Jamal Walton won the 400 meter title for the Cayman Islands at the Pan Am Junior championships in Edmonton, Canada on Friday.
His time of 46.09 seconds was impressive considering he is not 17 until November. He is one of the world’s best juniors at this event and hopes are high in Cayman that he will continue developing.
My’lik Kerley of the United States was second in 46.33 seconds and Jamaica’s Renardo Wilson (46.59) third.
Tactically, Walton ran a brilliant race. He was marginally ahead of four other runners as they came off the final bend, and along the finishing straight he found the extra burst to win by a clear margin.
Although Walton left Cayman with his family at 8 years old to live in Florida where he is still based, he prefers to represent the Cayman Islands rather than the U.S.
Even at that young age he showed huge athletic potential, said Dr. Dalton Watler, president of the Cayman Islands Athletic Association. “I’m very pleased with Jamal’s achievement,” he said. “He is a world-class performer in the 200m too. Let’s see how he develops in the future.
“Only last week he came fourth in the World Junior Championships in Cali, Colombia, missing the bronze medal by a fraction of a second.”
Watler expects Walton to continue progressing as an adult and hopes to see him one day in an Olympic final.