Xavier Brown produced a terrific finish for the 200-metre
gold medal on Friday night that gave Jamaica a rare mens
sprint success at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC)
Browns strong finish landed him the gold medal in the
half-lap race in 20.74 seconds for Jamaicas first mens
sprint title at the CAC Games since Les Laing won the 200
metres in 1954 in Mexico.
Outside of track and field, T&T collected silver medals
in mens hockey and boxing, where the US Virgin Islands
also picked up a silver medal through their light welterweight
T&T narrowly missed the mens hockey gold medal when
they lost the final to Cuba on penalties.
Wayne Legerton struck two goals in a remarkable T&T fightback
that allowed them to wipe off a 2-0 deficit and tie the match
at 2-2, the score even after 20 minutes of extra-time.
But in a crushing blow for Legerton, he missed his shot in
the penalty flicks and the Cubans snatched the gold medal
4-3 on penalties.
Barbados beat Venezuela 3-2 to claim fifth place.
The T&T womens team and Barbados played for bronze
In boxing, the US Virgin Islands Moolenaar put up a
brave effort against Cuban Yudel Johnson before losing on
points in the 64kg light welterweight final.
Johnson, an Olympic silver medallist in Athens, secured the
win 14-8 on points.
Fermin was also fairly competitive against Cuban Yordany Despaigne
before losing the 75kg middleweight final 3-1 on points.
Despaigne suffered a horrible cut near his left eye that forced
the ringside doctor to stop the bout and the Cuban collected
the victory because he was ahead on points.
Also at boxing Friday night, Jamaican Nicholas Walters collected
his bronze medal in the featherweight category in which Puerto
Rican Carlos Velasquez beat Ronald de la Rosa, of the Dominican
Republic 12-3 for the gold medal.
In the nights last bout, Cuban Osmany Acosta beat Venezuelas
Julio Payares 13-9 for gold in the heavyweight division where
Barbadian Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Emmanuel Anderson
picked up a bronze medal.
Trinidad and Tobagos Dexter St Louis was very much in
evidence in his contest against Cubas Carlos Alvarado;
the powerful left hander winning in five games, 11-7, 12-14,
11-8, 11-4, 11-5, to advance to the next round.
Meanwhile, the Cubans, already with the most gold medals entering
day 13, moved impressively to the top in the medal count,
surpassing Mexico with medals-won overall as well.
The Cubans have a massive 123 gold medals, 78 silver and 51
bronze for a total of 252.
The Mexicans have 248 medals, 94 gold, 78 silver, and 76 bronze,
followed by Colombia (67-63-67) and Venezuela (46-79-115).
The Jamaicans climbed one place up to seventh with seven gold,
five silver and six bronze and lead the Caribbean Community
(CARICOM) countries, ahead of Barbados (6-2-10) in eighth
and T&T (1-5-11) in 13th posiation.
Only 0.12 seconds separated the first four finishers in the
mens 200-metre final.
Barbadian Andrew Hinds got a fast start and came off the turn
into the straightaway with a clear lead, but he faded as Brown,
Antiguan Brendon Christian and Colombias Howard Murillo
came rushing forward.
Brown, who finished third to Asafa Powell and Ricardo Williams
at the Jamaica National Championship in Kingston last month,
made telling acceleration in last 20 metres to snatch victory,
ahead of Murillo (20.78), with Hinds taking the bronze in
Christian took fourth in 20.86 and Dominicas Chris Lloyd
was fifth in 21.06.
There was only one other medal for the English-speaking Caribbean
at the Pedro de Heredia Athletics Stadium on Friday night,
going to Barbadian Keisha Walkes in the womens discus.
Walkes had a best throw of 48.10 metres behind champion Yania
Serrales (58.70) and Yarelis Barrios (58.22) as the Cubans
registered another one of their many gold-silver sweep in
track and field this past week.
Panamanian world leader Irving Saladino did not disappoint
and captured the mens long jump easily at 8.29 metres
ahead of Cuban legend Ivan Pedrozo (7.92).
Jamaican Herbert McGregor (7.78) was fourth, while Bahamians
Osbourne Moxey (7.73) and Trevor Barry (7.59) got fifth and
sixth respectively, and Trinidad and Tobagos Lejuan
Simon (7.34) was seventh.
And the Jamaicans, with a history of their elite athletes
not on show at the CAC Games, set themselves up for more medals
in the relays yesterday, the final day of track and field
with strong semi-final performances.
In the 4X100 metres, they used Brown, Lerone Clarke, Carl
Barrett and Leford Green to clock 39.35 to win their heat
as the fastest into the final, ahead of defending champions
Dominican Republic (39.82), the Netherlands Antilles (39.47),
Bahamas (39.49), and T&T (39.85).
The Jamaicans were also fastest in the 1600-metre relay qualifying,
clocking three minutes 04.59 seconds, to lead reigning champions
Dominican Republic (3:05.99), Venezuela (3:06.48) and St Kitts
and Nevis (3:08.71) into the final.