Report02 Apr 2024

Sizzling performances and records highlight the Carifta Games


Janae De Gannes in the long jump at the Carifta Games (© Organisers)

The Carifta Games, held from 30 March to 1 April at the Kirani James Stadium in St Georges, Grenada, was a tremendous success for the host country, commemorating its 50th year of Independence.

As they have done since 1985, Jamaica dominated the proceedings, topping the medals table with 83 medals, including 44 gold, 23 silver and 16 bronze. The Bahamas was next with 34 medals (nine gold, 13 silver and 12 bronze), followed by Trinidad and Tobago with 27 medals (four gold, 11 silver and 12 bronze).

In a memorable U20 men’s 100m final, the Cayman Islands clinched gold and silver for the first time. Davonte Howell successfully defended his title with a national U20 record of 10.15, putting him second on this year’s world U20 list. The University of Tennessee sprinter was followed home by teammate Jaiden Reid (10.34), who held off the fast-finishing Jamaican Javorne Dunkley, who was also given the same time.

In an exciting U20 women’s 100m final, Sabrina Dockery sped to a lifetime best time of 11.26 to defeat her Jamaican teammate and pre-race favourite Theianna Lee Terrelonge (11.32), reversing their placing from the Jamaican High School Championships a week prior.

Guyana’s Athaleyha Hinckson, who finished seventh last year, this time struck gold in the U17 girls’ 100m in a PB of 11.44. In the boys’ equivalent, Jamaica’s Nyrone Wade continued his purple patch with a convincing victory, equalling his PB of 10.43.

De Gannes secures Austin Sealy Award, Bramwell breaks Bolt’s record

Trinidad & Tobago’s Janae De Gannes won the U20 women’s long jump with a Games record of 6.50m. The mark, which moves her to second on this year’s outdoor world U20 list, was adjudged the most outstanding performance of the Games, earning her the Austin Sealy Award.

Jamaica and Guyana shared the four age-group 400m titles on offer, with two wins each.

Jamaica’s Nickecoy Bramwell won the U17 boys' 400m in 47.27, eclipsing Usain Bolt’s championship record of 47.33 that had stood for 22 years.

Tianna Springer of Guyana proved too strong for the field in the U20 women’s 400m, winning with a PB of 52.31. Springer’s compatriot Malachi Austin overpowered Jamaica’s Marcinho Rose (46.59), who led for 350m, to win the U20 men’s 400m in a PB of 46.35.

Thanks in no small part to the individual U20 400m champions, Guyana won the mixed 4x400m commandingly, setting a Games record of 3:23.51.

In the U20 men’s 4x100m, Trinidad & Tobago (40.45) prevented Jamaica (40.55) from completing a sweep of the sprint relays. Just a few minutes earlier in the U17 boys’ final, Trinidad & Tobago (41.53) had given their Jamaican counterparts (41.30) a run for their money.

Smith shows her pedigree

Michelle Smith of the US Virgin Islands successfully defended her U20 400m hurdles title in 56.28, missing the Games record by just 0.06. She also won the 800m in 2:06.18, earning her sixth gold medal in three years.

Jamaica’s Robert Miller set a Games record of 52.19 to win the U17 boys' 400m hurdles title.

The U20 sprint hurdles finals were breezy affairs. Jamaica’s Shaquane Gordon won the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.15 (2.1m/s), while his teammate Habiba Harris, who missed last year’s Games through injury, won the U20 women’s 100m hurdles in a wind-aided 12.93 (2.4m/s).

Trinidad & Tobago’s Kadeem Chinapoo won the U17 boys’ 200m in 21.78, but Jamaica gained revenge in the U20 men’s event as Gary Card ran a fantastic curve and transitioned well down the home straight to cross the finish line in a PB of 20.60.

His teammates Shanoya Douglas and Natrece East won the U20 and U17 categories, respectively.

Bygrave reigns supreme on his farewell

Jamaica dominated all the 1500m finals, with Shemar Green leading the charge in the U17 boys’ event. With just two laps remaining, Green went from 11th to first, claiming gold in 4:11.91. In the U20 men’s event, Kemarrio Bygrave outfoxed the field to win in 3:58.10. The Jamaican returned on the final day to win the 800m in 1:51.43.

Following a fifth-place finish in the 1500m, Demetrie Meyers of Belize made amends by retaining his U17 3000m title in 9:05.86.


Elsewhere, Antigua and Barbuda’s Maleik Francis set the mood for the field events in the first morning session, winning the U17 boys’ javelin with 68.84m, the first record of the Games. Dior-Rae Scott of The Bahamas also rewrote the record books with a Games record of 52.53m in the U17 girls’ javelin.

Jackie Henrianne Princesse Hyman of Guadeloupe won the U20 women’s discus with a Games record of 55.06m, improving her third-place finish from last year. In the men’s equivalent, Jamaica’s Shaiquan Dunn saved the best for last with a winning throw of 61.47m in the final round.

Joshua Williams produced a lifetime best of 7.03m on his last attempt to snatch victory in a closely contested U17 boys’ long jump final from Trinidad & Tobago’s Tyrique Vincent (7.00m). Williams then added the U17 boys’ high jump gold thanks to a clearance of 2.00m.

His teammate Brenden Vanderpool added 24cm to the pole vault Games record he set last year in front of his home crowd, clearing 5.30m.

On the opening day, Zavien Bernard kicked things off for Jamaica by winning the U17 girls' high jump on countback from Bahamian Alexandria Komolafe, both clearing 1.71m. Bernard’s teammate Rasheda Samuels won the U20 category with an equal PB of 1.78m.

Jamaica’s Jaeda Robinson revised the Games record twice in the U17 girls’ triple jump, bounding to 12.66m and then 12.69m in first two rounds. Her teammate Javontae Smith established a Games record in the U17 boys’ shot put with 18.80m.

Jamaica closed the proceedings by winning all four 4x400m finals by huge margins, though the final event was not without controversy, as Antigua & Barbuda, Trinidad & Tobago and The Bahamas protested due to the malfunctioning of the starter's gun. These three teams had to run a separate race, and eventually Trinidad & Tobago (3:11.10) ran fast enough to clinch the silver medal behind Jamaica (3:10.58), with Guyana (3:14.05) securing bronze.

Noel Francis for World Athletics

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