T&T's De Gannes tops all performers to claim Austin Sealy Award at 51st Carifta Games

By Sports Desk April 02, 2024
Jaenae De Gannes pose alongside her record measurement. Jaenae De Gannes pose alongside her record measurement. T&T Newsday

Trinidad and Tobago's Jaenae De Gannes was named winner of the prestigious Austin Sealey Award after three days of pulsating competition at the 51st edition of the Carifta Games at the Kirani James Athletics in Grenda.

The 17-year-old smashed the girls’ Under-20 long jump record during the morning session of Monday’s final day, and later returned to anchor the twin island republic to a silver medal in the girls’ Under-20 4x400m relay.

Named in honour of Sir Austin Sealy, who started the Carifta Games in 1972, the award is given to the most outstanding athlete of the three-day spectacle.

While there were a number of breathtaking performances, De Gannes topped the pile when she measured 6.50 metres to win gold and establish a new record in the girls’ Under-20 long jump. The effort erased the old mark of 6.48 metres – ironically set in Grenada eight years ago – and positioned her third in the world in the Under-20 category.

She returned later in the evening to partner with Kaori Robley, Saana Frederick and Kaziah Peters to finish second in the girls’ Under-20 4X400m in 3:47.51. The event was won by Jamaica in 3:34.69, with Barbados (3:48.21) in third.

By virtue of winning the Austin Sealy Award, De Gannes joins a long list of outstanding athletes to have won the award, including Usain Bolt, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Yohan Blake, and Kirani James.

Jehue Gordon and Darrel Brown are among the Trinidad and Tobago athletes to have won the award previously.

Meanwhile, Jamaica topped the medal standings with 83 medals comprising 44 gold, 23 silver and 16 bronze, while the Bahamas ended with 34 – nine gold, 13 silver and 12 bronze. Trinidad and Tobago picked up four gold, 12 silver and 12 bronze to finish the championship with 28 medals overall.

Hosts Grenada were the only other team in double digits with 14 medals, logging one gold, six silver and seven bronze.

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