Mexico and Cuba both enjoyed additional success as athletics action came to a close at the Junior Pan Am Junior in Cali, Colombia on Saturday.

Mexico won medals in the first two events on the day when Guillermo Ornelas took bronze in the Men’s 110m Hurdles in 14.05 and Cesar Ponce claimed a silver medal in the 3000m Steeplechase in 8:56.65.

Their compatriot, Israel Alvarez, finished fourth in the 800m in 1:50.43 ahead of Dominica's Dennick Luke, who was fifth in 1:50.79.

The Cubans then got in on the act in the discus where Mario Torres finished second with a throw of 60.77m and Anyel Sampre taking the bronze medal with 57.03m.

Another Caribbean competitor, Jorge Nazario of Puerto Rico, was sixth in 50.72.

Mexico’s Luis Peralta was sixth in the Men’s Pole Vault with 4.80 metres.

Cuba then got their first gold medal of the day with Andy Salazar jumping 16.77 metres to win the triple jump.

Taeco O’Garro of Antigua finished sixth with 15.60 metres.

There were only two individual female events on the day.

Arian Hernandez of Mexico finished fourth in the 3000m Steeplechase in 10:57.62.

Yaritza Valera then won Cuba’s second gold medal on the day with a 67.47 metres effort to win the Women’s Hammer Throw.

Her teammate Liz Llorente was fourth with 64.34 metres.

In the final athletics event of the Games, the Dominican Republic secured a bronze medal in the Mixed 4x400m Relay in 3:28.28 while Mexico finished fourth in 3:29.52.

Cuba continue to dominate in athletics as the Pan Am Junior Games roll on in Colombia.

On Thursday, Cuba secured two medals in the women’s 100m Hurdles as Greisys Acevedo took gold in 13.07 and her countrywoman, Kelly Ibanez won bronze in 13.33.

The Dominica Republic’s Fiordaliza Cofil was the star of the day with medals in both the Women’s 200m and 400m.

She won bronze in the 200m in 23.46 then returned to take gold in the 400m in 52.10.

Shalysa Wray of The Cayman Islands was fifth in the 400m in 53.47.

Ariliannis Vargas of Cuba took silver in the Women’s 400m Hurdles in 57.20.

The Caribbean also secured two medals in the Women’s Heptathlon as Marys Cabrera of Cuba took gold with 5663 points ahead of Grenada’s Janair Thomas who took home silver with 5484 points.

Marysabel Senyu of the Dominican Republic won silver in the Women’s High Jump with 1.81 metres.

In the Men’s 400m Leonardo Padilla of Cuba came second in 45.79, behind Luis Ferreiro of Mexico took gold in 45.59.  Gamali Felix of Grenada and Michael Joseph of St. Lucia were fifth and sixth in 46.54 and 46.57 respectively.

Yoao Puentes of Cuba won gold in the Men’s 400m Hurdles with 50.91.

In the field, Ronald Zayas of Cuba was second in the Men’s Hammer Throw with 67.23.

On Friday, Juan Villalobos of Costa Rica won gold in the Men’s 1500m in 3:44.10.

Hector Pagan of Puerto Rico secured gold in the Men’s 10,000m in 30:20.48

The Caribbean also took another medal in the Men’s High Jump as Bahamian Kyle Alcine took bronze behind Erick Rodriguez of Mexico who took gold with 2.21 metres.

Rosa Santana of the Dominican Republic won the Women’s Shot Put with a 17.45 metres effort.

Her Caribbean compatriots Laysaelis Hernandez of Cuba, Kelsie Ross of Grenada and Treneese Hamilton of Dominica were fourth, fifth and sixth.

Yiselena Rojas of Cuba secured silver in the Women’s Javelin in 57.14.

Cuba secured another gold medal as Leyanis Hernandez won gold in the Women’s Triple Jump with 14.39 metres.

Chantoba Bright of Guyana finished second with a jump of 13.50 metres.

 

 

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran a new lifetime best to turn the tables on Elaine Thompson-Herah and win the 100m dash at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on Thursday.

Following her victory in the triple jump at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco today, Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts said she feels like she is on track for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics that gets underway later this month.

The global pandemic has been frustrating for many athletes, who have been unable to compete and consequently earn their keep. However, for some it is an opportunity to hone their craft, to become even better than they were before.

Such is the case of World Championship silver medalist Shanieka Ricketts, who uncorked a world-leading 14.63m triple jump at the National Stadium in Kingston on March 20.

The mark was 13cm shy of her best ever opener of 14.76m in 2019, and 30cm off her personal best, but it was an early indication of how much she had worked to improve in the time she was unable to compete in 2020 because of the many cancellations of track and field meets as the Covid-19 virus raced across the world.

Ricketts, who turned 29 in February, had one of her best jumps at the World Championships in Doha where she produced a 14.92m effort to secure a silver medal behind Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas.

Now finally competing again, she expects to go even farther this year, maybe even getting closer to the Venezuelan, who won gold with her best jump of 15.37m.

Rickett’s confidence comes from the work that she and her coach and husband Kerrylee Ricketts have been putting in during their ‘down time’, and based on past experience, the likelihood that it will bear fruit.

“My step phase has improved since last year. The triple jump is very technical, so we are aiming to improve as many aspects of the jump as possible in order to surpass my personal best,” she said.

“Training is very different from competition, so it takes a while to get the hang of competing and getting back into top shape. We do our best to assimilate a competition-type environment in training so that it does not feel foreign once we begin to compete.

“It is definitely challenging to navigate from training to competition but proper preparation builds confidence and makes the transition more comfortable. The extra time gave us a chance to work on improving my strength and sprinting mechanics which are essential in doing well.”

The uncertainty of the season has impacted her ability to compete more frequently and bring those elements perfected in training to competition. However, once she gets the chance, jumping beyond 15m could be a lot closer to reality.

“I am pleased with where I am at this stage of the season. I am hoping to jump far this year, and I know that once I got the technical aspects of the jump correct, the distances will come,” she said.

“I am not in peak shape right now so I know that I will be able to produce bigger jumps as the season progresses.”

A week after winning the triple jump competition at the Florida State Relays, Florida senior Clayton Brown won the high jump at the 2021 Florida Relays earlier today.

The 23-year-old former Jamaica College jumper cleared 2.23m to withstand the challenge of USC senior Ernie Sears who also cleared 2.23 but awarded second on the countback.

Jordan Wesner, a senior of Florida State was third with 2.20m.

Brown's was the ninth-best clearance in the world this year.

On March 26, Brown had produced a season-best 16.57m to win the triple jump.

The meet continues tomorrow.

 

Damion Thomas ran a collegiate leading 7.51 to win the 60m hurdles at the 2021 NCAA Division I Championships today.

Jamaica’s Carey McLeod jump a personal best in the long jump on Friday to win a bronze medal at the NCAA Division I Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas Friday night.

O'Brien Wasome opened his outdoor season with a wind-aided 17.06m triple jump at the Longhorn Invitational at the Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas on Friday.

After achieving personal best marks in both long and triple jumps at the SEC Championships in Fayetteville last weekend, Tennessee’s Carey McLeod believes his best this season is yet to come as he aims to seal a spot on Jamaica’s team to the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Joella Lloyd and Carey McLeod shone brightly for the University at Tennessee at the SEC Championships at the Randal Tyson Indoor Track Centre in Arkansas on the weekend.

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