T&T's Tyriq Horsford was tipped to win the men's Under-20 javelin title at the 48th edition of the Carifta Games and he did not disappoint winning the event at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in the Cayman Islands, yesterday.
The Mississippi State University freshman successfully defend his crown in the morning session of the final day, bagging another gold for T&T and won his fifth Carifta gold medal in the javelin with a huge second throw of 71.45 metres clearly ahead of second place Deandra Collins from Grenada with 62.00m. In third place was Bahamian Hughie Sean Rolle with 60.45.
Horsford's illustrious journey to his fifth javelin started in 2015 when at age 15 he produced a record-breaking throw in the men's U-18 javelin landing the spear 70.73m to secure gold in the event in St Kitts.
The former Signal Hill student followed up a year later, breaking his own record with a 73.00m-heave to repeat as the U-18 champion in Grenada. He came back in 2017, to complete the hat-trick of victories in the age-group sending the spear 76.50m in Curacao.
Stepping up in the U-20 bracket the following year did not intimidate Horsford as he scored a fourth straight gold as he threw the heavier spear (800g) to land the title with a 68.13m-toss in the Bahamas.
Also competing in the event was Selvon Rochford and he placed fifth with his best throw measuring 58.83m.
Across the field, Kelsey Daniel picked up a silver for his efforts in the men’s U-20 triple jump. Daniel led after the third round with a 15.14m jump which he duplicated in the fourth round but fell to second after an aggressive jump from Jonathan Miller from Barbados for 15.30m in the fifth round. These marks stood to the end.
It was the second medal for Daniel, who late Sunday bagged a bronze in the men's long jump (7.32m) which increased T&T's haul to 16.
Also in action yesterday morning, was Joel Andrews in the men's pole vault open competition. He just missed out reaching the podium, placing fourth with a best effort of 3.60m.
On Sunday night, it was an action-packed evening session on the second day of the regional junior championships, with T&T adding two more gold medals, two silver and four bronze to its tally.
Sprinter Shaniqua Bascombe blazed to a first-place finish in 23.36 seconds with a wind factor of +1.0 in the women’s U-17 200m. She beat Jamaican Brianna Lyston (23.53 and St Vincent and the Grenadines' Ulanda Lewis (24.09) to the line.
Bascombe's teammate Taejha Badal lined up in the final and was sixth in a time of 24.61.
In the men's version of the race, Shakeem Mc Kay clocked a slower time than in the qualifying round (21.76), to place sixth in 22.00. There were no medals for T&T sprinters in the women's U-20 half-lap event either with Ayla Stanisclaus missing out on a medal placing fourth in 23.99 while Akilah Lewis was seventh in 24.26.
For her efforts in the seven-discipline event, Safiya John won gold in the heptathlon with 5,143 points while Antonia Sealy finished in second place with 4,847. Going into the last event, the 800m, John would have had to have a majorly poor event not to win. In the end, she comfortably placed second in 2:31.51 (674), sealing the deal. Sealy was fourth with a 2:41.53-clocking to earn 555 points.
These two athletes must be commended for their endurance and mental fortitude throughout the two days of competition. John had scores of 14.44 (917) in the 100m hurdles, high jump 1.64m (783), shot put 10.36m (553), 200m 25.85 (810) long jump 5.28m (637) and the javelin, 45.27m (769) while Sealy, respectively had scores of 15.04 (836), 1.55m (678), 11.91m (655), 26.22 (778), 5.50m (700) and 38.86m (645).
Meanwhile, Anson Moses fought for his third place overall finish with 5,107 points in the octathalon that consists of a gruelling eight disciplines. Mason's results were as follows: 100m 11.81 (689), long jump (720), shot put 11.00m (546), 400m 52.28 (713), 110m hurdles (747), high jump 1.77m (602), javelin 46.68m (540) and in the last discipline, the 1500m, placed fourth with 5:01.69 (550) just ahead of other T&T athlete Che Rocheford, who placed third with 5.00.47 (557).
Rochford, a first-time Carifta competitor, came in fifth with 5,001 points. In his other disciplines, Rochford respective scores were 11.42 (769), 6.09m (606), 11.25m (561), 51.26 (757), 15.81 (754), 1.59m (457) and 46.73 (540).
In the 800m event, Christie Maharaj crossed fifth (2:21.71) in the women's U-17 category while in the men's version, Ryan Campbell's clocking of 2:03.27 placed him fourth. Rae-Ann Serville, who was slated to compete in the women's U-20 race, did not start.