Alexis James and Kaheim Carby Set Records as Jamaica Sweep Sprint Hurdles at 50th CARIFTA Games

NASSAU, Bahamas – Alexis James and Kahiem Carby established new records as Jamaica swept the sprint hurdle titles, the regional powerhouses also running away with the distance relays to climax a rainy final night of the 50th CARIFTA Games here Monday.

alexiscariAlexis James (right) and teammate Asharria Ulette celebrate their Jamaica one-two in the girls Under-20 sprint hurdles.On another drama-filled day at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium, Bahamian Jamiah Nabbie completed the girls under-17 sprint double when she stormed to victory in the 200 meters final, Jamaica surprisingly shut out of all but one.

Controversy attended the half-lap, however. St Kitts and Nevis’ Jaylen Bennett, the silver medalist in the boys Under-17 400m on Sunday, missed out on the 200m final due to a technical hiccup, but was then allowed to do a timed run for a place on the podium.

The announcement came with all events completed and the 200m medal ceremony having already taken place, and with the final presentation nearing an end.

Needing to run at least 22.03 to secure a medal, Bennett produced a sterling effort but came up short at 22.07.

This added to the earlier controversy surrounding the boys Under-20 sprint relay which organizers said had to be re-run, following a successful protest by Barbados.

Jamaica had won the event on Sunday night ahead of the Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago but fourth placed Barbados argued they had been disadvantaged after the race was recalled half-way through the first leg, when the Bahamas were left in the blocks.

With the final set to be re-run just after 3 pm, the competing teams opted out, leaving the final result of the event unclear.

Jamaica also found themselves on the wrong end of disqualifications, which left their boys and girls Under-17 sprint relay teams disqualified for unlawful baton exchanges.

The boys had won silver and the girls, gold, in Sunday night’s finals.

However, James and Carby’s exploits went a long way in removing any sour taste from the Jamaicans’ mouths.

James successfully defended her Under-20 title when she raced to a time of 13.06, breaking the old record of 13.08 set by countrywoman Amoi Browne, five years ago here in Nassau.

Asharria Ulette ensured a Jamaican one-two when she grabbed silver in 13.24 while Barbadian Nya Browne produced a personal-best 13.80 for bronze.

“I just keep a clear mind and think about what I want, and I wanted the gold medal so I kept it in mind and I came first,” said James, who also took silver in Saturday’s 100m final.

Carby was also brilliant, destroying his field in the boys Under-17 final with a new mark of 13.49, which broke fellow Jamaican Deshaun Lamb’s 13.54, four years ago in Cayman Islands.

Shakir Lewis also made it a one-two for the Jamaicans with silver in 14.20, Bahamian Quinton Rolle taking silver in 14.49.

“I just came out here and told myself I was going to execute well and finish the race with my fellow teammate (Lewis),” Carby said.

In the girls Under-17 final, Bryanna Davidson also completed a successful title defense to win in 13.31 with teammate Camoy Binger second in 13.51 while in the boys Under-20, Demario Prince chased down Bahamian Otto Laing (13.49) to win gold in a personal best 13.37.

Nabbie proved herself a star when she clocked 23.67 in winning the Under-17 200m, outdueling the impressive St Lucian Naomi London who pushed the winner to the line before settling for silver in 23.72.

“It feels awesome,” said Nabbie, who also edged London in Saturday night’s 100m final.

The corresponding boys final was captured by Bahamian Cayden Smith in 21.70, with Grenadian Ethan Sam taking home silver in 21.96.

Trinidadian Sanaa Federick, meanwhile, won a chaotic girls Under-20 final in a time of 23.60, after Antiguan La’nica Locker and Sabrina Dockery of Jamaica were disqualified for false starts.

Malique Smith-Band produced Jamaica’s solitary success when he jetted to the capture of the boys Under-20 title in 20.69, taking teammate Javourne Dunkley (20.88) with him as runner-up.

“They (false starts) threw me off at first but I realized I had to focus on my race and make sure that I executed right,” said Federicks, who was sandwiched between Locker in lane three and Dockery in lane five.

“[The execution] felt good. I didn’t have anybody to run off so I just had to push myself and run my own race.”

The 800m titles were shared around, Jamaican Alikay Reynolds taking the girls Under-17s in two minutes, 14.67 seconds and Guyanese Javon Roberts winning the corresponding boys title in 1:56.64.

Michelle Smith delivered the girls Under-20 crown for the British Virgin Islands with a time of 2:09.72 while Nathan Cumberbatch secured another gold for Trinidad and Tobago with a 1:51.34 clocking.

Jamaica’s Roshawn Clarke, who successfully defended his boys Under- 20 400m hurdles title and became only the second athlete to dip below 50 seconds (49.92) at the region’s premier track and field meet, was honored with the Austin Sealy Award.