Bobb and Smith-Mills golden for Bermuda
Caitlyn Bobb and Nathan Armstrong won gold and bronze medals for Bermuda on the opening day of the Carifta Games in the Cayman Islands on Saturday at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in Grand Cayman.
Nirobi Smith-Mills then added a second gold for Bermuda last night when the 16-year-old led home the field in the under-17 boys' 800 metres in a winning time of 1min 57.95sec, with Savion Hoyte, of Barbados, second in 1:57.62 to take the silver.
Bobb, the daughter of former Olympic sprinter Dawnette Douglas, celebrated her first appearance at the regional event by winning gold in the under-17 400.
Bobb showed her early intentions by recording the fastest qualifying time of 54.39sec in winning heat two on Saturday morning.
The 16-year-old went even faster in the final later in the day when she clocked 53.69 to take the gold, beating two Jamaicans in the process as they finished third and fourth.
Bobb also reached the final of the 200 after recording a time of 24.25, the fourth-fastest time in the preliminaries. She placed third in heat two, which was won by Brianna Lyston of Jamaica, whose time of 23.57 was the fastest in the preliminaries.
In the same 200 race, Bermuda's Keturah Bulford-Trott placed eleventh in 25.56.
Armstrong picked up a bronze for Bermuda in the under-17 1,500 where he had a strong finish to record a time of 4:11.57.
“Both races were very exciting,” said Donna Raynor, the Bermuda National Athletics Association president, who was in the standings.
“Nathan was nowhere near medal contention and sprinted that last 60. I was up on my feet! Of course, we had high expectations of Caitlyn as she had run 53-plus [seconds] the previous week. She met all of our expectations and more by winning the gold medal. She surprised the other countries. Great for Bermuda!”
The boys' 1,500 was won by Mitchell Curtis, of Bahamas, in 4:09.34, while J'Voughn Blake, of Jamaica, claimed the silver with a time of 4:10.52. Bermuda's Nirobi Smith-Mills competed in the same race, finish tenth overall in 4:22.08.
Isabelle Dutranoit, also competing in her first Carifta, just missed out on winning a bronze in the under-20 1,500 when she placed fourth. Dutranoit clocked 4:43.56 while Jamaica's Aneisha Lawrence took the bronze with her time of 4:41.19. Claudrice McKoy, of Guyana, claimed gold with a winning time of 4:39.46.
In the opening event of the Games, Amelia Othman finished tied for fifth with Kenya Forbes, of Bahamas, in the under-17 girls' high jump after clearing the bar at 1.60 metres. It was the same height Othman cleared last year in finishing fourth, this time missing three attempts at 1.65.
The winning jump was 1.74 by Annishka McDonald, of Jamaica, with Curaçao's Vanessa Mercera also clearing 1.74 but with more faults. Shaunece Miller, of Bahamas, took the bronze with a jump of 1.68.
Za'Kayza Parsons, the Bermuda captain, placed sixth in the under-17 100 final, clocking a time of 12.18. The winning time was 11.51 by Bahamian Anthanay Charlton.
Parsons was third in the second heat of the preliminaries, clocking 12.34, which gave her the sixth-fastest time in the heats and the last spot for the final. Charlton also recorded the fastest time in the qualifying in 11.69.
Chayse Tanner narrowly missed qualifying for the under-17 100 final after finishing with the ninth in 11.30 seconds in the preliminary races. Only the top eight advanced to the final, with Ajani Daley of Antigua claiming that spot with his time of 11.28.
Suresh Black and Mikal Dill both failed to reach the final in the under-20 100 preliminaries, with Black fifth in heat one in 11.06 and Dill fifth in heat two in 11.67. Black's time was sixteenth overall while Dill was 26th out of 28 runners.
Clevonte Lodge-Bean was fifth in his heat in the under-20 400, clocking 49.25 seconds to finish 15th overall among 18 runners. The winning time for the gold medal was 46.36 set by Terrance Jones of Bahamas as Jamaicans Anthony Cox and Evaldo Whitehorne claimed silver and bronze.
Tanner finished sixth in the long jump with a best leap of 6.43, while the winning jump was 6.84 by Caleb Massiah, of Barbados. In competition in the morning session yesterday, Lodge-Bean was disqualified for a false start in heat three of the under-20 200 while Tanner did not finish heat two of the under-17 200 after pulling up with a leg injury.
“Chayse was taken to the hospital just to get a scan on his hamstring,” Raynor revealed. “It was found that he did not have a tear. So we are hopeful he will be able to run the relay.”
Black had a did not finish in heat one of the under-20 200 race.
In the under-17 girls 800 metres last night, Jezhari Talbot placed eighth in a time of 2:26.32. The winning time was 2:11.92 by Jodyann Mitchell of Jamaica who also won the silver medal. Last year, Bermuda won just one medal at the Games when Sakari Famous claimed the bronze in the under-20 high jump.