Louis Gordon won the first gold medal for the Cayman Islands at the XVIII NatWest International Island Games in Gibraltar with a top clearance of 2.02 metres in the men’s high jump on Sunday.
Gordon watched much of the field get eliminated before showing what he could do at a windy Lathbury Sports Complex.
With the competition narrowed, he cleared height after height with relative ease. When neither eventual silver medallist Benjamin Le Rougetel of Jersey nor Isle of Man’s James Margrave (bronze) were able to clear the bar at 2.02m, with the title already in the bag, Gordon opted not to continue.
“It was a good competition, nothing too hard, but it was a nice experience being in Gibraltar,” said Gordon, who is coming off his final high school season in Jamaica, where he won the Class 1 title with a 2.11m clearance competing for Kingston College.
Despite the swirling winds in the small stadium, Gordon said he was not bothered about the conditions. “The wind was actually at my back, so it didn’t really affect me. The rest of the week was very windy [and] cold, so I guess everything came together nicely,” he said.
Having finished one spot off the podium at the CARIFTA Games at home in April, Gordon was pleased to have a gold medal hanging around his neck this time around. “I really wanted to get the medal in Cayman, but altogether God is good and everything came together in time.”
The medal was Cayman’s 100th gold since making its Island Games debut in Gotland, Sweden in 1999, and the country’s 238th medal overall.
Meantime, Anissa Owen and Aijah Lewis were finalists in the women’s long jump on Sunday, when both had their best performances of the season.
Owen finished fifth with a best leap of 5.69 metres, which would have broken the Cayman Islands national record of 5.66m she set in May had it not been for a +4.10 m/s tailwind.
Kart Ounapouu of the Estonian island of Saaremaa won gold with 6.19m, which would have been a Games record had it not been for the +3.7 m/s wind at her back.
“It was a pretty decent competition. I was in third place for five rounds, but in the final round the other girls overtook me. All in all, it was a good competition,” Owen said.
Meantime, Lewis finished in a three-way tie for eighth with a top distance of 5.34m. “I gave it my all and it got my season’s best, so I’m happy with my performance,” Lewis said, noting the tricky weather conditions at the newly constructed venue. “Even though the weather was back and forth, I still tried to put out my all.”
Owen also made note of the weather. “It was a bit chilly, then it got hot,” she said, adding “[it was] a bit on and off, but bearable.”
Both are set to compete in the women’s 4x100m relay, with the heats set for Tuesday evening. Lewis is also down for the high jump on Wednesday. She won a bronze medal in that event two years ago in Gotland.