Jah-Nhai Perinchief wins Tyson Invitational with world-leading 16.91
Jah-Nhai Perinchief’s growing reputation as an elite triple jumper continues in the ascendancy after a stunning performance at the Tyson Invitational athletics meet in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Saturday.
The Bermudian star jumped to an indoor personal best of 16.91 metres (55ft 5¾in), the world-leading distance for 2022, to nicely follow up a runner-up finish in a stellar field at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Staten Island, New York, last weekend.
Perinchief’s effort at the Randal Tyson Track Centre, where he was part of a ten-man invitational field, would have been good enough to see him comfortably overcome the celebrated American Donald Scott (16.68) six days earlier.
Then, after exceeding personal expectations, the 24-year-old said “16.55 is a crazy personal best”.
What price almost eclipsing 17 metres this early into the year?
The top two in the invitational field — LSU freshman Sean Dixon-Bodie was runner-up with 16.42 — outstripped allcomers on the day, as 16.24 was the winning jump in the main event where 18 mostly college students were in competition.
When Perinchief, a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee, left Bermuda for school in the United States, he was on track to become the next Clarance “Nicky” Saunders, the 1990 Commonwealth Games high jump champion and consistent Olympic medal threat.
But, after a bad run of injuries forced a change of discipline, he is now poised to instead become the next Brian Wellman, Bermuda’s 1995 world indoor triple jump champion, whose national record of 17.72 may come under threat if his understudy continues such progression.
A run of form that began by winning the Southeastern Conference Championships last year and then finishing runner-up at the NCAA Championships almost spirited Perinchief to a surprise, last-ditch Olympic bid in Tokyo, but a rainy night in Kingston, Jamaica, put paid to those aspirations.
However, he has hit the ground running to start off 2022 with a solid indoor schedule that can only set him up well for the outdoor season, with the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, from July 28 to August 8 a big target.