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Jamaican beats Smith to gold on final jump

Tyrone Smith’s leap of 8.03 metres was not quite good enough (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Tyrone Smith had to settle for a silver medal in the long jump final at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, last night.

Smith was occupying the gold-medal position with a best effort of 8.03 metres in his sixth and final attempt but suffered heartbreak when Jamaica’s Ramone Bailey leapt 8.07 in the last jump of the event.

“I fought hard and pulled a solid jump out of the depths of what was a mediocre night!,” Smith wrote on Twitter. “Ten years of experience on the pro circuit allowed me to execute in the last round and come away with a silver. I’m highly disappointed but I’m moving in the right direction.”

Bailey took the lead with his first attempt of 8.00 but was pegged back by Smith, who saved his best until last — although he appeared disappointed to have not jumped a longer distance.

The 33-year-old made the cut with his opening leap of 7.74, which left him in fourth place, before jumping 7.60 in his fourth attempt and fouling his fifth.

Bailey, however, ensured there was to be no repeat of Smith’s gold medal at the CAC Games in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, in 2010, when he jumped what was a national record of 8.22, which remains the highlight of his career.

“It took some sixth-round heroics to pull it off but I walk away from my third and final CAC Games in Barranquilla with a silver medal,” Smith added.

“I’ll admit technique went almost completely out the window after take off but adrenaline got me over eight metres for the first time this season. We are making progress and have a few meets left to go this year. I’ve got a few more opportunities left this season to get some big ones.”

Andwuella Wright, of Trinidad and Tobago, took the bronze with a jump of 7.94.

In the discus final, Bermuda’s Tiara DeRosa finished ninth with a throw of 45.45. Tellez Perez, of Cuba, claimed gold with a throw of 66.00, with Ponce Caballero coming second (65.10) and Shaniece Love, of Jamaica, placing third (58.40).