PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) -- Jamaica smashed four championship records in another bossy display on day two of the 32nd CARIFTA Games at the Hasely Crawford Stadium yesterday.
Two sizzling relay records, including a sub-40 run with the majestic 400-metre champion, Usain Bolt on anchor, closed the evening as the Jamaicans swept all four sprint relays and ended the day with 40 medals -- 23 gold, 10 silver and seven bronze.
Hosts, Trinidad and Tobago, are nearest in the table with 21 medals (5-9-7), followed by Grenada with 11 (3-3-5) and Barbados 9 (2-4-3).
Bolt, the World Junior 200-metre champion, powered the Jamaicans home in the Boys Under-20 4X100 metres in 39.43 seconds, smashing the previous record of 40.19 by T&T, after Winston Hutton, Orain Nicely and Tesfa Latty had done magnificent early work.
T&T, without injured star Darrel Brown, held on for second in 40.64, with the Bahamas (40.80) third.
Jamaica's Under-20 Girls -- Todi-Ann Powell, 100-metre champion, Kerron Stewart, Nickeisha Anderson and Sherone Simpson -- returned 44.42 for their win, erasing the country's own three-year-old mark of 44.63.
Jamaica, with 100-metre champion, Samantha Henry, on anchor retained their Girls Under-17 4X100-metre title in 46.07 seconds, and the Boys Under-17 100-metre champion, Renaldo Rose, also flashed past the finish a winner, taking his 4X100 metre team to gold in 41.77 seconds.
The Jamaicans, led by championship record run by Camille Robinson, swept the entire schedule of 300 and 400-metre hurdles for the third year in a row.
Robinson, the reigning World Youth champion, shot past the front-running Trinidadian, Josanne Lucas, to win the Girls Under-20 400 hurdles gold in a new record 56.61 seconds.
Carlene Robinson (58.47) finished well for the silver as her twin sister dipped well below Jamaican Melanie Walker's 2001 mark of 56.90 in Barbados.
Kimani Williams (51.22) prevailed over Isa Phillips (51.29) in a tight finish of the Boys Under-20 event for another Jamaica one-two finish.
Saturday's 400-metre champion, Jassef Robinson, easily retained his Boys Under-17 hurdles title, clocking 53.69 to beat Barbadian, Terry Marshall (54.81), and Jamaican, Andre Pratt (56.44)
And Sherene Pinnock gave the Jamaicans a sixth consecutive victory in the Girls Under-17 300 hurdles in 42.24 after team-mate, Melony McKay (42.61) appeared poised for gold 80 metres out.
Jamaica's Nadina Marsh unseated Trinidadian, Charisse Bacchus as pentathlon champion, gathering a record 3,868 points. Bacchus, (3,548) was second.
Wilbert Walker completed the multi-events double for Jamaica when he copped the heptathlon gold with 4,837 points, to defeat Grenada's Akido Noel (4,613).
Antiguan, Janill Williams, rebounded from her 1,500-metre defeat Saturday to capture the 3,000-metre Girls open for the seventh year in a row.
Williams sprinted clear of the field in the last lap and won in 10 minutes 12.32 seconds. Guyanese, Jennifer Chichester, had a strong finish for second in 10:14.08, with Jamaican, Loraine McKenzie (10:15.47), third.
Grenada's Neilon Joseph, Saturday's 1,500-metre champion, completed a fine Under-17 double, scoring an impressive win in the 3,000 metres in 9:20.50, beating T&T's Sandino Nero (9:22.75).
Sasha Ferguson, of The Bahamas, won the Girls Under-17 discus at 36.23 metres, and Trinidadian Rhonda Watkins completed an Under-17 double when she captured the high jump at 1.73 metres, adding to the long jump title she secured on Saturday.
Other field events gold medallists Sunday evening included Antiguan, Brandon Joseph, winning the Boys Under-17 triple jump at 14.21 metres over Barbadian, Barry Batson (14.14), and among the Under-20s, T&T's Mark Sheron (12.82 metres) in the Boys triple jump, Jamaican Damion Young (7.40 metres) in the Boys long jump, and Barbadian Jamal Forde, who retained his Boys javelin crown at 65.46m.
The Jamaicans, who have topped the CARIFTA medal table for the past 18 consecutive years, enter today's final day with strong momentum as the bid to top the 67 medals they won in the Bahamas last year.
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) -- A flaming clash between reigning World Junior sprint champions, Darrel Brown and Usain Bolt, headlines the action at the 2003 CARIFTA Games, beginning today at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
The two start competition on the opening day in separate events but are expected to face-off in Monday's Boys Under 20 200-metre final.
Trinidad and Tobago's Brown defends his 100-metre crown today, while Bolt tackles the 400-metre field in his first appearance in the Under-20 class.
Jamaicans, Anneisha McLaughlin and Camille Robinson, who also won medals at the 2002 World Juniors in Kingston, are also listed for the three-day meet.
There appears to be little chance of preventing the irrepressible Jamaican track and field factory from spewing out another medal-topping performance -- for the 19th year in a row.
The Bahamas -- as hosts -- collected 33 medals last year, less than half the Jamaican tally, 67, and regular top-five finishers Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and rising Eastern Caribbean power, Grenada, are back again trying to eat into the wide gap the Jamaicans have on them.
Brown, now based in the United States, opened his outdoor season with a classy 10.24 win at the Sun Angel Classic in Arizona earlier this month and is a hot favourite for his third straight 100-metre gold this evening.
One of his main rivals over the years, Grafton Ifill, will be missing from the meet. The Bahamian, who chased Brown for silver in last year's 100 metres, and also got second in the 200, has commitments for Clemson University this weekend, leaving the fast improving Jamaican, Tesfa Latty, as Brown's main threat.
Latty, who produced a sizzling meet record 10.24 seconds at 'Champs' earlier this month, will be trying to hand Brown his first CARIFTA defeat since the smooth running phenomenon landed his first gold medal in Martinique four years ago.
Bahamian, Oscar Greene, runner-up to Ifill in both Under-17 sprints at the 2001 Games in Barbados, is also a medal contender, after clocking 10.39 at national trials last week.
Since his 1999 triumph, Brown went on to claim global titles at the 2001 World Youth (Under-18) championship in a meet record 10.31 seconds in Hungary and the World Junior title last year in Jamaica, in a brilliant championship record 10.09 seconds.
Bolt also sped to a championship record at the Kingston World Juniors, clocking 20.61 seconds for the 200 gold. Two weeks ago, he posted an astounding 20.25 seconds in the half-lap sprint at 'Boys Champs' to become the world's fastest 16-year-old ever over the distance.
Bolt is now clearly -- in spite of his youth -- a very worthy 200-metre challenger for Brown.
He looks unbeatable in the 400 metres, after a personal best 45.35 run in Kingston.
World Junior 200-metre silver-medallist, McLaughlin, is back in action after a bout of chicken pox. The 2002 Austin Sealy Award winner enters Under-20 competition for the first time, and is listed for the 400 metres.
Robinson is favourite in the 400-metre hurdles, in which she took bronze at last year's World Juniors.
The outstanding Antiguan, Janill Williams, is the defending 1,500 and 3,000-metre champion, and another star at the meet.
She has a long list of gold medals as multiple champion from 800 to 3,000 metres each year since her first 3,000 open win as an 11-year-old at the 1997 CARIFTA Games in Barbados, but appears threatened this year by the Jamaicans, Kayann Thompson and Carlene Robinson, who are coming in with fast times this season.
The Caribbean's impressive standing in world athletics again makes the meet a priority for several scouts from North American Universities.
They will among many thousands of spectators -- even with the second Test match between the West Indies and Australia at the nearby Queen's Park Oval -- expected for another fabulous CARIFTA meet, aptly being staged at a venue named after T&T's 1976 Olympic 100-metre champion.
From: The Jamaican Observer
TRACK: Williams Leads 15 (10 April 2003)
10 April 2003, Terry Finistere, oecsathlete.com
Janill Williams will spearhead a 15-member Antigua-Barbuda contingent at the Carifta Games in Trinidad & Tobago over the Easter weekend. Williams, the most outstanding athlete at the annual regional junior track & field championship in 1998 in Trinidad, returns to Port of Spain to contest the under-20 girls 800m, 1500m and 3000m races at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Other athletes seeking repeat medals will be James Baird (u20 boys 1500m and 5000m) and Ayata Joseph (u20 boys triple jump and long jump), whilst Adino Greenaway (u17 boys 100m and 200m), Jamille Nelson (u20 boys 1500m and 5000m), Daniel Bailey (u20 boys 100m and 200m) and Celisa Maloney (u20 girls 800m and 1500m) all return to Carifta action.
Eight athletes will be making their Carifta debuts. Sprinter Chandora Codrington will compete in the u20 girls 100m and 200m races, along with Anika John Baptiste. Also in that division, Patrice Davis will be vying for top honours in the triple jump and long jump, Amanda Edwards will compete for the 200m and javelin throw titles, and Maria Appleton will seek to win the 800m and 1500m races. Brandon Joseph will join Ayata Joseph for the u20 boys triple jump and long jump, whilst Robert Edgecombe will compete in the u17 boys javelin throw. James Grayman will contest the u20 boys long jump.
Four officials will accompany the athletes to the event in Trinidad. They are Cuban coach based with the Ministry of Sports Hector Martinez, coach and president of the national athletics association Everton Cornelius, female official Olivette Michael and coach Calvin Greenaway, who is also second vice-president of the National Association.
TRACK: OECS Gears Up For Carifta
The 2003 Junior Carifta Games will be held in Trinidad & Tobago 19-21 April, the Caribbean's finest young track and field talent gathering in the Land of the Hummingbird for what Anthony Harford has promised will be “the best Carifta ever.” Harford's company, All Sport Promotions, will handle all aspects of the marketing and management for the Games, including a Caribbean “caravan” to promote the meet, which was launched in Port of Spain this week.
The XXXII Games budget is TT$1.7 million (US$274 thousand), close to 70% of which will be underwritten by Guardian Holdings Ltd., RBTT Bank Caribbean and The National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago.
The individual star of Carifta will likely be Alabama-based Trinidad & Tobago sprinter Darrel Brown. The defending World Junior Champion is going to be chasing a third consecutive under-20 boys' 100m title in his home town come Easter, and he will surely be the most closely watched of over 600 athletes from 26 countries who will compete at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
But these Games have produced dozens of world-class athletes over the years, from Merlene Ottey to Marie-Jose Perec, from Debbie Ferguson to Davian Clarke. Though Jamaica has traditionally dominated proceedings, along with Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States territories have been making a name for themselves lately.
Antigua-Barbuda distance runner Janill Williams will attempt to extend her Carifta record winning streak in the girls' 1500m and 3000m races. 2002 Central American and Caribbean Games gold medallist Adonson Shallow, from St. Vincent & the Grenadines, will compete in the boys' throws. Former Carifta champion and World Youth Championships bronze medallist Levern Spencer of St. Lucia will attempt to write her way back into the high jump record books. Tiandra Ponteen of St. Kitts-Nevis will hunt for gold in the under-20 girls' 400m race. Grenada's bid to build on last year's success will hinge on field events athletes like javelin throwers Murvine and Kevon Charles.
Watching the region's finest will be International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) president Lamine Diack, who will be attending his second consecutive Carifta Games. North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association vice-president Keith Joseph says Diack is a big fan of the Junior Carifta Games. “He has... been singing the praises of the Games," says Joseph. "[He] has said it is the most impressive developmental junior meet in the world. He has never seen the likes of it in terms of the level of competition, participation, enthusiasm and of course the kind of support it receives from the people of the Caribbean.”
2002 SKN Performance
Melville "Mello" Rogers was the most successful athlete from Kitts-Nevis at the 2002 Carifta Games in Nassau, Bahamas. In the boys under-20 400m, Melville (47.24s) finished behind Jamaica's Jermaine Gonzales. Also in the U20-400m, 2001 silver medalist Tiandra Ponteen (55.16) was over a second off her pace of last year, and she could only manage fourth place. Virgil Hodge made the girls under-20 100m final, running 11.99 seconds to finish fifth.