Gold, 2 silver for Harvey, McPherson, Roberts on first CARIFTA outing

Guyana’s Attoya Harvey showcases her gold medal after the presentation

One gold and two silver; that was Guyana’s medal count at the end of the first day of the 2022 CARIFTA Games, signaling a successful day on the track for the Land of Many Waters.

Competing alongside the Region’s best youth athletes, Saturday proved to be a great one for the first timers, as Attoya Harvey, Narissa McPherson and Javon Roberts copped gold and 2 silver respectively, at their very CARIFTA Games. Meanwhile, Keliza Smith came close to the podium but missed it by a feather.

After two years qualifying for the CARIFTA Games and not being able to compete due to COVID-19 cancellation, Attoya Harvey, on Saturday evening, finally realized her dream of being a CARIFTA medalist, storming to a Gold medal finish in the Girls’ Under 17 1500m race.

With no preliminary race, Harvey’s first outing on the track in Kingston was the final of the event, which she won in 4:45.75 minutes, miles in front of her competition.

Coming in at 4:52.14 was Trinidad and Tobago’s Kayleigh Forde for second and then Jamaica’s Kededra Coombs with 4:52.19 for third.

However, that was only the first of Guyana’s medals on Saturday.

In what was her very first race at the CARIFTA Games, Narissa McPherson held her nerve in the Under 17 400m event to qualify for Saturday night’s final. Competing in Heat 2, McPherson clocked 56.83s for second place in the heat, just behind Jamaica’s Abigail Campbell’s 56.15s first place run. McPherson also registered the 3rd- best qualification time overall, with Campbell first, another Jamaican Quana Walker (57.43s) leading the Guyanese.

Jamaica’s Campbell proved to be the object in Mcpherson’s way once again, in the final, as she raced to a gold medal finish with a time of 53.83s. However, the Guyanese McPherson stopped the clock at 55.39 for second place and the silver medal. The podium was completed be Jamaica’s Quana Walker I’m 55.65s.

As for Javon Roberts, the youngster complimented Harvey’s gold in the Under 17 1500m with a silver medal in the male version of the race.
Roberts, in his first race at the premier Regional event, clocked 4:12.54 for second, behind Trinidad and Tobago’s Keeran Sriskandarajah (4:10.58), but finished ahead of Jamaica’s Yoshane Bowen, who clocked 4:13.15 for the bronze medal.

Competing in Heat 3 of the Girls Under 20 100m sprint, Keliza Smith outran her opponents, to finish first in the heat with a time of 11.55. Notably, Smith finished ahead of one half of the Jamaican Twin- sprint sensation Tina Clayton, who settled for second in 11.65s. In Heat 1, Karese Lloyd registered a time of 12.16s to finish third in the Heat, behind Trinidad and Tobago’s Shaniqua Bascombe and Barbados’ Kishawna Niles, clocking 11.50s and 11.57s respectively. However, Lloyd’s time was not good enough to earn her a spot in the final.

In the final, Guyana’s Keliza Smith stopped the clock at 11.58s, a time that was only good enough for fourth place. Jamaican twins Tina and Tia Clayton took gold and silver, clocking 11.22s and 11.30s respectively. The third position was I occupied by Trinidad’s Bascombe, who narrowly edged out Smith with a time of 11.57s.

Guyana’s Hannah Reid, after cruising the first 200M, took the lead on the back stretch and held on long enough to cross the line first, in Heat 4 of the Girls Under 20 400M event, at the ongoing CARIFTA Games.
Reid, finished in 55.02s, to register the second-best qualification time for the event on Saturday morning. Reid’s preliminary time was bested only by Bermuda’s Caitlyn Bobb, who stopped the clock at 53.95s, in Heat 1.

However, in the final, Reid had a less than impressive run finishing 8th with a time of 55.38s. The race was won by Jamaica’s Kaylia Kelly, who clocked 52.32s.

Meanwhile, also hitting the track for Guyana on Saturday morning were Shamar Horatio and Ezekiel Newton in the Boys Under 20 100m preliminaries.
In Heat 2, Newton clocked 11.16s, while in Heat 4, Horatio crossed the line in 10.99s. While Horatio came the closest to qualification, he missed a semifinal spot by 2 hundredths of a second.
In the javelin area, Gabriel Lim competed for Guyana in the Under 20 throws. Lim registered distances of 49.47m, 50.04m, 49.51m, two fouls and a best throw of 53.27m. However, this throw was only good enough for seventh place, in an event where the CARIFTA record was broken by Bahamas’ Keyshawn Strachan with a 79.89m throw.
The CARIFTA Games in Jamaica will continue up until April 18. (Jemima Holmes)

Photos: Harvey
Caption: Guyana’s Attoya Harvey showcases her gold medal after the presentation

Caption: Attoya Harvey crosses the finish line (Photo credit: Track alerts)

Caption: A glimpse Keliza Smith’s (Second from left) finish in the 100m Heat.