Horsford broke the Carifta record of 73.00 metres he achieved last year in Grenada, sending the spear 76.50m to seal the gold medal, adding to the gold won by Tyra Gittens, who totally dominated the Girls Open Heptathlon. She was joined by Anya Akili, who recovered well in the final two events to bag bronze. Another multi-sport athlete Kerlon Ashby nabbed a bronze as well as the Girls and Boys U-18 4x100m relay teams and a silver in the Boys U-20 4x100m relay unit, to increase T&T’s tally of medals to 12 (5 gold, 1 silver and six bronze), yesterday at the multi-purpose Ergilio Hato Stadium in Willemstad.
On the opening day, sprinters Khalifa St Fort, Adell Colthrust and shot putter Ianna Roach picked up gold for T&T while two bronze came from discus thrower Konnel Jacob and quartermiler Jacob St Clair.
Horsford bettered the record in his first attempt and could have won with any of his three other attempts- 70.46m in his second attempt, 72.77m and 73.21m in his fourth and fifth, respectively. Copping silver and bronze were Bahamians Sean Rolle (65.51) and Michael Angelo Bullard (63.84), respectively. Horsford had also won in 2015 in St Kitts and Nevis.
Horsford and Gittens’ victories set up an intense and exciting third and final day at the Games as today, both St Fort and Colthrust go for the sprint double titles when they tackle their respective 200-metre races.
US-based athlete Gittens tallied 4,854 points to claim the top spot on the podium. She entered the second day leading with 3,478 points after winning the opening four disciplines—the 100m hurdles in 14.22 (947), the high jump, leaping 1.83m (1,016), shot put 12.00m (661) and the 200m (854).
She remained in charge of the second day, opening with a win in the long jump with a leap of 5.94m for 831 points. The next event posed a challenge for local heptathlete as she fouled on each of her three attempts to exit the javelin throw with no points but so great was her lead that she stayed on the top of the table with an unassailable 4,309 points heading into the final discipline.
Gittens went on to clock 2:42.45 to place sixth in the 800m to earn 545 and be confirmed as the gold medallist.
Meanwhile, Akili repeated as the bronze medallist with 4,360 after placing eighth in the long jump with 5.14m (598), fifth in the javelin throw with 24.20m (367) and then second in the two-lap event in a time 2:33.03 (655). Second overall was French Guiana’s Thelia Ruster with 4,540.
Ashby secures Octathlon bronze
In the Boys Open Octathlon, Ashby stayed resilient and managed to hold on for the bronze. He entered the second day in third place with a tally of 2,821 points. In the opening discipline, the 100m, Ashby was fourth in 11.25 (806), third in the long jump with 6.64m (729), produced a 11.24m-throw in the shot put event for 560 and in the 400m, he placed fourth in 51.98 (726).
He returned to earn 887 in the 110m hurdles, 636 in the high jump (1.81) and 537 in the javelin for his fourth place finish in both events and closed off with a eight-place finish in the 1,500m in 5:36.91 (366). Winning gold was Barbadian Aaron Worrell (5,461) by a narrow one-point margin over Wikenson Fenelon of Turks and Caicos (5,460).
T&T relay successes
In the 4x100m relays, T&T team of Onil Mitchell, Jalen Purcell, Tyrell Edwards and Jerrod Elcock, running in that order, copped silver in 40.24. Winning was Jamaica in 40.10 and third was Bahamas (40.59).
T&T Girls U-18 foursome of Akilah Lewis, Ayla Stanisclaus, Rae-Anne Serville and Deleth Charles clocked 46.49, to finish behind winner and Carifta record-breaking Jamaica (44.35) and second-place Bahamas (45.05), respectively.
In the Boys version of the race, the local quartet of Colthrust, Avindale Smith, Timothy Frederick and Kiddel Carrington was third in 40.84, followed Carifta record-breaking Jamaica (39.97) and Bahamas (40.77) to the line.
Hoping to add more medals will be St Fort, who qualified for the final of the Girls U-20 200m with a 24.44-clocking to cross second in the first semifinal heat. Joining her in the final is Shikyla Walcott who clocked 24.68 to advance as one of the automatic qualifiers, placing third in heat two.
Colthrust, is another T&T sprinter who will be looking to claim a sprint double, after the U-18 Boys 100m champion progressed to the Boys’ U-18 final by winning heat four in a time of 22.27. Smith too, booked his spot in the finale after easing to victory in the opening heat in 22.11.
More T&T sprinters will also feature in the other two 200m finals. In the Boys U-20 dash, Elcock and Purcell both advanced with times of 21.80 and 21.69, respectively while Lewis (25.04) and Stanisclaus (24.52) will face the starter in the Girls U18 version of the race.
Also active on the day were, Patrice Richards, who crossed in 1:03.02 to place fifth in the Girls U-18 400m hurdles while her teammate Cheziah Phillip was seventh in 1:08.54 and in the Girls U-18 800m, T&T lone competitor Joanna Rogers did not finish the race.