Tina Clayton and Jaydon Hibbert, two of Jamaica’s 40-member athletics team, have been praised by technical leader of the championships, David Riley, for their outstanding accomplishments at the World Athletics Under-20 Championships recently held in Nairobi, Kenya.
The two were among the five people Riley deemed deserved special mention at the event, which saw Jamaica win 11 medals, tying for the second most at the age-group championships.
Clayton, who won two gold medals, won the women’s 100m in a new personal best of 11.09 seconds just two days after turning 17, while Hibbert, who is still only 16 years old and could still compete in two more championships, won silver in the men’s triple Jump to become the first Jamaican male to win a medal in the event at the Under-20 level.
“I think Tina Clayton did well in the 100m considering the competition and the time given all the circumstances. On the male side, Jaydon Hibbert put up a strong effort in the triple jump,” Riley remarked.
Riley also cited two medal-winning hurdlers, gold medalist Ackera Nugent and bronze medalist Devontie Archer, who both ran personal best times of 49.93s in the semi-finals and 49.78s in the final.
“Devontie Archer’s sub-50 time in the 400m hurdles and Ackera Nugent’s sub-50 time in the sprint hurdles wasn’t exceptionally quick, but it was a nice effort nonetheless,” Riley said.
Riley’s top performances were also influenced by the relay teams’ assault for the medal treasure chest on the final day.
“The relays, which took place on the final day of the championships, were undoubtedly the highlight performances. The 4x400m female team, weakened but not diminished in heart and passion, set a global record in the 4x100m for women and a national junior record in the 4x100m for men, and they ran exceptionally well and won a silver medal. In the grand scheme of things, I felt that was a fantastic performance,” he said.
Riley believes it was again another strong performance by Jamaica’s junior athletes as a whole.
“We participated in a lot of world-record-breaking events. We’re there when you think of Vashaun Vascianna’s world-record-breaking sprint hurdles (final) run. We’re there whenever something spectacular happens, so I believe it was a wonderful performance overall.”
Riley believes that the early stages of the championships’ results were influenced by the weather.
“Because Penn Relays has been canceled for the past two years, most of these athletes have never attended Penn Relays. They haven’t had that kind of experience, which would have been a fantastic way to get to know Nairobi.
As a result, they haven’t had the opportunity to compete in milder temperatures than they are accustomed to, necessitating that adjustment,” he explained.
It’s worth noting that Jamaica won seven of the eleven gold on the hottest day of the championships, in Nairobi.