BARRANQUILLA, Colombia – Barbados stormed to a superlative win and the gold medal in the men’s 4x100m relay at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, tonight. The Bajans covered the course in a national record time of 38.41. The previous record was 38.55.
The Barbadian quartet, which consisted of Shane Brathwaite, Mario Burke, Burkheart Ellis and Jaquone Hoyte looked comfortable throughout the race and always seemed the likely winners. After several smooth changes, the anchor leg Hoyte enjoyed a marginal lead over the field before cruising to the line in dominant fashion.
Having received the baton marginally behind the Jamaicans on the final leg, the Dominica Republic’s Christopher Valdez powered past Javoy Tucker to finish second in 38.71. Yohandris Andujar led off the Dominican effort before handing over to Stanly Jose Del Carmen and Yancarlos Martinez.
Jamaica men’s were forced to settle for the bronze medal spot. The quartet, which consisted of Nesta Carter, Romario Williams, Rasheed Dwyer and Tucker crossed the line in 38.79, well behind runaway leaders Barbados.
The Trinidad and Tobago quartet of Keston Bledman, Jonathan Farinha, Jalen Purcell and Nathan Farinha were fourth after stopping the clock in 38.90.
Meanwhile, Keshorn Walcott, the 2012 Olympic champion, added the 2018 CAC javelin title to his growing resume, and he did it in dramatic fashion today.
The 25-year-old Trinidadian produced the winning throw of 84.47m on his final throw to snatch the gold medal that seemed destined to be hung around the neck of Grenada’s Anderson Peters. It is his first CAC javelin title.
Peters had assumed the lead on his fourth throw of 81.80ms and seemed destined for the gold medal after he overtook Walcott, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist who had opened with a throw of 81.78m.
The bronze medal went to David Carreon Manriquez of Mexico who had a best effort of 76.27m.
Jamaica’s women won the 4x100m relay in fine fashion.
The team of Jura Levy, Sherone Simpson, Jonielle Smith and Natasha Morrison were in control of the race from the first two legs before Smith blew the race open with a strong third leg that gave anchor Natasha Morrison a comfortable lead.
They crossed the line in 43.41 seconds well clear of the Trinidad and Tobago team of Zakiyah Denoon, Semoy Hackett, Khalifta St. Fort and Reyase Thomas.
Thomas finished fast to pull her team to the silver medal in 43.61, just ahead of the Dominican Republic who won the bronze medal in 43.68s.
The win gave Jamaica their 11th gold medal of the Games, eight of which have been won in track and field.
Yesterday, sprinter Shashalee Forbes helped Jamaica make a clean sweep of the women’s sprints when she stormed to victory in the 200 metres.
After watching teammate Jonielle Smith capture the 100 metres on Monday night, Forbes comfortably raced to victory as Caribbean athletes swept the first three positions.
Forbes clocked 22.80 seconds, ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s (T&T) Semoy Hackett (22.95) and fellow Jamaican Jodean Williams, who finished a close third in 22.96.
Forbes, who was running with a hamstring injury, said she was elated to win gold in the event.
“I didn’t run like I wanted to, but I came out here with a lot of pain so to finish first is very exciting,” she said after the race.
“Because of the [right hamstring] injury, I didn’t want to push too hard in the first part of the race, but then I saw the opportunity, so I took it.”
In the men’s 200 metres finals, T&T’s Kyle Greaux finished third in 20.26 seconds and Jamaica’s Rasheed Dwyer fourth (20.41)
The race was won by Colombia’s Bernardo Baloyes in a time of 20.13 seconds, while Panamanian Alonso Edward finished second in 20.17.
There was glory for T&T in the women’s shot put when Cleopatra Borel-Brown won the event with a distance of 18.14 metres.
Cuba’s Yaniuvis Lupez finished second with a throw of 18.02 metres and MarÌa Orozco of Mexico grabbed third with 17.88 metres.
Jamaica’s Tiffany James put in a commanding performance to claim the women’s 400m title.
The powerfully striding James, who ran from lane four, led the race from wire to wire proving to be a cut above the field. The Jamaican, who steadily inched up to cover the Dominican Republic’s Fiordaliza Colif in the outside lane early on, entered the straight with a slight lead and it was clear they would only be one winner.
James pulled even further away from the rest in the final 10 metres to claim gold in 52.35. In truth, having no issues at any point during the race.
Her compatriot Derri-Ann Hill was in the meantime locked in battle down the straight with Colif who eventually split the pair after taking silver in 52.72. Hill took bronze with a time of 53.30.
Guyana’s Kanika Beckles was just outside of the podium spots after stopping the clock in 53.75.