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No stopping medal haul

Sherrylyn A. Toppin in Montego Bay

No stopping medal haul

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Barbados dominated the early evening session here on the final day of the 40th LIME CARIFTA Games at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex, winning three gold, four silver and one bronze medal in quick succession.  
With several events left on the programme last night, Team Barbados had 24 medals – nine gold, six silver and nine bronze –the best gold medal performance of a Barbadian team since they won 11, way back in 1997.   
It was a gutsy performance by the Barbadians who dared to take the fight to hosts Jamaica who had an unassailable 28 gold, 18 silver and seven bronze at press time.  
Cindy Forde set the tone for the evening session on the track and the flood of medals began in the Under-17 girls’ 800m. Forde was always up with the leaders although she slipped to fourth when both Jamaicans went to the front. With 150m to go she caught Jamaican Alethia McLaughlin, pulled alongside and then went ahead, winning in a personal best 2 minutes, 14.66 seconds. Jamaica were second and third in 2:14.75 and 2:17.09, respectively.  
Up next were defending champion Jerrad Mason and John Haynes. Mason started in lane eight, made the early break and led from the front. He avoided being boxed in and had the crowd on its feet when he stopped the clock in 1:51.79, shattering the record 1:53.72 by Theon O’Connor of Jamaica. Playing to the crowd, he imitated the move made famous by Usain Bolt, much to the delight of the Barbadians in the stands, celebrating gold one day after his 16th birthday.    
Ashley Riley of The Bahamas was second in 1:53.57 and John Haynes (1:57.14), the other Barbadian, was just about to make his move when he was dragged back by one of the competitors and fell off the track. A protest was lodged by team management.    
Sonia Gaskin kept the flow going. She led briefly, but settled into silver medal position and there she stayed with a gutsy personal best 2:11.69. Simoya Campbell of Jamaica took gold in 2:08.77.  
Up next were the big boys and nothing less than gold from Anthonio Mascoll would satisfy the Barbadians who were rocking in their section of the stands. The young man didn’t disappoint. As he has done all season, Mascoll shook off the competition, pulling away from Bermuda’s Shaquille Dill (1:50.90) and Trinidad’s Mark London (1:53.80). His winning time was also a personal best 1:50.90. Ibrahim Hinds was at the back in 2:00.80.  
Barbados lost some ground last year in the sprint hurdles, an area they have traditionally dominated. Shakera Hall ran a personal best 13.82 seconds to collect the second silver medal behind Jamaica’s Yanique Thompson (13.76) in the Under-17 girls’ 100m hurdles. Lisa-Ann Barrow was fifth in 14.42 seconds.  
It was bitter-sweet for Sade-Mariah Greenidge who lowered her time to 14 seconds flat to win silver in the Under-20 girls’ race and could have won gold. As she cleared the last hurdle, Greenidge’s right leg seemed to buckle and she went down, flying over the finish line. The medics carried her off and she was being treated for burnouts on the hip and hand.  
Kenrisha Brathwaite took the bronze in 14.15 seconds, Jamaica’s Chrisdale McCarthy winning gold in 13.97.  
After the disappointment of injury last year, Tyrell Forde came back to get silver in a personal best 13.89 seconds, splitting Jamaicans Stefan Fennell (13.79) and Omar McCleod (14.10). Raphael Jordan was fifth in 14.26.    
Romario Antoine won the lone medal for Barbados in the morning session. Bouncing back from his fifth place finish in the shot put, Antoine’s best throw of 42.34m was done on his very first attempt in the Under-17 boys’ discus, his stronger event.    
Late Sunday night, Kemar Jones stopped the clock at 4:50.11 to amass 4662 points and win gold in the open boys’ heptathlon, and Charles Greaves was third in the Under-20 boys’ long jump with 7.11m, eight centimetres behind the winner.

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