Cayman Islands sprinter Kemar Hyman came within a split second of a podium finish in the Commonwealth Games 100 meters final on Australia’s Gold Coast on Monday.
Hyman, who was second fastest in qualifying, had to settle for fifth in the final, just two-hundredths of a second behind Jamaica’s Yohan Blake, who took bronze.
South Africa’s Akani Simbine took gold in 10.03 seconds with his compatriot Henricho Bruintjies second in 10.17. Blake picked up bronze in 10.19, edging out Nigeria’s Seye Ogunlewe in a photo finish. Hyman was fifth in 10.21.
Only two Caymanians have ever medaled at the Commonwealth Games. Kareem Streete-Thompson took bronze in the long jump in Manchester in 2002 and Cydonie Mothersill won gold in the 200m at the 2010 games in Delhi.
Hyman had gone into Monday’s final believing he could join that elite group after blitzing to victory in the semifinal with a season-best 10.10.
After the final in the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast, he said he was proud to have got so close.
“It was a great experience. It’s only showing me that I can do greater things in the years to come,” he told Cayman pool reporter Ben Meade.
Hyman, competing out of lane three, was in contention right to the line, with Jamaica’s Blake, who stumbled out of the blocks, just catching him in the final meters.
Simbine, running in lane 7, was also a slow starter but accelerated in the final half of the race to take the victory.
Hyman added, “I don’t think I got a great start like in the heats and the semis. That’s something I need to fix when it comes to big championships like this, not only to stay in the blocks but to get a great start to win a race … I just got to keep working on it.
“I’m still happy and proud of myself. I really wanted a medal because I was focused this time, but I’m not upset about it at all.”
Blake, who was the pre-race favorite, told reporters he never recovered from a stuttering start.
“I’m disappointed because I’ve been feeling good. I didn’t get the start and I was all over the place. I couldn’t recover from it.”
Elsewhere, Cayman Islands hurdler Ronald Forbes finished sixth in his heat with a time of 13.88. He did not advance to the finals.
He said, “I went out there and executed to the best of my ability. I don’t have any regrets about it. I raced to the best of my ability, regardless of what the results show.”