (0.4m/s), just ahead of Trinidad's Kyle Greaux, who ran a personal best 19.97 seconds with Thompson in third place in 20.23 seconds.

In the first round, Thompson had placed second in his race in 20.46 seconds (0.9m/s).

The veteran Kateema Rietie will take part in the women's javelin throw; Clayton Brown is the only Jamaican in the men's high jump, while Binns will return for back-to-back duties when she accompanies Gleneve Grange in the women's shot put final.

The semi-finals of both 4x100m relays will also be run today, and while the women's team will have some fresh legs to call on, the options for the men are not as obvious.

Natasha Morrison and Sherone Simpson have been named in the women's pool that will also include 100m champion Jonielle Smith and finalist Jura Levy.

The men's pool include men's 100m champion Nesta Carter and finalist Javoy Tucker as well as Romario Williams and Dwyer.

Today, the rugby team will also be in action with a number of games today.

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