Jamaica closed the Nairobi 2021 World Athletics U20 Championships in impressive fashion, thanks to the women’s 4x100m team world-record performance.
After making a few bad decisions, the Jamaica coaching staff finally found the way and put together four good relay teams. These four teams produced one gold and three silver medals.
Jamaica, in the end, ended the five-day championships in fifth place with three gold, six silver and two bronze medals.
Kenya topped the medal table with eight gold, one silver and seven bronze ahead of Finland, four gold and one silver. Nigeria, with 4-0-3 and Ethiopia 3-7-2, finished ahead of Jamaica.
In the 4x100m women’s final, Serena Cole, overlooked for the 100m, led her team off in 11.73 seconds. Tina Clayton, the 100m champion, split 10.46 on the second leg to hand over to Kerrica Hill, who held her own with 10.61.
Tina’s twin sister, Tia, had an easy job and split 10.14 to take Jamaica home in a new world U20 record of 42.92.
Namibia’s 200m champion Christine Mboma, who waited too long on anchor, split a fantastic 9.86, taking her team from fifth to second in the final 80m metres. Beatrice Masilingi, who ran the second leg for Namibia, was clocked at 10.16. They will go home with a 43.76 national U20 record.
Tina Clayton praised her teammates for a beautiful race on the final day of the World Athletics U20 Championships.
“It was a very well executed race,” Tina Clayton said.
“It feels very great to win a gold medal together with my twin sister Tia. She really did a good job as our anchor leg runner. Together with Cole and Hill, we all made a perfect team,” explained Tina Clayton.
In the men’s 4x100m, Alexavier Monfries, Bryan Levell, Andrew Gilpps and Sandrey Davison produced a new Area U20 record of 38.61 to take silver.
South Africa won the event in a new world U20 record of 38.51.
Monfries said it was a fantastic race. “A wonderful race by the quartet, we came back stronger after the heats, which were not that great. Also, that this is not the best Jamaican side, I am so proud of what we have achieved.”
Both male and female mile relay teams won World Athletics U20 Championships silver medals.
Annalee Robinson, Aalliyah Francis, Alliah Baker and Daena Dyer combined for 3:36.57 to finish behind winner Nigeria, 3:31.46 in the women’s 4x400m.
On the men’s side, Malachi Johnson, Jeremy Bembridge, Tahj Hamm and Devontie Archer crossed the line in 3:05.76 for second behind Botswana, 3:05.22.
Jaydon Hibbert took silver for Jamaica in the men’s triple jump final with a leap of 16.05m. Sweden’s Gabriel Wallmark won with 16.43m.
Hibbert was thrilled with his silver medal.
“Being the youngest in the field and winning a silver medal for my country is a special thing,” Hibbert said.
“I won this with my second jump after a bad first jump. I kept on pushing, but it didn’t work out. I will continue with my training program as I target next years event,” added Hibbert.
Ralford Mullings also pocketed a silver medal. Mullings’ personal best throw of 66.68m placed him only behind Mykolas Alekna of Lituwania with a championship record of 69.81m.
“I am feeling wonderful being the second-best thrower in the world,” was Mullings’ reaction.
“Congratulations to all the other competitors and more so the winners. My medal means Jamaica is coming up strongly in throws,” he added.
Devontie Archer moved up to third after the disqualification of Sweden’s Oskar Edlund, who was first across the finish line in the men’s 400m hurdles. Archer’s time was 49.78, a new personal best.
Berke Akcam of Turkey was given the win with 49.38.
Shantae Foreman’s 6.47m personal best was good for fourth in the women’s long jump final. Sweden’s Maja Askag mark of 6.60m was the best on the day.