111th ISSA Championship ‘tremendous success’: World Athletics

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From left: Tina Clayton, Brianna Lyston and Tia Clayton at the Boys’ and Girls’ Championship.
World Athletics/Athelstan Bellamy

World Athletic said on Sunday that the 111th staging of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships (Champs) in Kingston, Jamaica, held from April 5-9, was “a tremendous success.”

“With the World Athletics U20 Championships Cali 22 on the horizon, many athletes produced inspired performances as 11 records were broken and two equaled over the final two days of competition, including all the sprint hurdles across the four age groups in the girls’ section,” World Athletics said.

“The event marked the return of spectators for the first time since 2019, following the global pandemic that began in 2020,” it added. “And title sponsors GraceKennedy Limited pledged JA$88 million (US$570,000) in sponsorship for this year’s edition.”

World Athletics said Kingston College and Edwin Allen High School were crowned winners after amassing 372 and 352 points, respectively.

It said leading the performances was 17-year-old Kerrica Hill of Hydel High, who completed the sprints/hurdles double.

She won the 100m hurdles (76.2cm barriers) in a stunning world U18 best of 12.71 (0.8m/s), World Athletics said.

Earlier in the championships, it said she won the 100m flat in 11.16 (1.2m/s) to equal the championship records in the girls’ class two category, moving to joint seventh on the world U18 all-time list.

“I just came out here to show everyone what I can do as I have been training very hard with Brianna (Lyston) and Alana (Reid), who came second,” said Hill, who finished seventh in the 100m and first in the 4x100m at the World U20 Championships in Nairobi last year.

“I am very happy as this was my aim to get both records,” added Hill. “I hope to carry this form into the World U20 Championships.”

World Athletics said the stage was set for “an epic showdown” in the 100m for girls, aged 17-18, between the Clayton twins (Tina and Tia) and the returning Brianna Lyston of Hydel High.

Lyston missed last year’s edition due to the Jamaican high school transfer eligibility rule, which states athletes (below 12th grade) who switched schools during the year must sit out the next championship, World Athletics said.

“Lyston, who ran 11.14 in March, created an uproar with a scintillating semi-final victory in 11.28 (-1.6 m/s), where she defeated world U20 champion Tina Clayton, who looked unperturbed,” World Athletics said.

“In a thrilling final, Lyston, who was sandwiched between the Clayton twins drawn in lanes four and lane six, got a decent start, although not as explosive as the one a few hours earlier,” it added.

“She held a slight advantage all the way through to the 70-metre mark, until the sheer power and determination of Tina Clayton propelled her past Lyston for a remarkable victory in 11.23 (-2.8 m/s),” World Athletics continued. “Lyston made sure she separated the twins at the finish, registering 11.26 for the silver with Tia taking bronze in 11.47.”

“It was a great final,” said Tina. “There was a lot of competition, but this is an energy-saving championship, so I held back in the semis knowing that I did not need to push hard to qualify. I gave it my all in the final, and I’m grateful for the win.”

The Clayton twins joined Brandy Hall and Serena Cole to set a world U20 leading 43.28 in the 4x100m, World Athletics said.

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