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Nine medals for Barbados so far

Sherrylyn A. Toppin

Nine medals for Barbados so far

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FORT de FRANCE – Akela Jones and Shamar Rock both celebrated their birthday with gold at the 2014 CARIFTA Games as the Barbados medal tally reached nine – four gold, three silver and two bronze – here at the Stade Municipal Pierre Aliker in Martinique.
Jones, whose 19th birthday is tomorrow, won her second gold medal this morning in the Under-20 girls’ high jump and Rock won gold last night in the Under-20 boys’ long jump, the day he turned 19.
Jones secured her second gold medal in the high jump at 1.84 metres, but was also looking to break the record of 1.87 metres. On her final attempt at 1.88m, the back of her left foot, just below the calf, clipped off the bar.
Second place went to Jamaica’s Safia Morgan with 1.78 metres and Morgan Edvige of Martinique third with 1.65m.
As the rain poured, Rock produced a huge leap which was a foul by the merest of margins. On the next attempt, he bounced up in the sand and pumped his fist, then jumped up and down on the runway in excitement, even before the officials measured the leap.
The 7.56 metres not only won gold, but was a qualifying mark for the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Juniors and World Juniors. Kevin Philbert of Curacao was second with 7.36 and Jamaica’s Jevaughn Fowler third with 7.19m.
Hayley Matthews won her second silver medal in the javelin, this time at the Under-18 level. Her best throw this morning was 43.17 metres, but Dominica’s Shanee Angol was in a different class with 49.66m. The bronze medal went to Daneliz Thomas of Cayman Islands with 39.59.
Romario Antoine won Barbados’ second bronze medal in his final CARIFTA appearance. With a heave of 16.42m, he took the lead, only for Jamaica’s Demar Gayle to respond in the very same round and snatch gold with 16.72m.
Antoine was in second place for a time, the Trinidad and Tobago’s Kenejah Williams jumped ahead with 16.55m. Debutant Dequan Lovell was fourth with 16.04m, with three fouls.
In the other final contest this morning, Martinique’s Yanis David won gold in the Under-18 girls’ triple jump with 13.10 metres.
Until Rock’s gold medal, last night was one of heartache for the Barbados team.
Tristan Evelyn was fourth in the Under-18 girls’ long jump with a personal best 5.85 metres as David also took gold with 6.24m. Silver went to St Kitts’ Kristal Liburd with 6.01m, while Shonita Brome was eighth with 5.58.
Both of the Under-18 4x100m relay teams also finished fourth with 46.33 and 42.45 seconds, respectively.
As happened in the 100M final, Nelda Huggins of the British Virgin Islands (45.91) passed Evelyn near the finish to get the bronze. The team was switched around with Jaria Hoyte making way for Tiana Bowen on the third leg and Danielle Scantlebury, who had finished the heptathlon with the 800m earlier, running the lead leg. Sada Williams was on the back straight.
Jebarrie Cumberbatch ran a cracker of a back straight to put Barbados among the medals after the lead off by Michael Nicholls, but as he did in the heats, Ramarco Thompson moved off too soon and had to stop and wait.
Not only did he lose speed, he also lost time and when he got the baton to Kentoine Browne, there was too much ground to cover, even though Trinidad and Tobago’s anchor was clearly hurt and just limped over the line.
Jamaica won three of the four relays, with The Bahamas taking the other.