Hyde strikes gold for Jamaica, more medals for Caribbean

BYDGOSZCZ, Poland, CMC – Title-holder Jaheel Hyde ran virtually unchallenged in the 400 metres hurdles to give Jamaica a second gold medal at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz  last night.

Hyde clocked 49.03 seconds to successfully defend the title he first won in Eugene, Oregon two years ago. Taylor McLaughlin of the United States (49.45) made a late challenge but was only able to get ahead of Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands who posted a national Under-20 record of 49.56.

“I said it before, it didn’t matter the time to me I just wanted to come out here and defend my title as comfortably as possible,” said Hyde who will also be competing at the Rio Olympic Games starting next month.

“I went out hard but I didn’t think I went out hard enough but there is always room for improvement and I have to work towards that.”

The other medallist from the Caribbean came in the men’s javelin throw where Grenada’s Anderson Peters secured the bronze in a record-breaking event.

Peters posed a new national record of 79.65 metres to better his previous best mark of 78.28 set at the CARIFTA Games in St George’s last March.

But the attention went to Neeraj Chopra of India who threw a massive 86.48m to set a new World U20 mark. South Africa’s Johan Grobler threw the spear for a lifetime best of 80.59 for the silver medal. It was his only effort beyond 75m.

The medal was Grenada’s third in the history of the championship following a silver and gold medal won by Kirani James at the 2008 and 2010 editions respectively.

There was disappointment, however, for pre-race favourite Sada Williams of Barbados in the women’s 200m after she pulled up near the home stretch but later walked to the finish line.

Williams, with the world lead of 22.61 seconds, appeared in control of the race on the curve but then suddenly pulled up and laid on the track with medical personnel for about five minutes before eventually walking the remainder of the way.

Edidiong Odiong of Bahrain took the victory in 22.84 followed by Evelyn Rivera of Colombia (23.21) and Estelle Raffai of France took the bronze in 23.48, just ahead of Jenae Ambrose of the Bahamas with 23.53.

None of the three Caribbean discus throwers reached their personal best with only Josh Boateng of Grenada getting anywhere close to the qualifying standard of 59.00m.

Boateng, the CARIFTA Games gold medallist, threw 57.04m to finish 16th among the 45 competitors. Jamaicans Kevin Nedrick (55.78) and Roje Stona (53.12) finished 23rd and 34th respectively. Mohamed Moaaz of Qatar lead the qualifiers with a personal best of 62.79m going into Sunday’s final.

Shanique Wright of Jamaica failed to get a good start in the women’s triple jump final and only managed a best effort of 12.91m to finish ahead of last placed Davisleidis Velazco of Cuba who also holds the best junior mark of the year.

In the relays, Germany edged out Jamaica for the bronze medal in the men’s 4x100m, clocking 39.13 seconds with the United States (38.93) and Japan (39.01) taking the gold and silver.

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