Cayman’s Rasheem Brown came within a split second of glory on the final night of CARIFTA 2019.
Brown took it right to the line in the 110 metre hurdles, running a personal best 13.41, to finish fourth. To the naked eye, it looked as though Brown might have snagged Cayman’s second bronze of the games. But when the times flashed up on the electronic score board, the 19-year-old had missed out by two hundredths of a second.
He joins Louis Gordon, who fell two centimetres short of a medal in the high jump, as another Cayman hard luck story on a weekend where the best efforts of the islands’ talented young track stars were not quite enough to match the region’s athletic powerhouses.
In the end, few could match the might of the Jamaicans. They swept the field in Monday’s relays to finish with a total of 85 medals – 36 gold, 33 silver and 16 bronze. The Bahamas finished with 26 medals – nine gold, seven silver and 10 bronze medals – while Trinidad and Tobago won four gold, eight silver and 12 bronze medals.
Rachell Pascal’s bronze in the Under-17 javelin was Cayman’s only medal in the official tally.
Speaking after his race on Monday, Brown said he was disappointed to miss out on the podium, but happy with his performance.
“I really thought it was very close,” he said. “Unfortunately, I got fourth but I am really grateful for everything I have right now, and happy the crowd was there to support me.
“I got a major personal best so I am pleased with that. The crowd gave me a little extra push. I want to thank Cayman and everybody for supporting me. I appreciate that a lot.”
Kenrick Williams, head coach of the Cayman team, said it had been a learning experience for all involved.
“We are a little disappointed that we didn’t get the medals we hoped for, but this is a new start,” he said. “We are just beginning with a new set of kids and we hope we can build from that for the next three or four years.”
He said he was particularly disappointed for Gordon and Brown, who had come so close to the podium.
He added that he hoped some of the younger Caymanian athletes would look at the talent on display during CARIFTA and learn from their regional rivals.
“I hope this will open the eyes of our young athletes and they will see how hard these kids train and how dedicated they are,” he said. “They are not just coming out there and running. It is about how hungry you are, how much you are willing to put in and how much you want out of it.”