athletes show good signs before the IAAF/Coca-Cola World Junior Championships
Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF
10 July 2002 - Bridgetown - Caribbean athletes showed they are ready to produce their best performance ever at an IAAF/Coca-Cola World Junior Championships next week in Jamaica, after posting notable results at the 15th Central American and Caribbean Junior Champs in the Barbadian capital last weekend.
The island's National Stadium saw the region's future stars among more than 300 participants from over 20 countries.
Jamaica, who will host next week's IAAF/Coca-Cola World Junior Championships, sent the largest delegation and dominated the medal tally with 27 gold, 13 silver and 19 bronze in both under-17 and under-20 categories, as it did two years ago in Puerto Rico, where the previous area junior championships were held.
Mexico (12-14-7) and Cuba (9-3-0) were second and third in an event that produced 19 championship records and where 22 nations had at least one athlete on the podium.
The sprint events produced the most remarkable results, headed by Jamaica's 16-year old Aneish McLaughlin, who achieved a golden double with records in 100 (11.59) and 200 (23.27), as well as as in the 4x100 relay with 45.33 seconds.
Her countryman Usain Bolt (under-17) also achieved a triple win in 200, 400 and the 4x400 relay with 20.61, 47.12 and 3:16.61. With an impressive 20.61 time in the half lap race at 16, Bolt is now third in the world junior performance list, with great chances of claiming a podium position in Kingston.
Trinidad and Tobago's Darrell Brown confirmed himself as the fastest junior of the world this year by lowering his personal best to 10.18, only a few days prior to Kingston. He led his 4x100-relay team to a victory with the fastest time of the season: 39.95. Brown showed he's ready to repeat last year's victory at the World Under-18 Champs in Debrecen, Hungary.
On the Cuban side, Ana Tejeda continued her quest to break the world junior record in 100-meter hurdles, by clocking 12.93 seconds, only 0.09 shy the standard set by her compatriot Aliuska Lopez in 1988.
Triple jumpers Mabel Gay (13,90) and David Giralt(16,75) consolidated their No. 1 positions in the world with championship records, with two other Cubans trailing in second: Arianna Martinez and Osniel Tosca.
On the track, Yuneisy Santiusti achieved an unprecedented 800-1500 double for her country with event records of 2:06.13 and 4:24.96.
As usual, Mexico based its strength on walkers, middle distance and long distance runners, including 1500m specialists Edgar Santoyo (u-17) and Juan Luis Barrios, who set new standards in the distance.
Yusmely Garcia shone for Venezuela, improving the national senior record in the 400 metres hurdles with a championship record of 57.84 seconds.
Some of these athletes will take part this week in a tune-up event in Bahamas before travelling to Jamaica for the World Juniors.
Full results can be found at - www.cac-athletics.org