It was a golden final day for T&T at the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Under-18 and U-23 Championships in Queretaro, Mexico, yesterday.
First, Shaniqua Bascombe comfortably sped to the gold medal in the 200 metres event in a time of 24.00 seconds. This after the Carifta 200m girls’ champion advanced with the fastest qualifying time of 23.49.
“I feel great. It was great to win another medal for my country. I have won the Carifta gold and now I have won the NACAC U-18 200m title,” said an elated Bascombe.
“My race was very good as I started well and followed the instructions of my coach and ran the final 120m good I executed very well today (yesterday),” added Bascombe who thanked the National Association of Athletics Administration of T&T (NAAATT) for giving her an opportunity to compete and her coach Kelvin Nancoo for his support and dedication.
Leah Bertrand also faced the starter in the half-lap event and placed fifth in 24.86.
T&T’s other gold medal came in the Mixed U-18 4x400m relay after a dominating performance from Jesaiah Jones, Rae-Ann Serville Taejha Badal and Saeed Pompey, running that order. The local quartet clocked 3:26.49 to reach the top of the podium.
Jerod Elcock also had success on the day, copping a silver medal in the men’s U-23 200m dash after crossing in 20.65.
“I feel very accomplished because I worked very hard for this,” said Elcock. “I didn’t get a perfect start but I executed perfectly, I came off the bend and transitioned into the straight and came home strong and I came second.
“Overall, the team performed well. Everyone performed to the best of their ability and we are thankful for that.”
Shakeem McKay competed in the boys' U-18 200m final and went over the line in seventh place in 22.22 seconds.
On Saturday evening, T&T closed with two more medals thanks to Serville and the boys’ U-18 4x100m relay team.
Justin Guy, Devin Augustine, Jaydon Moore and Shakeem Mc Kay, running in that order placed copped silver in a time of 41.82. To local quartet followed the Jamaican team to the line who won in 41.17. In third place was Mexico with 42.42.
Earlier Serville ran away with bronze in the girls U-18 400m. The national quarter-miler clocked 54.38 to place third while T&T another runner in the event, Badal finished sixth with a 55.53-clocking.
In the version of the one-lap event, Saeed Pompey crossed in seventh place in 49.39.
At the end of the three-day meet, T&T finished in sixth place with seven medals, three gold, two silver and two bronze. On day one, long jumper Andwuelle Wright won gold and Justin Guy bagged bronze in the 110m hurdles in the morning session on Saturday.
The USA ended in first place after the three-day meet with 56 medals – 27 gold, 23 silver and six bronze; in second place was hosts Mexico with 63 medals 19 gold, 15 silver and 29 bronze with Jamaica third with 39 made up of 18 gold, 13 silver and 8 bronze medals.
Also placing ahead of T&T was Canada with 28(6 gold/9 silver/13 bronze) and the Bahamas with eight(3 gold/4 silver/1 bronze), respectively.