Khalifa St Fort did it!
She completed the sprint double after racing to victory in the Girls Under-20 200 metres final at the Flow Carifta Games yesterday at the multi-purpose Ergilio Hato Stadium in Willemstad, Curacao.
The smile on her face and tears of joy in her eyes could only express the emotions she felt in achieving this goal. She threw her hands in air in celebration as she received the national flag, draping it over her shoulder to show just what the win meant to her.
“I am just so happy to win the double,” said St Fort after the race. “I am always proud to represent T&T to the best of my ability.”
She clocked 23.99 seconds to win the gold medal, beating Halle Hazzard of Grenada (24.15) and Jamaican Kasheika Cameron (24.28) to line. Also in the 200m dash was T&T’s Shikyla Walcott, who placed sixth in 24.88.
On Saturday night, St Fort, who is coached by T&T’s four-time Olympic medallist Ato Boldon, sped to victory in the 100m title, crossing in 11.56.
Last year at the 45th edition of the Games in Grenada, St Fort copped the gold in the 100m with a blistering run of 11.40 but pulled out of the 200m event after suffering pains in her hips during warm-ups.
There was no holding her back this year and her effort helped T&T end the regional championships with a much improved 22 medals - seven gold, five silver and 10 bronze. Last year, T&T nabbed 14 medals - three gold, two silver and nine bronze.
St Fort will likely be one of the top nominees for the Austin Sealy award, which is presented to the athlete adjudged the most outstanding, either in terms of record accomplishment, or quality of performance as compared to other top medallists.
In the Boys U-20 200m, Jerrod Elcock came good and secured a silver medal in a time of 21.54. Jalen Purcell had a bit of disappointment when he made an early exit from the event, having false-started.
Final day successes
The day had a number of major achievements for T&T, ending on a high when Elijah Martin, Joshua St Clair, Judah Taylor, Kashief King, running in that order, struck gold clocking 3:09.32 to win the Boys’ U-20 4x400m relay, in the final track event of the regional track and field meet.
This followed up two bronze medal-winning performances from T&T’s girls and boys U-18 4x400m relay teams. First the quartet of Joanna Rogers, Caliyah Wallace, Patrice Richards and Rae-Anne Serville, placed third in 3:43.05 then Tyshawn Gray, Kaylon Thomson, Kiddel Carrington and Akil Boisson teamed up for a 3:20.85 clocking in the Boys’ final.
Tyra Gittens brought the excitement on the field again, winning silver in the Girls U-20 long jump with a best leap of 6.10m. Gittens had over the previous two days dominated the Girls Open Heptathlon to win gold.
Across the field, Kymoi Noray excelled in the Girls U-18 Javelin, throwing the spear 44.98m to also get a silver medal while in the Girls U-20 javelin throw, Asha James got bronze with a best effort of 43.24m. Her teammate Akidah Briggs was fifth with a 42.27m-toss.
Isaiah Taylor also emerged a bronze medallist in the Boys U-20 shot put while his teammate Konnel Jacob was fourth (17.17m).
Earlier in the Boys U-18 200m, Adell Colthrust, the 100m champion did not get the double sprint titles that he had hoped for, placing seventh in 22.36. His teammate Avindale Smith finished ahead of him in fifth place in 21.76.
Akilah Lewis (24.79) and Ayla Stanisclaus (26.86) placed seventh and eighth, respectively in the Girls U-18 200m. Lewis and Stanisclaus were members of the Girls U-18 4x100m silver medal team that had crossed third in the final but were upgraded to second after it was reported that the winner Jamaica had committed a lane infringement and were subsequently disqualified.
Also in action yesterday were Cheziah Phillip, who missed out a medal, finishing fourth in the Girls 100m hurdles in 14.26. In the Boys U-18 110m hurdles, Tyrese Rawlins was seventh in 14.19 while in the Boys U-20 category, Octathlon bronze medallist Kerlon Ashby placed fourth in 14.55 and Jude Atwell was fifth in 14.84 and in the Boys U-18 discus Randolph Isaac was seventh (46.34m).
In other saturday’s late results, Safiya John was ninth in the Girls U-18 long jump (5.40), Isaac Randolph was 11th in the Boys U-18 shot put with his furthest throw measuring 14.74m, Shaquille Benjamin (1.80m) and Jaydon Antoine (1.75m) were 12th and 15th, respectively in the Boys U-18 high jump event while Anderson Subero failed to register a height in the Boys pole vault Open.
Khalifa St Fort - Girls U-20 100m
Khalifa St Fort - Girls U-20 200m
Adell Colthrust - Boys U-18 100m
Ianna Roach - Girls U-18 Shot put
Tyra Gittens - Girls Open Heptathlon
Tyriq Horsford - Boys U-18 Javelin
Boys U-20 4x400m team
Tyra Gittens - Girls U-20 Long jump
Kymoi Noray - Girls U-18 Javelin
Jerrod Elcock - Boys U-20 200m
Girls U-18 4x100m team
Boys U-20 4x100m team
Anya Akili - Girls Open Heptathlon
Kerlon Ashby - Boys Open Octathlon
Joshua St Clair - Boys U-20 400m
Konnel Jacob - Boys U-20 Discus
Asha James - Girls U-20 Javelin
Jaydon Antoine - Boys U-18 Long jump
Isaiah Taylor - Boys U-20 Shot put
Boys U-18 4x100m team
Girls U-18 4x400m team
Boys U-18 4x400m team