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Fast start for Bajans

Sherrylyn A. Toppin in Montego Bay

Fast start for Bajans

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Traditionally slow starters Barbados made an unusually fast start to the 40th LIME CARIFTA Games at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex, collecting three gold, two silver and two bronze medals last night.
In quick succession, Barbados won gold, silver and bronze in the 1 500 metres races to take the medal tally to four. 
Matthew Wright and Ibrahim Hinds won gold and bronze, respectively in the Under-20 Boys’ event and Cindy Forde raced to a personal best time in the Under-17 Girls’ race.
Not to be outdone, first-timers Shamar Rock and Winmalecia Bowen were first and second, respectively in the Under-17 Boys’ triple jump and girls’ shot put.
Jerrad Mason rounded out the night with bronze in the Under-17 Boys’ 400 metres up to press time.
Wright pulled away from the field with about 300 metres to go and stopped the clock in a personal best 3 minutes, 58.89 seconds. Hinds was third in 4:04.38, falling off the pace slightly, to be beaten by Bahamian James Carey (4:03.07).
With sweat pouring off him at the end of the race, Wright told SUNSPORT he was running off sheer strength because he had done very little speedwork and had only been on the track five or six times this year.
“The last 100 metres was very hard. If someone had been near me, I probably would have lost the race. I knew I had no kick, so I had to separate myself from the pack,” he said.
While Hinds led for the first lap and a half, it took Wright that amount of time to get back into good position after one of the competitors stumbled at the beginning and he had to go around them.
Battling the heat – since it is a cool 20 degrees in England where he is based – Wright said it was a battle to stay hydrated here in Jamaica. However, he is very much looking forward to the 5 000 metres tonight.
“That is the race I am looking forward to. I am fit and ready to go.”
Cindy Forde produced a personal best 4 minutes, 49.71 seconds to take second place in the Under-17 Girls’ 1500 metres last night, lowering her time from 4:56.46.
From the start of the race, Forde was among the race leaders. As others fell off the pace and Bermuda’s Faheema Scraders (4:52.55) moved up, Forde ran an easy pace staying in third or second place.
On the final lap, the field began to spread out, but she never lost sight of the leader Lisa Buchanan (4:43.88) of Jamaica, cheered every step of the way by her mother Petula, who seemed exhausted after the race.
Trinidad’s Nicholas Landeau set a new record of 4:04.84 in the Under-17 Boys’ 1500 metres, while Shantal Duncan of Jamaica took the senior girls’ race in 4:41.61.
Rock, who was in third place after the first two rounds of the triple jump, won with his best hop, skip and jump of 13.63 metres. Bowen stayed in second place all the way, but her best put was 11.55 metres. Mason was among the leaders in the 400 metres, but finished third, literally falling across the finish line after he was passed by the two Trinidadian competitors. Official times were not available.
Earlier, Sonia Gaskin was seventh in the Under-20 Girls’ 1500 metres, Tia-Adana Belle was also seventh in the final of the Under-17 Girls’ 400 metres, while Shaquille Alleyne and Nicoliai Gall did not reach the Under-20 Boys’ final. 

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