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Akela Jones wins gold

Sherrylyn A.Toppin in Bermuda

Akela Jones wins gold

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HAMILTON – Akela Jones delivered Barbados’ first gold medal here at the 2012 LIME CARIFTA Games, winning the Under-20 girls’ long jump with her very first leap at the National Sports Centre.
Jones, who is in her first year in this division, leaped 6.13 metres and followed that up with marks of  6.03, 6.13 and the winning mark of 6.18.
None of the other competitors passed six metres as Jamaica’s World Youth champion Chanice Porter, who would’ve brought out the best in Jones to break the existing record of 6.39m from way back in 1989, was absent.
Instead, 400m hurdles winner Janieve Russell and Claudette Allen were second and third, respectively with 5.86 and 5.85m in a close battle for the other medals.
Barbados hasn’t won a medal in this age group since Natalie Smith, a Physical Education teacher at Alexandra School, took silver back in 1996. Jones also has a silver medal in the high jump and bronze after anchoring the 4x100m relay team.
Klode Thompson came storming back into medal contention in the boys heptathlon with a best clearance of 2.06 metres, earning 859 points to jump from eighth to second on 3 343 behind Jamaica’s Darron Hunter (3 422) who cleared 1.91m.
Thompson consolidated in the next event, placing second in the discus with 36.15 and has 3 940 points, runner-up to Grenada’s Toussaint Lindon (4 111) who threw 51.15m to move from sixth place.
In contrast, Rhys Phillips has been steadily heading down the ranks. With a sub-par 1.64m in the high jump, he fell to fifth place and remains there with 3 761 points after throwing 32.72m, fourth in the discus.
Advancing to the finals of the Under-20 boys’ sprint hurdles were Tramaine Maloney (14.51) and Raphael Jordan (14.77); as well as Ariel Jackson (24.56) in the 200m and Mario Burke (21.96) with the second fastest time among the Under-17 boys.
Levi Cadogan was ninth overall with 21.84 seconds and will not be in the senior boys’ final.
All of the other Barbadians came up short in the morning session.
Jalisa Burrowes was fifth in the Under-17 girls’ long jump with a best leap of 5.55 metres.
The Bahamian gold medal haul continued with Dannielle Gibson’s 5.89 leap and Jamaica were again second and third thorough Samara Spencer (5.87m) and Tamara Moncrieffe (5.79m), all better than some in the Under-20 division.
Tristan Whitehall’s best throw of 16.16 metres was only good for fifth place in the Under-20 boys’ shot put and Romario Antoine was one place behindr with 13.96m.
In the battle for gold, Ashinia Miller of Jamaica put 18.96m and his teammate Emmanuel Onyia was just seven centimetres short for the silver medal.
Hezekiel Romeo of Trinidad and Tobago took the bronze with 17.95m.
Another record fell in the Under-17 boys’ javelin where Grenadian Anderson Peters broke the hearts of the Bahamian radio crew who were broadcasting live, when he threw 60.50 metres.
His compatriot Mickel Joseph (59.95) was also over the old mark of 59.38m set by Kerry Edwards back in 2000, leaving Denzel Pratt of Bahamas to take the bronze with a best of 59.33m.
Barbados will be hunting more medals in the final session with the sprint hurdles, 200 metres and 4×400 metres still to come. Leah Bannister will be in the Under-20 girls’ discus and Charles Greaves in the triple jump.