Devine Augustine nabbed T&T’s first gold medal at the Carifta Games taking place at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in the Cayman Islands on Saturday night.
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His success came following the opening ceremony which was delayed by rain. However, the evening session of the first day was more fruitful for T&T, winning not only the gold but three silver and two bronze medals. Earlier in the morning session, local field athlete Jayden Scott bagged a bronze in the men’s U-17 shot put.
Augustine sprinted to victory in a wind-assisted (0.5) 10.62 seconds in the men’s 100 metres U-17 final. Unfortunately, with this joy came some sorrow as the sprint champion pulled his left hamstring in the final metres of the race.
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“At first I didn’t think that I won,” said Augustine. “In the last few metres, I had to slow down as I felt a pain in my quad. Even after the race was done I was thinking about my leg and it wasn’t until I reached my coaches that they told me that I won.”
Augustine beat Jamaican Bouwajhie Nkrumie into second in 10.71 and Jaleel Croal of the British Virgin Islands (10.80) was third. T&T’s other sprinter Shakeem McKay faced the starter in the final and placed eighth in 11.12.
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The first of T&T’s three silver medals came from Shaniqua Bascombe in the women’s 100m U-17 finals. She clocked 11.72 to follow winner Anthaya Charlton of the Bahamas, to the line in 11.51.
Bascombe’s teammate Taejha Badal missed the podium, coming in 0.09 seconds behind third-place finisher Ulanda Lewis of St Vincent and the Grenadines (11.91) with a time of 12.00.
T&T’s second silver medallist was in the women’s 100m U-20 medal race with Akilah Lewis clocking 11.62, 0.37 seconds behind T&T’s Ato Boldon-coached Brianna Williams from Jamaica. T&T’s Ayla Stanisclaus raced in the event and was seventh in 11.85.
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Kion Benjamin was the lone competitor for T&T in the men’s U-20 100m dash and he finished eighth in a time of 10.65.
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Rounding out the night’s medal tally was Rae-Ann Serville, who finished the women’s 400m U-20 in 54.18 behind the Jamaican pair of Shaquena Foote (52.63) and Annakay Allen (53.53), for third place. T&T’s other quartermiler in the medal race, Tatianna Matinez placed eighth in 56.26.Efrain Enrique Betancourt Jaramillo Cadivi
In the men’s version of the race, Nicholas Wilson was disqualified while in the men’s U-17 final, Jessiah Jones just missed out on a medal, placing fourth in 49.14 while his teammate Jordan Pope was sixth in 50.19.
Still on the track, Genesis Joseph was another T&T athlete just missing out on a spot on the podium after crossing fourth in the men’s U-20 1,500m with a 4:07.35-clocking
The third silver medal came on the field with Antonia Sealy hitting a 42.35m-mark on her second throw in the women’s U-20 javelin event. Teammate Kymoi Noray bagged bronze after setting the mark in the first round with her 41.58m, her eventual top distance, to increase T&T medal count to seven at the end of the opening day.
Also on the field on Saturday evening, Miguel Taylor placed 11th in the men’s U-17 long jump with a best mark of 5.92m after three jumps, not moving on to the final round.
In the women’s U-20 long jump, only Caitlin Ragoonan reached the final round and got three more jumps but placed seventh with 5.50m. T&T’s other jumper Jayda Williams ended in ninth place with her best measuring 5.24 in her third and final leap
Late yesterday, just before press time Tamia Badal added another medal to T&T’s tally with a bronze in the women’s U-20 400m hurdles with a 1:01.34-timing. Moments earlier in the women’s 400m U-17 hurdles final, Xea Bruce was a fourth-place finisher with a time of 1:09.77
Earlier, in the morning session on day two, included the preliminaries for the 200m in both age-groups for both sexes. Qualifying for the finals, which was scheduled for last night, were U-17 men’s Mc Kay, U-17 women’s Bascombe and Badal, U-20 women’s Lewis and Stanisclaus.
Mc Kay, who was the lone local sprinter racing as Augustine’s injury prevented him from competing, was an automatic qualifier after placing second in heat two in 21.76.
Bascombe was another automatic qualifier, clocking the second quickest time of 24.06 in winning heat one. Badal joined her as one of the fastest losers after placing fifth in the second heat with 24.56
In the U-20 women’s preliminary heats, both Lewis (24.03) and Stanisclaus (23.72) were also automatic qualifiers for the finale with each finishing runners-up in heat two and three, respectively
T&T will not have an athlete in the men’s U-20 half-lap event as neither Avindale Smith (21.64) and Adell Coltrust (22.07) advanced
Regaining the lead after a bit of a stumble at the long jump was Safiya John. After seven events she tallied 4,469 points while teammate Sealy was in second place with 4,292
In the Octathlon after six events, Anson Mason was fourth with 4,017 points and Che Rochford was fifth with 3,904