Jah-Nhai Perinchief soaring after silver in Indoor Grand Prix debut
Jah-Nhai Perinchief says he has much to be thankful for after making a brilliant start to his professional career competing at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Staten Island, New York, at the weekend.
The 24-year-old earned the silver medal in the men’s triple jump, with an indoor best of 16.55 metres, competing among a strong field on his event debut at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Sunday.
“It was a good meet and honestly I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew I was going off short and was feeling some stuff out,” he told The Royal Gazette.
“I know I could’ve jumped a lot better but 16.55 is a crazy personal best.
“I’m thankful for that, thankful to be healthy and just overall thankful for the opportunity.
“It was not only my debut at the event but my pro debut overall.
“They could’ve invited a lot of other people, so thanks to everybody to get me into the meet to give me the opportunity to represent myself pretty well.”
Perinchief was on course for a memorable victory when his fourth-round jump catapulted him to the head of the six-man field.
However, American Donald Scott eclipsed him with the very last jump of the competition — a 16.68 distance that relegated Perinchief to second place in the standings.
Scott, a multiple US national champion, claimed the gold while compatriot Will Claye, the former indoor world champion and Olympic silver medal- winner, took the bronze with 16.46.
Eliminated after the first three rounds were Mateus De Sa, of Brazil, with a best of 15.90, American Isaiah Griffith (15.75) and Jordan Scott, of Jamaica (15.60).
“The competition was fun. I got to jump against a couple of legends, Will Claye, Donald Scott, and also had a really good friend of mine in the meet,” Perinchief added.
“Unfortunately, he didn’t finish all his jumps. But I think it made it easier having someone like me out there as young and new to the field. It was good vibes.
“Everybody is really competitive so people were talking a little bit.
“Not in a bad way; it’s just like competitive talk, and I like that type of stuff because it drives me.
“It makes me want to do better, so I can shut them up off of my jump, so I look for that type of stuff.”
Freddie Evans, the Bermuda National Athletics Association president, hailed the athlete’s latest success.
“Jah-Nhai had a great day being second and is really striking form,” he said.
“He just did a short run up during the whole meet, so he never really stretched out. And to be able to jump that far on a short programme is really exceptional, so we are looking for really good things from him.”
Perinchief is ranked 31st in the world triple jump rankings and graduated from the University of Tennessee last year as the Southeastern Conference champion and second-ranked nationally in the United States.
He won gold at the SEC Championships with a wind- assisted personal best of 16.89 to become the first Tennessee triple jump champion in 34 years.
He then claimed silver at the NCAA Championships with a new best leap of 17.03, which broke the previous Tennessee record of 16.94 that had stood for 36 years.
The New Balance Indoor Grand Prix forms part of the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold level series.
Americans Grant Holloway, Noah Lyles and Gabby Thomas, as well as Spain’s Mariano Garcia and Jamaica’s Danielle Williams and Natoya Goule were among the star attractions.