Jones, Wright smash records on opening Carifta Games day

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GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (CMC) – Barbadian Akela Jones and Jamaican Chad Wright smashed records, while Grenadian sensation Kirani James cruised into the 400 metres final, in a riveting morning session on the opening day of the 39th CARIFTA Games here yesterday.
The outstanding Jones jumped 1.85 metres to post a new mark in the girls’ Under-17 high jump while Wright hurled the discus 63.11 metres to snatch gold in the boys’ discus throw.

James, a freshman at the University of Alabama, also laid the foundation for his domination when he jogged into the final, further highlighting a fascinating session at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
The brilliant 14-year-old Jones, however, raised the curtain on the meet when she snatched the first gold of the championship in a new CARIFTA record.
Jones won with consummate ease, saving her energy by passing in the first four rounds. It was a shrewd decision as she simply floated over when finally entering the competition.
She first dismantled Jamaican Petergaye Reid’s 2009 mark of 1.80 metres, jumping 1.81 metres before breaking her own record with a fantastic jump of 1.85m.
“I felt really confident because I knew I had already passed the record when I jumped in Barbados,” she told CMC Sports afterwards.
“I’m looking to jump 1.88 metres or higher. I want to jump maybe 1.91m but I’m still young so that’s amazing.”
She failed in her subsequent attempts to clear 1.88 metres but by then had already clinched gold, finishing way ahead of silver medallist Chanice Porter of Jamaica who measured 1.74 metres.
There was another championship record in the men’s Under-20 discus when Wright produced a late charge to claim gold and also break the record of 55.67m set by the second-place finisher, Trinidad and Tobago’s Quincy Wilson at last year’s championship.
Wilson posted 62.95m to take the early lead in the competition and seemed to have gold sewn up when Wright, in a late twist of events, produced a superb throw on his final attempt to nip top honours.
“I just told myself I wanted to beat him (Wilson),” said Wright, whose counterpart Travis Smikle took bronze with 58.24m to also eclipse the standing record.
St Kitts and Nevis landed their first gold medal when Adrian Williams threw 57.86 metres in the boys’ Under-17 javelin.
He tied with Barbadian Janiel Craigg but took first place courtesy of his second best throw which landed 57.42m.
“My coaches told me to just go out there and do my best and now I’ve got a gold medal,” Williams said.
Jamaican Gleneive Grange claimed the fourth gold medal of the session when she won the girls’ Under-17 shot put with a throw of 11.46 metres to beat Trinidadian Sherisse Murray into second with 11.09m.
James, entering the meet with an air of expectation surrounding him, raised the temperature a notch when he breezed through the 400m heats, coasting around the track nonchalantly watching his opponents to win in 47.83 seconds.
Deon Lendore of Trinidad and Tobago was the second fastest qualifier, clocking 47.93 seconds to win the other preliminary heat.
The large Jamaican contingent had plenty to cheer from the start with Janieve Russell winning the women’s 100 metres hurdles in the first event of the pentathlon, in a time of 14.35 seconds.
Audilia Daviega (14.39) of Martinique was second and Carlene Johnson (15.93) of the Bahamas finished third.
In the second round of the women’s pentathlon, Daveiga threw the shot put 10.18m to pick up 541 points while Johnson (9.93m) was second.
The first event of the men’s heptathlon – the 110m hurdles – was won by Barbadian Kemar Jones who clocked 14.96 seconds to beat Bahamian Tre Adderley (15.24) with Julien Fletcher (15.48s) of Trinidad and Tobago third.
In the men’s heptathlon long jump, Jamaica’s Ramone Bailey leapt the furthest (7.30 metres) with Adderley (6.68m) second and Jones (6.46m) third.
In the heats of the girls 400 metres, Shericka Jackson of Jamaica won the first race in 55 seconds, followed by Trinidad and Tobago’s Kernesha Spann (56.26) and Bianca Farrington (59.54) of the Bahamas.
Shaynae Miller of the Bahamas won the other heat in 54.1 seconds with the Jamaican duo of Shericka Jackson (55) and Olivia James (54.91) next home.
The fastest finishers in the girls’ Under-20 400 metres heats were Kanika Beckles of Grenada (53.77 seconds), Trinidad and Tobago’s Alena Brooks (55.62) and Mara Weekes of Barbados (55.9)