Photo: Jaheel Hyde and Martin Manley both struck gold for Jamaica at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing China today.
It was at the 2008 Olympics that Usain “Lighting” Bolt set the Beijing 'Birds Nest' stadium on fire with two gold medals and two word records - five years later,Wolmer's Boys track hero and the cool ruler of Youth Track and Field, Jaheel Hyde showed the world once more that he is a legend in the making. This after he ran a world youth record in the 110m hurdles to claim gold at the second Youth Olympic games in Nanjing China.
Hyde qualified for the final with the fastest time of 13.16 and had no challenge as he got away first at the sound of the starters gun before leaving the field for dead to cross the line in 12.96, leaving the Nanjing Crowd in shock.
He has now become first junior athlete to run below the 13.00 seconds barrier. His winning time smashed the two year old record of 13.12 seconds set by France’s world junior champion Wilhem Belocian. This was the third world title in space of two years for the talented 17 year old athlete. He captured gold at the IAAF World Youth Championships 100m hurdles title in a Donetsk Ukraine 2013, as well as the IAAF World Junior
Championships 400m gold won in Eugene, Oregon in July 2014 in world leading 49.29s.
Hyde finished ahead of Henrik Hannermann of Germany 13. 40 and Kim Gyeongtae of South Korea.
One of the race commentator described Hyde as being a once in a generation athlete. Hyde now has three of the top four times in this event. Speaking to reporters after his scintillating performance, Hyde expressed how much the victory means to him. He was quoted as saying
"I knew that once I followed my coach's instructions I wouldn't lose out in this race."
"It was just focusing for me, I tried to keep a cool face. I was a bit nervous but that was just me, that's racing. My aim was to come out there and get the gold medal for my country. The gold medal means the world to me. It's the biggest gold medal that an athlete in my age group could ask for. I'm a World Youth champion and a Youth Olympic champion and a World Junior champion, what more could I ask for?"
Jamaica’s other star performer of the day was St. Jago’s, Martin Manley , who vanquished last month’s World Juniors performance from his mind by capturing the mens 400m finals in a time of 46.31 seconds, ahead of Botswana’s Karabo Sibanda 46.76 and Henri Delauze of Bahamas 46.77. His success in Nanjing completes a memorable double as he also won 400m gold at 2013’s IAAF World Youth Championships.
“I’m happy to end my season with a bang,” he said. “What do I put my success down to? Training. I love training. I’m a hard-working athlete. Everything in track and field is hard, and training is the hardest part. But the easy part is winning.”
Jamaica failed to defend their 100m title won by Odeen Skeen at the inaugural games in Singapore 2010, after one of the race favourite , Raheem Chambers was not able to face the starter in the men’s 100m A finals after straining a hamstring in the heats two days ago.
Jamaica’s other competitors on the day were, St.Jago’s Lushane Wilson who competed in the High jump A finals for men, where he finished 5th with a personal best of 2.08m. Junelle Broomfield of STETHS finished 7th in the womens 800m B final in 2.13.01s. Tiffany James of Papine high claimed the runner up spot in the 400m B finals in a time of 54.54s and another St. Jago athlete Shanice Reid finished 2nd in the women’s 100 B final in 11.97s.
Other noteworthy performances for Jamaica at the championship so far are, first and second places for the two Dicuss throwers, Janell Fullerton and Vashon McCarthy in the B finals of that event. Fullerton captured that event with a throw 43. 36, while McCarthy finished second with a PB of 55.63m. Janeek Brown of Wolmer's Girls finished 6th in the sprint hurdles A final in a time of 13.91s, behind French winner Laura Vallete in a time of 13.34s.
Jamaican athletes booked for A finals on Monday are seventeen-year-old Natalia Whyte of st. Jago who enters the women’s 200-metre final with the fastest qualifying time after winning Heat 3 in 23.79 seconds. Dzhois Koba of Ukraine has the second best time of 23.88 seconds.
Chad Walker, also of St Jago High, advanced to the men’s 200-metre final with the fifth fastest qualifying time of 21.17, achieved in placing second in Heat 2.
American Noah Lyles, who won Heat 1 in a personal-best 20.71 enters the final with the fastest qualifying time.
Jordon Scott line up in men’s triple jump A finals, after qualifying with a PB of 15.36 m. Obrien Waysome made progress to the men’s long jump A finals, but suffered a foot injury in the process and it is not certain that he will contest the finals of that event.
Shenice Cohen will do battle in the women’s 400m Hurdles A finals, she qualified second from her heat with 1.00.24s, a time she will have improve on to be amongst the medals.
Jamaica’s medal tally which currently stands at 2 gold, has already bettered the performance of the team that went to Singapore.