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Akela breaks long jump records


SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Akela breaks long jump records

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BARBADIAN AKELA JONES added another major achievement to her growing list when she broke the national long jump record earlier this evening at the M. Miller Blackwell Stadium in Alabama.
On her second attempt, Jones leaped 6.55 metres, erasing the 6.43 metres set by Cherita Howard, now Cherita O’dell, 18 years ago on April 13, 1996.
Jones, a sophomore at Oklahoma Baptist University, was competing at the NAIA Outdoor Championships. She instantly vaulted to the top of the world lists, up from fifth place, passing Jamaica’s Claudette Allen who had done 6.45m to lead the group.
The 6.55 metres also broke Jones’ own junior national record of 6.36 metres set three years ago. Once ratified by the Athletics Association of Barbados, it becomes the new standard.
Jones hit the mark with a legal wind of 1.0 metres per second. She had also leaped 6.03 metres in the opening round, the only athletes to break the six-metre barrier. She passed on the next four attempts.
Second place went to Karen Hutson of Northwestern with a best of 5.82 metres and Indiana Tech’s Ashley Watley was third with 5.67m.
Jones has cemented her place on the teams for all meets to which she is eligible, right up to the Commonwealth Games, as she had already qualified for World Juniors, Central American and Caribbean Juniors and the Central American and Caribbean Games with her leap of 6.32 metres at the CARIFTA Games.
The NAIA Championships continue tomorrow and Saturday. (SAT)
 

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