Team Bahamas lands fifth gold medal of the CARIFTA Games in the U18 Girls’ Javelin

Latia Saunders shows off the country’s flag after securing the gold in the Under 18 Girls’ Javelin throw. 

CURACAO – Team Bahamas used the brief morning session of Day Three to add a fifth gold medal to the medal count and move into second place at the 46th FLOW CARIFTA Games. 


Javelin thrower, Latia Saunders, with a personal best throw of 45.29 meters on her fourth attempt came out victorious. That was The Bahamas’ third gold medal in the field events. Second behind her was Kymoi Noray with a toss of 44.98m, followed by Arianna Hayde of the British Virgin Islands, who threw 41.90m. 


Despite being nervous in her first CARIFTA outing, Saunders was able to thank to her coaching team on the sideline.


“I was nervous, but my coach calmed me down and said you got this and don’t worry about it – practice, practice, practice.”


Daejha Moss also set a new personal best and added her second individual medal for the competition. Moss secured the bronze medal in the Under 18 Girls’ Long Jump with a distance of 5.86m. Tissanna Hickling of Jamaica won the gold with a jump of 6.22m, followed by Tyra Gittens of Trinidad and Tobago, who won the silver with a distance of 6.10m.


She was not particularly happy about her first three attempts, but was grateful to pull through in the end to add another bronze for the country.


“My first three jumps were terrible. I did not like them at all. I was putting my hand back and doing everything wrong. But something came over me in the finals and I was able to do a big jump. I expected a personal best, definitely, but I didn’t expect to medal. I’m very proud myself and my parents are proud.”


The last two medals of the morning came in the Under 20 Boys’ High Jump. Kyle Alcine and Jyles Etienne landed the silver and bronze, respectively. Alcine was closing in on the CARIFTA record of 2.21m, but fell short of the mark. He finished at 2.18m. 


Last year’s Under 18 Boys’ gold medalist, Etienne, competed for the first time in the Under 20 age group and landed the bronze with a height of 2.16m. Jermaine Francis of St. Kitts and Nevis went on to win the gold and set the new CARIFTA standard at 2.22m.  


The jumpers were in good spirits after the competition. Alcine noted that he really wanted the gold, but nonetheless he was happy earn a medal for his country.


“I just want to thank God I came out healthy, I really wanted the gold. I was leading the competition the whole way until my last two jumps when I rolled my ankle. But it was a good show, I must say.”


Nonetheless Alcine said, he’s more motivated for next year when the 47th CARIFTA Games take place in New Providence.


Etienne said, he “couldn’t really complain” about his performance. He disclosed that both jumpers spoke prior to the competition about what it would it take to win the competition.


“Me and Kyle sat in the room and said to win this we would have to get the record. So that’s what happened, we had to go higher than the sky.”


Also in competition during the morning session was the Under 18 Boys’ 4x400m squad. The team of Gareth Lewis, Kendrick Major; Grand Bahama’s Corey Sherrod and Edward Gayle nearly took first place in Heat One, but qualified with a time of three minutes and 18.73 seconds. 


Barbados took first place with a time of 3:18.72. 


The door was left open for a gold medal as the Jamaicans disqualified during Heat Two. The 4x400m final featured Barbados, The Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Bermuda, and Antigua and Barbuda. 


After the morning session the Jamaicans still held first place with a total of 55 medals (24 gold, 19 silver and 12 bronze). The Bahamas moved into second place with 21 medals (five gold, eight silver and eight bronze); Trinidad and Tobago dropped to third place with 15 medals (five gold, four silver and six bronze); Guyana sat in fourth place with six medals (four gold, one silver and one bronze), the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis were locked in a four-way tie for fifth place in the gold medal count. 


Published  Tuesday, April 18, 2017 


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