By Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis, Special to TrackAlerts.Com
Jamaica’s Yanique Thompson made history when she won the country’s first gold medal at the 8th IAAF World Youth Championship. It was also the first time Jamaica had won a gold medal in the 10-barrier sprint event at the World Youth Championship and the first time a female had gone under 13 seconds. Thompson ran a World Youth best of 12.94 seconds.
Thompson is now 19 years old and is not eligible to defend her youth title, however, another outstanding Jamaican, Janeek Brown, has taken up the responsibility of winning the gold medal and keeping the title in Jamaica. Brown, who attends Wolmer’s Girls, finished 6TH at the 2014 Youth Olympics, however, has since made tremendous improvement and is being groomed to be a suitable successor to YaniqueThompson.
At the JAAA CARIFTA trials, Janeek Brown competing in the Under-18 section sped to victory in 13.43 seconds. She continued her impressive showing with a win at the Jamaica High School championships popularly known as ‘Champs’ in the Class 2 100m hurdles. Her chance of challenging the record of 13.38 seconds was thwarted by a strong (-4.3 m/s) negative wind reading. A week later, Brown was in scintillating form at the CARIFTA Games winning the Under-18 100m hurdles final in a championship record and new personal best of 13.29 (+1.2m/s). That performance has earned Brown the right to be considered as one of the title favourites alongside South Africa’s Taylon Bieldt and American Alexis Duncan in Cali, Colombia.
Brown’s mission is clear, that is, ensuring the female youth 100mh crown remains in Jamaica and at the same time join an elite group of Jamaican female hurdlers who have won gold medals over both distances (100mh, 400mh) at the highest levels (youth, junior & senior). The list includes Gillian Russell-Love, Brigitte Foster-Hylton, Deon Hemmings-McCathy, Camile Robinson, Melaine Walker, Janieve Russell and Yanique Thompson.
Honourary mention must go to Latoya Greaves, Natasha Ruddock and Shermaine Williams who won silver medals in the 100m hurdles at the 2003, 2005 and 2007 World Youth Championships respectively.Williams also won silver the following year (2008) at the World Junior Championship coincidentally registering identical times in both finals (13.48).
Good luck to Janeek Brown on her glory-seeking mission in a country similar to her own, which is a fun loving people, with a rich and colourful cultural heritage.
About the Author:
Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis is a very exciting and creative freelance sports writer specializing in the fields of athletics and cricket. His colourful down to earth yet professional personality makes him a favourite amongst athletes and fans. Readers are often exposed to his detailed knowledge and passion which usually increase their interest in the athletes, events and the sport overall. He has a first degree in Banking & Finance and works in the financial industry. Contact Noel at [email protected]