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Pan Am bronze for 400m hurdler

Sherrylyn A. Toppin

Pan Am bronze for 400m hurdler

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Rebounding from disappointment in two previous overseas outings this year, Kion Joseph delivered Barbados’ first medal at the 2011 Pan Am Junior Track and Field Championships in Miramar, Florida, on Saturday night.
Joseph, 17, a member of Pacers Track Club and a student at The St Leonard’s Boys’ School, crossed the tape in a personal best 52.47 seconds in third place in the men’s 400m hurdles, less than a year after picking up the event.
Americans Monte Corley and Jordin Andrade took gold and silver in 51.21 and 52.09 seconds, respectively.
Joseph’s hurdles coach Bryan Holder was “ecstatic” when contacted and said it was a validation of all they had been working on this season.
“[He is] first year Under-20, [won a] Pan Am bronze and 52.47 – Kion has it in him to go 51 seconds,” Holder told NATIONSPORTS.
He added that while other athletes seemed to lose focus in the period after the CARIFTA Games, it wasn’t difficult for Joseph to maintain focus, especially after he fell in the final of the same event in Montego Bay and came home in last place.
“Kion is very motivated by himself. He really wants to do well. CARIFTA was a disappointment because I was sure he would’ve won a medal, but inexperience got the better of him.
“Pan Am is a validation of his ability. He was disappointed at World Youth. I was not, because he only picked up hurdles this year and it takes time to learn. In his learning curve, these are fantastic results at this stage,” the coach said.
Joseph did a personal best time there of 52.77 seconds after reaching the semi-finals. However, that was an Under-18 meet, so the height of the hurdles was lower (84cm to 91cm), making this performance even more impressive.
Holder told Barbadians this was just the first of many good things to expect from Joseph.
“Kion is very coachable and that makes it easier. He wants to be successful, so he is willing to work hard. Once he remains grounded this is only the beginning for Kion Joseph.”
The youngster’s season will be extended a little longer as he will be attending the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man in September and Holder said “we want to send another message to the world”.
Last night, Joseph’s clubmate Anthonio Mascoll and John Haynes of Wibisco Stars were also chasing medals in the men’s 800 metres.
In other events, Barbadian Sonia Gaskin finished sixth in two minutes, 14.41 seconds in the women’s 800m which was a straight final.
The gold medal went to American Kenyetta Iyevbele in 2:06.27. Annie LeBlanc of Canada was second in 2:06.35 and American Samantha Levin third in 2:07.68.
Tyrell Forde was also sixth in the men’s 110m hurdles in 14.06 seconds, an event where Shane Brathwaite won bronze in 2009.
Americans Eddie Lovett (13.14) and Roy Smith (13.24) proved superior to the field, shattering Dayron Robles’ 2005 record of 13.46, with Brazil’s Joao Oliveira taking bronze in 13.97.
Trinidadian Elton Walcott won gold in the triple jump with 16.51 metres, and runners from the region also won both 200 metres.
Anthonique Strachan of The Bahamas set a new record of 22.70 seconds, down from Shalonda Solomon’s 22.93, and Grenadian Kirani James won the men’s race in a wind-aided 20.53 seconds.