Jah-Nhai Perinchief secures silver at NCAA Outdoor Championships
Jah-Nhai Perinchief soared his way to the silver medal in the triple jump with a new personal best to cap a brilliant showing on his debut at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon last night.
The University of Tennessee senior recorded a leap of 17.03 metres (55ft 101/2 in) with his very first jump at the University of Oregon’s historic Hayward Field to eclipse his previous best of 16.69, which he achieved en route to winning the triple jump at last month’s Southeastern Conference Championships in Byron-College Station, Texas.
The superb effort booked Perinchief’s passage through to the final round as the top qualifier from Flight 2 and ultimately proved good enough to secure the second spot on the podium.
Oregon freshman Emmanuel Ihemeje won the gold medal with a personal best of 17.14 metres, hitting the qualifying standard for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. Texas Christian University junior Chengetayi Mapaya won the bronze with a jump of 16.74 to round off the podium respectively.
Perinchief’s assistant coach, Brian Wellman, a two-times NCAA outdoor triple jump champion, gave the athlete’s solid display competing on this stage for the first time the proverbial thumbs up.
“Jah-Nhai competed well,” said Wellman, who was in attendance at the championships.
“He still has to work on a couple of things in terms of bringing some speed to the board. But he came back on his last one to put together a good jump also of 17.01 metres.
“I hoped he could’ve gone 15 centimetres more because we would have won it. That was the goal looking at the kid (Ihemeje) from Oregon who was leading, but overall I’m pleased.”
Perinchief fell short of the Olympic qualifying standard he had hoped to achieve.
Still, Wellman remains optimistic the 23-year-old will achieve his qualifying objective at upcoming meets or potentially even qualify through world rankings.
“I think we might get in on world qualifying standard whatever the cut off is,” he added. “But we still got a couple more chances to make the standard so we will see.
“He still has a couple more opportunities and hopefully he might also get in on world rankings so we will have to see how it all works out.
“But it was good and we are trending in the right direction.”
Perinchief, the first Tennessee athlete to be crowned SEC triple jump champion in 34 years, was unavailable for comment at press time.