Dominica's LaFond, Jamaica's Ricketts, T&T's Warren among athletes securing place in finals as Caribbean medal hunt continues

By Bradley Jacks July 31, 2021

 Dominica’s Thea LaFond set a new national record, in the Women’s Triple Jump, to lead four of the region’s women into the final as session 2 and more Caribbean athletes beginning their quest for success.

Lafond jumped a national record of 14.60 to advance, the second-longest jump of the qualifying round behind the 14.77 done by Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela who is the gold medal favourite.

Liadagmis Povea of Cuba qualified in 5th with a jump of 14.50.  Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts, a silver medalist at the 2019 Doha World Championships, needed only one jump to qualify in 6th place.

To qualify for the final automatically an athlete needs to jump 14.40 and Ricketts did 14.43 on her 1st attempt.

Kimberley Williams of Jamaica was the last Caribbean athlete to qualify for the final, jumping 14.30 to finish 9th.

 

Women’s Shot Put – Trinidad and Tobago’s Warren claims spot in final

 The women’s shot put only saw one Caribbean athlete advance to the final, Trinidad & Tobago’s Portious Warren.  Warren threw a personal best 18.75 to finish 9th and advance to the 12-competitor final.

Jamaicans Danniel Thomas-Dodd and Lloydrica Cameron both missed out on a place in the final.

Thomas-Dodd, a silver medalist at the 2019 World Championships, finished 13th with a distance of 18.37, one spot outside a place in the final.

Cameron finished 21st in qualifying with a distance of 17.43.

Caribbean teams were also involved in the heats of the mixed 4x400m relay.

The Dominican Republic qualified for the final after finishing 2nd in heat 1 with a time of 3:12.74.

The 2nd heat saw the Jamaican team qualify for the final after a 3rd place finish.

The team comprising of Sean Bailey, Junelle Bromfield, Stacey Ann Williams, and Karayme Bartley ran 3:11.76.

 

Women’s 400mh – Jamaica’s Russell advances but mishaps for Nugent, Whyte

 The women’s 400 Hurdles saw four Caribbean women advance to the semi-finals and two suffering unfortunate mishaps.

Jamaica’s Janieve Russell advanced to the semi-finals after finishing second in heat 2 with a composed 54.81 clocking.

Russell’s Jamaican teammate, Leah Nugent, originally finished second in heat 3 but was later disqualified due to lane infringement.

  Gianna Woodruff of Panama originally finished third in heat 3 but was upgraded to second after Nugent’s disqualification and subsequently advanced to the semis.

Ronda Whyte of Jamaica lined up in heat four and was expected to comfortably advance but it was not to be as she, unfortunately, committed a false start.

Tia-Adana Belle of Barbados finished second in heat 4 with a time of 55.69 to advance.

Zurian Hechavarria of Cuba finished fifth in heat 5 and advanced to the semi-finals as one of the fastest losers.

 

Women’s discus – Jamaica’s Lawrence, Cuba’s Perez advance to final

 The women’s discus saw Shadae Lawrence of Jamaica and Yaime Perez of Cuba advance to the final.

Lawrence threw 62.27 to finish 11th in qualifying.  Perez, the gold medalist at the 2019 Doha World Championships, threw 63.18 to finish seventh in qualifying.

Denia Caballero of Cuba was the only other Caribbean woman in qualifying, throwing 57.96 to finish 23rd overall in qualifying.

No Caribbean men advanced past the heats in the men’s 800 metres.

 

Women’s sprint hurdles – Jamaica’s Tapper runs personal best

 The women’s sprint hurdles heats were largely successful for Caribbean athletes.

Haiti’s Mulern Jean was the only Caribbean woman that failed to advance past the first round after finishing fifth in heat 2 in 12.99.

  Heat 3 saw both Yanique Thompson of Jamaica and Devynne Charlton of the Bahamas advancing to the semi-finals, with Thompson running 12.74 to finish second and Charlton finishing fourth in 12.84.

Heat 4 also saw two Caribbean women advance as Brittany Anderson ran 12.67 to win and Pedrya Seymour of the Bahamas ran 13.04 to finish fourth.

Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn ran 12.41, the fastest time in the heats, to win heat 5 ahead of Megan Tapper of Jamaica, who ran a personal best 12.53 for 2nd.

 

 

 

 

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    In a historic moment at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, Thea LaFond from Dominica leaped into the record books, securing her place as the first Dominican to clinch a medal at a world indoor championships. Her triumphant victory in the triple jump with a lifetime best and world-leading 15.01m showcased not only her exceptional talent but also the power of inspiration drawn from fellow Caribbean athlete Julien Alfred of St. Lucia.

    The connection between these two neighboring nations, Dominica and St. Lucia, goes beyond geographical proximity, as they share cultural similarities that run deep. The impact of Julien Alfred's gold medal win in the 60m dash the previous night reverberated strongly for LaFond, eliciting emotional tears of joy.

    "So Julien is from St Lucia, she is a neighboring country, Dominica. We share a lot of similarities cultural-wise, and I would be lying to you if I said I didn't cry last night (Saturday) when I saw her gold," LaFond expressed, reflecting on the profound connection that binds these two island nations.

    Fuelled by the desire to replicate the success of her compatriot, LaFond reached out to her husband, Aaron, expressing her yearning for victory. His reassuring words became the catalyst for her exceptional performance, as she recalled, "I messaged Aaron, and I told him that I so desperately want this, I don't want to disappoint, and his words back to me were like, 'It's OK, it's your turn.'"

    As LaFond stepped onto the track after the introductions, a powerful motivation fueled her. She envisioned a "1-2 punch for the Lesser Antilles islands," with Julien Alfred being the first punch the night before. Determined and inspired, she declared, "Let's do it. Let's do it."

    The resonance of Julien Alfred's achievement echoed in LaFond's heart, transforming the competition into a celebration of the prowess of small Caribbean nations. "But it was amazing inspiration last night and filled me with such pride. And once again, these small countries doing such amazing things. And I knew St. Lucia was going to be so proud, and I wanted that same feeling for Dominica," LaFond shared.

    Expressing her gratitude and congratulations to Julien Alfred, LaFond celebrated the shared success of their neighboring islands. "So, a huge thank you and congratulations to Julien Alfred for the inspiration late last night and of course that gold medal. Twinsies!" she exclaimed, celebrating the unique bond and collective triumph of the Caribbean athletes on the global stage.

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    Lina Nielsen, Ama Pipi, Hannah Kelly and Jessie Knight won their heat in three minutes, 26.4 seconds in Glasgow.

    They finished almost a second ahead of Jamaica, with the Czech Republic third.

    “I love this track,” anchor leg Knight told the BBC. “I’m not the best at getting out in the first 200 but I really tried, and not overcooking it as well.

    “I’m really happy with that. I felt strong at the end and we’re really excited for the final. We’re going for the win as always.”

    The Netherlands, favourites for the gold medal, qualified from the first heat in 3min 27.70sec.

  • Dominica's Thea LaFond wins historic triple jump gold with world-leading 15m performance Dominica's Thea LaFond wins historic triple jump gold with world-leading 15m performance

    In a breathtaking and ground-breaking performance Thea LaFond won gold in the women’s triple jump at the 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow, Scotland on Sunday.

    The 29-year-old Dominican stunned her rivals and herself when she uncorked a remarkable world-leading 15.01m to win and become the first woman from the Caribbean to achieve that distance indoors and the first from Dominica to win a global gold medal.

    LaFond, who achieved a lifetime best of 14.90m at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest last year to finish fifth, uncorked her historic performance on her second attempt in Glasgow stunning the audience and her rivals. She stared at the mark in disbelief before shedding tears of joy in front of her husband and coach Aaron Gadson.

    With the gold medal all but secured, LaFond passed on her remaining jumps but watched as Cuba’s Leyanis Perez Hernandez provided a scare when she unleashed a jump of 14.90m to claim the silver medal. The Cuban had a big jump on her final attempt but it was deemed a foul, which sent LaFond skipping away joyfully at winning her first-ever global championship.

    Spain’s Ana Peleteiro-Compaore' won the bronze medal with her effort of 14.75m

    Earlier, world-record holder Devynne Charlton easily advanced to the semi-final round of the 60m hurdles. The Bahamian barely broke a sweat in winning the third of the six heats in 7.93. Her compatriot Charisma Taylor also advanced one of the six fastest losers. Taylor was fourth her heat in 8.05.

    Megan Tapper from Jamaica was an automatic qualifier after she was third in her heat in 8.05.

    Jamaica ran well to advance to the final of the 4x00m relay. The quartet of Junelle Bromfield, Andrenette Knight, Charokee Young and Leah Anderson ran a season-best 3:27.35 to finish second, an automatic qualifying spot in the second of two heats that was won by Great Britain who ran a national record of 3:26.40.

    Gold medal favourites, the Netherlands (3:27.70) and the USA (3:28.04) are also through to the final.

     

     

     

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