Two of Cayman’s fastest sprinters are running to impressive podium finishes abroad.
Kemar Hyman, the fastest man in the Cayman Islands, has won four international meets this month. The last one featured a victory over former 100 meter world-record-holder Asafa Powell. Young prodigy Jamal Walton claimed another junior title in his run toward a pair of major competitions this summer.
Hyman, Cayman’s record-holder in the 100 meters, paced the field at the 63rd Cork City Sports International Athletics Meet in Ireland last week in 10.05 seconds. Before that, he ran a season-best 10.06 seconds to top the Brussels Grand Prix and won the 100m at a Slovenia meet in 10.23 seconds.
His biggest highlight came on Tuesday when he won the Spitzen Leichtathletik meet in Lucerne, Switzerland. Hyman, 24, grabbed the 100m crown at 10.23 seconds, beating out Jamaicans Julian Forte – second in 10.24 seconds – and Powell, who was third at 10.30 seconds.
It was Powell’s first race since last July as he served a drugs ban from the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission. He reportedly tested positive for a banned substance in 2013, along with training partner Sherone Simpson.
Powell and Simpson made a successful appeal of their punishments to the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Switzerland, and their initial 18-month bans were reduced to six months. Simpson also ran in Lucerne and was eighth in the 100m in 10.57 seconds.
Walton, 15, won the boys 15-16 400m title at the Amateur Athletic Union Championships in Orlando, Florida, last weekend. He ran a record time of 46.97 seconds in the preliminaries before winning the final in a time of 47.36 seconds. Walton, a sophomore at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, also guided his Miami Gardens club to the 4x400m relay crown. The George Town native also advanced to the boys 15-16 200m finals but had a “Did Not Finish” result. He had posted the fastest preliminary time of 22.1 seconds.
Walton’s exploits come after breaking Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt’s record in the 400m at the Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships in Morelia, Mexico. He won gold with his time of 47.01 seconds eclipsing the old mark of 47.17 seconds set by Bolt 12 years ago.
Both Hyman and Walton have major meets in the coming days. Hyman is part of the athletics team representing the Cayman Islands at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, from July 23 to Aug. 3. He joins Tyrell Cuffy, Ronald Forbes, David Hamil, Troy Long, Carl Morgan, Carlos Morgan and Ashleigh Nalty.
Walton is scheduled to compete at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon, from July 22 to 27. After that comes the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China, from Aug. 16 to 28.