Tokyo 2020 Recap: Tapper battles to historic 100mh bronze for Jamaica

By Bradley Jacks August 02, 2021

 Jamaica’s Megan Tapper claimed the country’s first bronze medal in the women’s 100m hurdles after battling to the line in Tokyo on Saturday.

Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, who is unbeaten this season, followed up an Olympic record of 12.26 in the semi-finals by running 12.36 to win her first Olympic gold medal, five years after hitting a hurdle and crashing out at the semi-final stage in Rio.

Tapper ran 12.55 to win the bronze medal.  The world record holder, Keni Harrison of the USA, won silver in 12.52 to also secure her first Olympic medal.

Bahamian Devynne Charlton finished 6th in 12.74 and Jamaica’s Brittany Anderson finished 8th in 13.24.

Men’s Long Jump

The Caribbean secured two medals in the men’s long jump after Cuba’s Juan Miguel Echevarria and Maykel Masso finished second and third with jumps of 8.41 and 8.21 respectively.

The gold medalist, Miltiadis Tentoglu of Greece, also jumped 8.41 but was determined as the outright winner on countback because his second-longest jump of 8.15 was longer than Echevarria’s second-longest of 8.09.

Jamaica’s reigning world champion, Tajay Gayle, valiantly made an attempt to compete after picking up a left knee injury in qualifying.  Jumping with heavy strapping on that knee, Gayle fouled his first two attempts before registering 7.69 on his third to finish 11th overall.

Women’s Triple Jump

Shanieka Ricketts of Jamaica narrowly missed out on a medal.  Ricketts finished fourth after leaping out to 14.84 on her fourth-round attempt.

The Jamaican was in third place going into the fifth round until Spain’s Ana Peleteiro produced a national record of 14.87 to overtake Ricketts and secure the bronze medal.

The competition also saw Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas win her first Olympic gold medal by jumping to a new world record of 15.67 metres, breaking the previous mark of 15.50 set at the 1995 World Championships by Ukrainian Inessa Kravets.

The other Jamaican in the final, Kimberly Williams, finished eighth with a jump of 14.51.

 

Men’s 400 metres Hurdles

Only one Caribbean athlete advanced to the final.  Both Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands and Jaheel Hyde of Jamaica lined up in semi-final 3 and with 100 metres to go, they both looked in good shape to get to the final.

Unfortunately, Hyde hit the eighth hurdle badly and fell, taking him out of contention.

He ended up jogging to the finish in a time of 1:27.38.

McMaster went on to win the semi-final in 48.26 and advance to his first Olympic final.

 

Men’s 100m

No Caribbean men advanced to the final of the men’s 100 metres as Jamaica’s Yohan Blake and Oblique Seville both came up short in their semi-final races.

Blake finished sixth in semi-final 1 in 10.14 and Seville finished fourth in semi-final 2 in 10.09.

The final eventually saw Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs take gold in 9.80 ahead of the USA’s Fred Kerley who ran 9.84 for second and Canada’s Andre DeGrasse who ran 9.89 for third, his second successive Olympic 100 metres bronze medal.

All three men recorded personal bests in the race.

 

Women’s 1500 Metres

Jamaica’s Aisha Praught-Leer competed in heat 2 of the women’s 1500 metres despite injury and finished 13th in a time of 4:15.31.

 

Women’s 200 Metres

 Four Caribbean women advanced to the semi-finals of the 200 metres.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas finished second in heat 1 with a time of 22.40 to advance.

100 metres silver medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was next to confirm her spot in the next round, comfortably winning heat 2 in 22.22.

Heat 5 was won by Bahamian Anthonique Strachan in 22.76 but the biggest story from that race was Shericka Jackson of Jamaica.

The 100 metres bronze medalist failed to advance after easing up at the line and being passed Italy’s Dalia Kaddari.

100 metres gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica was very conservative in heat 6, finishing third in 22.86 to secure her spot in the semi-finals.

 

 

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    Jamaica’s local-based players and United States-born goalkeeper Jayden Hibbert will have the opportunity to impress Head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson and possibly break into the final squad for the upcoming Concacaf Nations League (CNL) semi-final assignment against United States on March 21.

    This, as the 22 Jamaica Premier League (JPL) players and Hibbert, who was recently signed by Atlanta United 2, makes up Hallgrimsson’s 23-player squad down to contest a two-match friendly series against Caribbean neighbours Trinidad and Tobago on Friday and Sunday, in the twin island republic.

    The games which are scheduled to be played at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella, and the Larry Gomes Stadium in Arima, are both set to be contested at 3:00pm Jamaica time.

    Hibbert, 19, who was signed through the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season, will become an Atlanta United First Team player effective next year, but until then, he will be hoping to secure a place in Hallgrimsson’s side for not only the CNL game, but also for the Copa America and World Cup qualifiers later this year.

    The number 19 overall pick in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft played two years at the University of Connecticut, where he started in all 14 games for the Huskies in 2023. The sophomore made 41 saves and picked up three clean sheets. He collected a season-high fives saves in three matches last season while earning Big East Goalkeeper of the Week honours twice. Prior to joining UConn, Hibbert won a state and national title at St. Benedict’s Prep.

    Meanwhile, along with assisting Hallgrimsson decide on which local-based players to include in the final Reggae Boyz squad for the CNL semi-final engagement, both games will also assist Angus Eve and his Soca Warriors in gauging their readiness for the upcoming Copa America qualifying encounter against Canada, scheduled for March 23.

    This two-match friendly series is basically a return leg of sorts following Trinidad and Tobago’s visit to Jamaica for two games last year. The Soca Warriors won the second friendly in Montego Bay 1-0, after the first match ended goalless.

    The two teams later met at the Concacaf Gold Cup in June where Jamaica came away comfortable 4-1 winners in the Gold Cup group stage meeting.

    Squad: Kemar Foster (Waterhouse FC), Shaquan Davis (Mount Pleasant Academy), Jayden Hibbert (Atlanta United), Kyle Ming (Cavalier FC), Richard King (Cavalier FC), Garth Stewart (Harbour View FC), Ricardo Thomas (Dunbeholden FC), Sue-Lae McCalla (Mount Pleasant Academy), Stephen Young (Portmore United), Joel Cunningham (Arnett Gardens FC), Emelio Rousseau (Portmore United), Alex Marshall (Portmore United), Shamour Smith (Montego Bay United), Jahshaun Anglin (Harbour View FC), Romeo Guthrie (Mount Pleasant Academy), Jamone Shepherd (Arnett Gardens FC), Kaheim Dixon (Arnett Gardens FC), Fabian Reid (Arnett Gardens FC), Shaniel Thomas (Cavalier FC), Jason Wright (Moylnes United), Justin Dunn (Tivoli Gardens FC), Andre Fletcher (Waterhouse FC), Devante Campbell (Mount Pleasant Academy)

  • T&T miss out after 0-3 loss to group winners Canada; Haiti also through with Jamaica to be confirmed T&T miss out after 0-3 loss to group winners Canada; Haiti also through with Jamaica to be confirmed

    Trinidad and Tobago missed out on a spot in the Concacaf Men's Under-20 Championship round, after they were beaten 3-0 by Canada in their final Group D qualifying contest at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Tuesday.

    Myles Morgan (10th), Santiago Lopez (54th) and Kevaughn Tavernier (79th) got the goals for Canada, who secured the coveted top spot with nine points, as Trinidad and Tobago had to settle for second on six points. St Vincent and the Grenadines ended their campaign on a high with a dramatic 3-2 win over Dominica, to finish third in the group on six points.

    Frankroy Cain (10th), Kirtney Franklyn (44th) and Steven Pierre (90+2) found the back of the net for St Vincent and the Grenadines, while Dominica got goals from Ajani Richards (40th) and Keeyan Thomas (90+5).

    By virtue of topping the group, Canada along with Group E winners, Haiti, progressed to the Concacaf Championships round where the top six teams –United States, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic -awaits.

     The final round will be staged in Mexico in July, where four spots to the 2025 FIFA Under-20 World Cup will be up for grabs.

    After securing two wins early on, Haiti did just enough to secure the point needed for group honours in a 1-1 stalemate with Puerto Rico. That top-of-the-table clash in St Kitts and Nevis, saw Fabian Menendez (39th) putting Puerto Rico in front, before Joseph Belmar (71st) secured the precious equailiser for the French-speaking Caribbean nation.

    Group host Saint Kitts and Nevis gave locals something to celebrate as they topped Cayman Islands 3-0 in a game of academic interest.  De Quan Hamilton (16th, 45+1, 81st) got all three goals for the young Sugar Boyz.

    Meanwhile, Jamaica's young Reggae Boyz will be aiming to join Canada and Haiti in the next round, as they only require a point against Bermuda in Wednesday's Group F decider.

    Jamaica, on six points are three ahead of Bermuda, on three and, as such, only needs to avoid defeat in the feature contest in St Kitts and Nevis, to confirm their spot in the next round.

    Martinique, who also have three points, could make things interesting provided they defeat Grenada by a wide margin in the curtain-raiser, and Jamaica lose by a single goal to Bermuda. 

    Elsewhere on Tuesday: 

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    British Virgin Islands topped Belize 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller at the Estadio Nacional in Managua, Nicaragua.

    BVI got their goals from Azarni Callwood (38th, 45+2), Curtis Lane (40th) and Johari Lacey (70th), while the Belize goals were produced by Jaheim Mena (16th), Isaac Taegar (54th) aFelix Martinez (58th).

    Host Nicaragua, moved to the summit of the group on nine points, following their 5-0 hammering of Anguilla. Oliver Bello (19th), Francis Castillo (37th), Juban Uriarte (53rd), Andres Martinez (60th) and Kenler Cayasso (69th) got the job done for Nicaragua.

    Group B

    Antigua and Barbuda and Suriname continue to chart the course in the battle for group honours, as both registered wins at the ABFA Technical Centre.

    Suriname topped Guyana 4-1 courtesy of goals from Robinio Pinas (7th), Jermaine Rijssel (35th), Djaier Prijor (85th) and Donagay Misidjang (89th). Matrim Martin (76th) got Guyana's consolation.

    Antigua and Barbuda emerged 2-1 victors over Turks and Caicos Islands in the second game. Javaughn Jarvis (54th) and Christopher Douglas (82nd) scored for Antigua and Barbuda, before Christopher Louisy (90+4) pulled one back for Turks and Caicos Islands.

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    Group C

    Group C also remains evenly poised between Curacao and host nation Guatemala. This, as Curacao clipped Barbados 1-0 to move to the summit of the group, while Aruba blanked St Martin 4-0 at the Estadio Doroteo Guamuch Flores in Guatemala City.

    Luigi Iniesa (31st) got the all-important strike for Curacao that moved them to the top on seven points, one ahead of Guatemala, who has a game in hand.

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  • Lamara Distin: Defying gravity, breaking records, and chasing Olympic glory Lamara Distin: Defying gravity, breaking records, and chasing Olympic glory

    In a moment that will resonate through the corridors of track and field history, Lamara Distin, the high-flying Jamaican representing Texas A&M, soared to unprecedented heights at the SEC Indoor Championships.

    Last weekend, the 23-year-old SEC champion shattered the women's NCAA indoor high jump record, scaling a breathtaking 2.00 metres, not only claiming her third-straight SEC title but etching her name as the first NCAA athlete to conquer this elusive mark. The feat also holds special significance as Distin becomes the trailblazing woman from the English-speaking Caribbean to achieve such an extraordinary height and by that virtue establishing a Jamaica national indoor record.

    It was a moment of relief and reward for the talented Jamaican. "Achieving the long-awaited goal was an incredible and rewarding feeling. I have been going after this mark for years so for it to finally happen, it’s such a great feeling. I’m super-elated that my hard work is paying off."

    Distin's journey at the Randal Tyson Track Centre was nothing short of a masterclass in precision and execution. She cleared her initial six heights on the first attempt, securing her SEC indoor high jump title with a jump over 1.97m. With history beckoning, she boldly raised the bar once more. On her third and final attempt, she defied gravity, clearing the record-breaking 2.00m, etching her legacy into the NCAA and Jamaica history books.

    In doing so, Distin awarded the 2024 SEC Indoor Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

     

    The former Hydel High School star shared the depth of emotion and accomplishment tied to this historic moment. "Being among an elite class of high jumpers and the first Caribbean woman to achieve this height fills me with a deep sense of gratitude and motivation to continue pushing my limits," she shared, reflecting on the significance of this achievement.

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    “The change of coach was a bit of a challenge for me last year as I know that I would be doing completely different workouts that I was used to with my old coach since I was a freshman,” she explained.

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    For Distin, reaching the 2.00m mark was not just a physical breakthrough; it also marked a profound mental transformation.

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    “It has given me the confidence to set bigger goals and strive for even more success in the sport. I will continue to have faith in God and remember that his timing is always better than me.”

    With the summer approaching at the Paris Olympics looming ever closer, Distin and her coach are meticulously planning her competitions, ensuring she peaks at the right time for the Olympic challenge ahead.

    “An Olympic year means I have to also be smart as it relates to competitions. Competing at the collegiate level is totally different than the professional level as our season starts earlier. Moving into this season, my coach and I are taking the necessary measures in order for me to be fresh enough for the Olympics which is being strategic with competition planning. We have a plan and we’re sticking to that plan.”

    As she sets her sights on consistently clearing higher heights, Distin shared the key factors for sustained success. "Maintaining a positive mindset, consistency in practice, taking care of my overall well-being, and seeking support when needed" are the cornerstones of her approach.

    Grounded in her faith and armed with a renewed sense of self-belief, Distin is not merely defying gravity; she's rewriting the script of what's possible in high jumping and aiming for nothing less than Olympic glory.

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