Jamaican quartet breaks world U20 4x100m record at CARIFTA Games

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From left, Jamaicans Tina Clayton, Serena Cole, Brianna Lyston and Tia Clayton celebrate their world U20 4x100m record at the Carifta Games.
World Athletics/Athelstan Bellamy

A women’s world U20 4x100m record highlighted the 49th edition of the CARIFTA Games in Kingston, Jamaica, from April 16-18, as athletes and fans passionately celebrated the return of the event after a two-year postponement, World Athletics said on Tuesday.

“The three-day event saw Jamaica maintain its Caribbean dominance on home soil, topping the medal table with 45 gold, 29 silver and 18 bronze medals,” it said. “The Bahamas finished second with four gold, six silver and seven bronze medals, followed by the British Virgin Islands with four gold, two silver and one bronze.”

Alongside the world U20 4x100m record of 42.58 set by Serena Cole, Tina Clayton, Brianna Lyston and Tia Clayton, World Athletics said there were several other exceptional performances from the next generation of regional stars,” sparking hope for a bright future.”

“It was clear from the 100m heats that there would be plenty of fireworks in the finals. However, an unlikely candidate — not from Jamaica — emerged and drew admiration from the appreciative crowd with a flawless display of sprinting,” World Athletics said. “Adaejah Hodge, representing the British Virgin Islands, kept winning and shaving chunks off her personal best times throughout the rounds.”

In the U17 final, World Athletics said she recorded “a superb win” in 11.29 (0.5m/s), just 0.02 off the Games record held by 2018 world U20 champion Briana Williams.

This followed performances of 11.54 (-3.2m/s) in the heats and 11.44 (0.8m/s) in the semifinals.

“I was trying to break the 100m record because Briana Williams and I share birthdays and it would have been cool if both of us broke the Carifta record,” said Hodge, who now holds her country’s national U20 record.

“I’ve waited for this competition for so long,” said the 16-year-old. “I’ve watched the CARIFTA Games on TV and just wanted to come here and execute my races how I wanted and make myself and everybody proud, and the way my mom celebrated meant the world to me,” added Hodge.

In the men’s U20 final, World Athletics said De Andre Daley recovered from “a sluggish start to finish with a flourish,” posting a lifetime best of 10.23 (0.7m/s).

“His fleet-footed Jamaican teammate Bouwahghi Nkrumie (10.28) had looked the likely winner after detaching from the field with his trademark explosive start and led with 30 metres to go before Daley motored by and relegated him to the silver,” World Athletics said.

It said Jamaica has a reputation for producing some of the fastest 4x100m relay times in the world, including world records.

On Saturday April 17, it said the quartet of Cole, Tina Clayton, Lyston and Tia Clayton — in that running order — “triggered unrestrained celebrations inside the national stadium after they broke the women’s world U20 4x100m record with a 42.58 run.”

World Athletics said it improved on the previous record of 42.94 also set by a Jamaican quartet last year at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.

“This was the second world record for me,” said Cole. “However, this one felt different because it was in front of our supporters and the celebrations at the end made us feel great.”

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