Expectations were high for a big haul of medals but Cayman Islands finished with just two bronze from the CARIFTA track and field championships and four fourth place finishes in Martinique over the Easter weekend.
Jamal Walton is a 400 meters prodigy. Only 15, he improved his Cayman national record for youth and adults in winning bronze in the boys Under-18 at the Stade Municipal Pierre Aliker in Fort De France on Saturday from 48.02 seconds to 47.74. He also just missed out on bronze in the 200m, finishing fourth.
Daneliz Thomas repeated her CARIFTA achievement of javelin bronze from last year in the girls U-18, throwing a personal best of 39.59m.
Other Cayman fourth place finishes came from Jorel Bellafonte in the 800m, Dominic Dyer in the 3,000m and the boys U-18 4x400m relay team. The relay team set a national junior record.
There were also personal bests set by Daval Gregory in the 400m hurdles, Tahj Lewis in the 800m and Lacee Barnes in the shot put.
Track technical director Kenrick Williams said, “Overall, the team did well. It was one of our better CARIFTA meets. Although we got four fourth places, we couldn’t quite convert them to bronze.
“I’m happy with their performances and hope they will do better if they make the Central American and Caribbean team in Mexico in July.”
The Jamaicans lived up to expectations and dominated the 26 other nations again at CARIFTA, gaining 88 medals at the 43rd staging of the three-day event. Their haul included 42 gold, 34 silver and 12 bronze. Jamaica beat their previous best high of 84 medals at the 2004 Games in Hamilton, Bermuda.
Trinidad and Tobago finished second in the medals table with six gold medals, seven silver, and 12 bronze – a total of 25. Barbados were third with five gold, five silver and six bronze.
Barbadian Akela Jones, who turned 19 on Tuesday, won three individual gold medals and received the Austin Sealy Award for being the most outstanding athlete at the meet. Jones first competed at CARIFTA 2010 in Cayman when it was staged at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.