Athletics

Take three!

Richards, Smith, Carter secure gold for Jamaica, Miller snatch silver

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

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Nesta Carter and Jonielle Smith won the men's and women's 100m gold medals last night as Jamaicans won four medals, including three gold in track and field at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games at the Roberto Melendez Stadium in Barranquilla, Colombia.

Both were winning their first individual outdoor gold medal for Jamaica as Carter ran a season's best 10.07 seconds (1.7m/s) in a race held up by a late recall gun, while Smith ran a wind-aided 11.04 seconds (2.3m/s) in her first-ever individual race at the senior level.

Jamaica also had gold and silver in the men's shot put with O'Dayne Richards setting a new championships record 21.02m in a competitive event that saw the top three men go over the old record set 16 years ago. Ashinia Miller copped the silver medal.

Jamaica's overall medal count jumped to 13, with six gold, two silver and five bronze.

There was controversy in the men's 100m final with a late recall gun that several runners failed to hear and ran the full length of the track, except the experienced Carter, who was first to pull up after about 20 metres.

As a result Barbados's Steve Ellis was disqualified, and when the race finally got under way Carter took charge from the start and cruised to the gold medal.

St Kitts and Nevis's Jason Rogers took the silver in 10.15 seconds, just one hundredth of a second ahead of Antigua's Cajhea Green (10.16 seconds), with Jamaica's Javoy Tucker fifth in 10.25 seconds.

Smith, who will also run at the NACAC Championships in Canada next weekend, beat Trinidad's Khalifa St Forte (11.15 seconds) and Venezuela's Andrea Purica Guevara (11.32 seconds).

The second Jamaican in the final, Jura Levy, was fifth in 11.52 seconds.

The men's shot put got off to a blazing fast start with three championship records in the first two rounds. Bronze medallist Eldred Henry, of the British Virgin Islands, was the first over the old mark of 19.63m set in 2002 by Colombia's Yoger Medina with a personal best 19.91m in first round to take the early lead from Richards.

Miller then extended the record to 20.19m with his second throw before Richards stepped up with a big 21.06m effort, well past his previous season's best 20.86m.

Miller held on to the silver, but only just ahead of Henry, who had an impressive series and ended with the bronze for 20.18m after also throwing 19.98m and 20.07m.

While he was happy to win the gold medal, Richards said he was happier with how he executed in the throwing ring.

“Those are good things — gold medal and championship record. But for me what gives me the most joy is the execution aspect, and once I am able to do that, win, lose or draw, I will be happy.

“Getting the gold and winning is only determined by what the other throwers do, and if I continue to improve myself I think I will be in a good position,” Richards said.

Despite struggling this season, he said all the lessons learnt would serve him in the future. “I am trying to build on this and everything that I have learned. All the lessons will be for the future, and hopefully I will be back in the top three, and back on the podium giving the other guys a good run.”

Miller said it was good for him to win a medal in his first season as a senior and as a professional. “It's always great to represent Jamaica and always good to get a medal. I could have done better, as I fouled a big throw, but I just need more experience and I will be fine.”

Simoya Campbell finished fourth in the 800m final, in two minutes 03.16 seconds, and Fellan Ferguson was sixth in 2:04.13 minutes, as Cuba's Rose Mary Almanza won in 2:01.63 minutes, beating Trinidad's Alena Brooks (2:02.26 minutes) and Sonia Gaskins of Barbados with 2:03.13 minutes.

Leon McKenzie was eighth in the men's 800m final.

The medal hunt continues this evening with 10 Jamaican athletes taking part in seven finals.

LaFranz Campbell and Janine Williams are the Jamaicans into the sprint hurdles finals after yesterday's semi-finals.

Campbell was third in the second semi-final in 14.06 seconds, while Phillip Lemonious failed to finish the first semi-final.

In the women's event, Janine Williams was second in her semis in 13.06 seconds, while Nickiesha Wilson did not start in her race.

Annsert Whyte and Shawn Rowe will contest the men's 400m hurdles final after qualifying from Sunday's semi-finals, while Rochelle Clayton and Rhonda White will contest the women's race.

Two-time national champion Ramone Bailey is the lone Jamaican in the men's long jump final.

Cannigia Raynor will line up in the men's hammer throw, while Florida-based Shanice Love and Isheka Binns will take part in the women's discus throw final.

It will be the first of two finals for Binns, who is also entered in the shot put as well.

The first round and the semi-finals of the men's and women's 200m will also be contested on today's third day of track and field competition.

Rasheed Dwyer and Jahnoy Thompson will represent the island in the men's 200m with Shashalee Forbes and Jodean Williams contesting the women's half lap event.

All four quarter-milers advanced to tomorrow's finals with both women winning their semi-finals yesterday and the men both finished second in their semis to advance as fastest losers.

Tiffany James won her semi-final heat in 53.00 seconds and Derriann Hill also crossed the line first in her race 53.17 seconds, both winning easily.

National record holder Rusheen McDonald was second in his 400m heat in 46.64 seconds behind Colombia's Jhon Perlaza (46.23 seconds), while Steven Gayle ran 46.74 seconds to finish behind Dominican Republic's Luguelin Santos (46.10 seconds).

In women's volleyball action, Jamaica's pair of Sashalee Wallen and Kai Wright lost 0-2 (12-21, 14-21) to Colombia, while in women's individual sabre fencing, Kirst Ashman lost 0-5 to Venezuela's Milagros Pastran.

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