By Morissa Lindsay
Rasheem Griffith looked set to claim Barbados first gold medal at the 46th Flow CARIFTA Games being held at Ergilio Hato Stadium located in Willemstad, Curacao.
The Coleridge and Parry Schoolboy clocked 53.35 in the Under-18 Boys 400m hurdles to qualify with the fastest time,
And as predicted he returned in the final to secure his country’s first gold medal to the excitement of the Barbadian fans who travelled to Curacao to support the team. Griffith ran a swift 51.64 seconds.
The Barbadians have increased their medal count from four yesterday to seven so far. The 246 athletes earned two more bronze in addition to Griffith’s gold. Tianna Bowen in the Under-20 Girls hurdles and Rivaldo Leacock in the Under-20 Boys 400m respectively all captured bronze medals in their events.
Shanice Hutson was the lone Barbadian competitor in a finals event this morning in the Under-18 Girls discus, producing a personal best throw of 39.01 but she was unable to reach the podium after finishing fourth in that event which won by Marie Forbes of Jamaica with a throw of 43.62m.
A few other Barbadian athletes have also earned their places in the 200m and 800m final.
Roneldo Rock who captured a bronze in the Under-18 Boys 1500m yesterday has also advanced today into the 800m final with a third best time of 1:58.34 and will need to deliver yet another gutsy performance to deny Jamaican duo of Kimar Farquharson (1:58.17) and Tyrese Reid (1:58.83).
Last year’s double CARIFTA gold medallist Jonathan Jones having failed to medal yesterday in the Under-20 Boys 400m is seeking to redeem himself by winning the 800m in which he looked really comfortable during the preliminaries. Jones’ time of 1:54.66 is just behind Agerian Jackson of Jamaica’s 1:54.38 heading into the finals.
Matthew Clarke booked his place in the Under-18 Boys 200m with the seventh fastest time of 22.20 and will need to get a good start out the blocks to catch Michael Stephen of Jamaica heading into that showdown leading the way with a time of 21.75.
The 200m and 800m finals are slated for the final day tomorrow