media_artricles :: 2017
St Fort wins 200; 4x4 boys upset JamaicaKwame Laurence :: Trinidad Express :: 17.04.2017
Khalifa St Fort was in tears at the end of a battling half-lap performance at the Ergilio Hato Stadium, here in Willemstad, Curacao, yesterday. It was because the Trinidad and Tobago track star had struck gold in the 200 metres final in 23.99 seconds to complete the Girls Under-20 sprint double.
St Fort pulled away from Grenadian Halle Hazzard towards the end of the race to claim the title. Relieved as she crossed the line first, the Florida-based sprinter screamed, then fell on the track.
"This is the best race of my entire career," St Fort told the Express, her voice cracking with emotion. "That 200 meant the world to me. I wasn't sure I could do it. I was very doubtful after the 100 performance. I knew to win this 200 it would take much guts."
St Fort, winner of the 100m title by just one-hundredth of a second, was equal to the half-lap task, forcing Hazzard to settle for silver in 24.15.
Meanwhile, Elijah Martin, Jacob St Clair, Judah Taylor and Kashief King struck gold for T&T in the final track event at Carifta 2017, the quartet clocking three minutes, 09.32 seconds to win the Boys Under-20 4x400m relay.
Anchorman King received the baton some 15 metres ahead of Jamaican Christopher Taylor, the individual 400m champion. Taylor gained on King and seemed set to pass him. But King dug deep, very deep to hold off the challenge and hand his country gold. Jamaica finished second in 3:10.34.
And Jerrod Elcock clocked 21.54 seconds to seize silver in the Boys Under-20 200m. Jamal Walton of the Cayman Islands won in 21.29.
Tyra Gittens increased her personal medal tally to two. During yesterday's morning session, she added Girls Under-20 long jump silver to her open heptathlon gold. The US-based athlete disturbed the sand at 6.10m to finish behind Jamaican Tissanna Hickling, the gold medallist at 6.22m.
Gittens jumped 5.98m in round one to take an early lead. But in the third round, Hickling produced a 6.07m leap to move to the front. Gittens edged ahead with her 6.10m fourth round effort. Hickling, however, responded immediately, her 6.22m jump securing the title.
Gold and silver on her T&T debut was certainly cause for celebration for Gittens. But the teenager has set high standards for herself, and was disappointed that three no throws in the heptathlon javelin competition robbed her of a Games record in the seven-discipline event.
"A win is a win," said Gittens, in an Express interview, "but at the same time I came with a goal and I didn't fulfil it. But overall, I'm happy."
There was silver too for Kymoi Noray, the T&T athlete finishing second in the Girls Under-18 javelin with a 44.98m throw. Asha James threw 43.24m for bronze in the girls' under-20 javelin.
Tyshawn Gray, Kaylon Thomson, Kiddel Carrington and Akil Boisson combined for a 3:20.85 clocking to bag bronze in the Boys Under-18 4x400m relay. Joanna Rogers, Caliyah Wallace, Patrice Richards and Rae-Anne Serville teamed up for Girls Under-18 4x400m bronze in 3:43.05.
And just before press time, Isaiah Taylor bagged Boys Under-20 shot put bronze with a 17.18m throw to cap off a successful Carifta 2017 campaign for T&T.
The Red, White and Black captured seven gold medals, five silver and 10 bronze for a grand total of 22. T&T finished second on the medal table, behind Jamaica (39 gold, 28 silver, 19 bronze) and ahead of Bahamas (six gold, 15 silver, 10 bronze).
St Fort and her T&T teammate Tyriq Horsford were contenders for the Austin Sealy Award. But it was Curacao's Glenn Kunst who got the nod, the hometown hero receiving the athlete of the meet trophy for his record-breaking performance in the boys' open pole vault. Kunst grabbed gold with a 4.65m clearance.
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