By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
In its best showing since its 1982 debut in Havana, Cuba, Kyron McMaster kept the British Virgin Islands’ Central American and Caribbean Games’ gold medal streak intact, while Chantel Malone and Eldred Henry gave the territory’s its first medals outside of gold, during the 23rd edition staged in Barranquilla, Colombia.
On Tuesday night, McMaster who led all 400m hurdle qualifiers with the fastest prelims time of 48.71 seconds, shattered Jamaica’s Lenford Green’s eight-year old mark of 48.47, with a new CAC Games record time of 47.60—the second fastest time of his career—behind the 47.54 he ran in Switzerland in June.
“The race felt good and the main reason was to come out and get the record for my father—he’s been stressing me about getting a record on the international circuit—so that’s what today was about,” McMaster said. “I’m surprised I ran fast. I hit a lot of hurdles, chipped a lot in the race, so I was like ‘wow’ let me just finish this race and call it George, and I was surprised when I got the record. It’s just to go back to the drawing board and see what else we have to do.”
The medal haul began on Monday night, when defending Long Jump champ Chantel Malone, found herself in fourth place after round three with her opening 6.41m mark, then responded in round four with a windy (+2.2 meters per second) 6.51 to move into the silver medal position and solidified the second medal of the night with her season’s best 6.52m. Kala Penn placed 11th with her opening leap of 6.04m being her best measurement.
“The first jump was a good start for me, compared to how my season had been going,” Malone said. “I felt like it was a great set up for the last jump. My mindset was to continue and give it my best with each jump and stay positive, even if I messed up on a previous jump and that’s what I did throughout the whole competition. I’m happy with my end result today, considering everything that was going on.”
Prior to Malone’s silver, Henry got the ball rolling with his most consistent series ever, to land the bronze medal. The territory’s strongman opened the Shot Put with 19.91m to take the lead and temporarily broke the games record, before Jamaica’s Odane Richards threw 21.02m for gold. He followed up with 19.98, then continued his series with 19.84, followed by a personal best of 20.07 to break his previous best of 20.00 from 2014. He then extended his OECS, BVI National Record and personal best to 20.18, missing Jamaica’s Ashinia Miller’s 20.19 for silver, and closed the competition with 20.06 for the best series of his career.
It was the first time that BVI athletes had won three CAC Games medal in a single competition, bringing the overall total to seven medals, five of them gold, since the first in 2002.
Meanwhile, Tynelle Gumbs finished fifth in the Hammer Throw with a mark of 56.54m. In the Discus Throw, she had a best measurement of 45.15m to place 10th while twin sister Tynelle, fouled out of the competition.
In the Discus, Tynelle was 10th with a heave of 45.15m, while Trevia fouled out.
Other action saw two times champion Tahesia Harrigan-Scott finishing seventh in the 100m in 11.69 seconds. The race has a +2.3 mps wind. She produced an 11.55 (+2.2) time to reach the semis, then was among the fastest losers advancing to the final with 11.57.
“My experience was a terrific one, not the result I wanted, but I’ve been here four times, received two gold medals in the process of my four times at CAC Games and I’m thankful for that,” Harrigan-Scott said. “I came out healthy. Then we have other athletes that medaled and made it to finals, so I’m just happy to be part of the experience.”
Ashley Kelly advanced to the 400m final with a time of 53.52 seconds.
Shaquoy Stephens was eliminated in the 100m semis after placing seventh in 10.41 seconds. He ran 10.46, to advance to the semis.
Deya Erickson made her games debut with a fifth place finish in the 100m Hurdles and a time of 13.69 seconds, but was robbed of a personal best and national record because of the +2.8 meters per second wind, over the the legal threshold of 2.0. She didn’t progress to the final.
Adriano Gumbs was fifth in his 400m heat with a non-advancing time of 48.03 seconds, but was later disqualified.
Akeem Bradshaw had a Long Jump best of 6.55m while Ronique Todman false started in the 200m.