Gumbs, Defreitas Earn BVI’s First Commonwealth Youth Games Medals


Djimon Gumbs, left, prepares to launch the Discus out to 56.24m to claim a bronze medal, the BVI’s first at the Commonwealty Youth Games in Nassau, Bahamas.
Beyonce DeFreitas won a 200m silver medal with a time of 23.88 seconds.
PHOTOS: Kermit Taylor, Bahamas Athletics

By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

On the opening and closing days of the 6th Commonwealth Youth Games in Nassau, Bahamas, history was made by Djimon Gumbs and Beyonce DeFreitas, respectively.

After overcoming his fears and fouling his first attempt, Gumbs became the first BVI athlete to earn a medal at any Commonwealth Games level since the territory began participating in 1990, when he launched a sixth round Discus Throw effort to land a bronze medal, in the Commonwealth Youth Games last Thursday afternoon.

After fouling his opening attempt, Gumbs, a 2017 double Carifta Games silver medalist in the Discus Throw and Shot Put, secured bronze with a throw of 56.24m (184’6½”). Twin brother Diamante finished sixth after cracking the 50m barrier for the first time in his career, finally setting for 50.67m (166’3”).

“First off, I’m giving God the praise for making me accomplish this medal, Djimon said. “Going into the competition, of course, there we nerves on the first throw which I fouled but my coach told me ‘to relax’ and I did what I has to do.”

His winning throw came in the fourth round and says it means a lot.

“Winning a medal at this stage makes me feel that all the hard work pays off and no matter how difficult it could be at times, I always pull through,” he noted. “It inspires me to push toward my goals and never give up.”

When the competition came to a close on Sundayon Sunday, DeFreitas became the first female medalist, earning silver in the 200m, in the competition that catered to 16-17 year old athletes from six regions and 70 countries across the British Commonwealth.

DeFreitas earned her medal after running 23.88 seconds, .04 off her personal best. She opened with 25.01 to win her heat and ran 24.13 in the semis, where she was second.

“It’s really special, because at Carifta (Games), I was hoping to medal and that didn’t happen,” DeFreitas said. “I worked really hard and then got my medal at these games. My goal was to execute my race properly and get a personal best but that didn’t happen, but I still came out with a medal.”

As he did at the Carifta Games, Djimon said he was happy to have his twin Diamante competing with him and he was proud when he broke 50m not once, but four times. “He was working really hard to accomplish breaking 50m and it see him do it three times back to back, made my heart warm,” Djimon said. “I was such a nice experience having someone to talk to.”

Diamante said he was quite nervous at first but coach Jones told him to try and put things together. “It didn’t really hit e until after the competition that I had thrown 50m,” he said. “I know I had it in me. It feels amazing because I’ve been working on this for a long time and I have realized that I can do it and will continue to work hard.”

Diamante was fourth in the Shot Put with 16.66m (50’8”), besting Djimon’s 16.03m (52’7”) for the first time.

Arianna Hayde improved her own BVI Youth Record with a heave of 44.73m (146 feet 9 inches) to finish fifth in the Javelin Throw. She had a leap of 5.57m (18 feet 3¼ inches) to place sixth in the Long Jump.

Mikkel Bassue was seventh in the 100m final in 10.86 seconds. He ran 11.07 in the semi to advance after running 11.11 in his prelim. He had a sixth place showing in his 200m heat in 22.73 seconds.

Josh Hill had a non advancing 49.75 seconds time in his 400m heat.

The Commonwealth Youth Games competition began on Wednesday, with Tennis Player Adrian Baijnauth falling to Norfolk Islands Arki Nobbs in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0.

At the Pan Am Jr. Championships competition for U20 athletes in Trujillo, Peru, Kala Penn was fourth in the Triple Jump on Saturday with a personal best leap of 13.09m (42’11¼”), improving on her 12.95m (42’5¾”) best. She became the second BVI athlete behind Chantel Malone, to penetrate the 13m barrier. She leapt 5.54m (18’2’) to finish 10th in the Long Jump.

Rikkoi Brathwaite and L’T’Sha Fahie, were seventh in the 100m Boys and Girls finals respectively. Brathwaite was timed in 10.72 seconds, after finishing third in his semi in 10.79. Fahie was also third in her 100m run in 12.03 seconds and clocked 11.92 in the final.

Johnt’a Charles had a non-advancing time of 10.95 for fourth in his heat.

Virgin Gorda’s Shaniyah Caul, ran a personal best of 24.90 seconds to finish eight in the 200m final, improving on the 24.93 she ran to advance. She was sixth in her 400m heat in 56.85 seconds. Fahie had a non advancing 25.69 seconds run in her prelim.