Clayton Twins Sparkle as Jamaica Signs Off U-20 Championships with 11 Medals

Jamaica u-20 championships
(Photo by Roger Sedres for World Athletics)

Twins Tia and Tina Clayton sparkled as Jamaica brought the curtain down on the Under-20 World Championship by winning the women’s sprint relay in a world record time in Kenya on Sunday.

Jamaican got the stick around in 42.94 seconds to finish ahead of Namibia (43.76), anchored by Olympic medallist Christine Mboma, with Nigeria taking bronze in 43.90.

The success was one of several for Jamaica on the final day of the showpiece as the country copped silver in the men’s sprint relay, and silver in both the men’s and women’s distance relays.

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Devontie Archer fortuitously snatched bronze in the men’s 400 metres and Ralford Mullings provided yet another medal for the Jamaicans with silver in the men’s discus.

However, the day’s headlines were written by the impressive quartet of Clayton sisters, Serena Cole and Kerrica Hill.

Cole produced a swift first leg before Tina unleashed an equally impressive second leg, laying the foundation for Hill to excel on the curve.

Tia got the baton first and sped away to open up a huge lead, with Mboma unable to challenge for the Namibians.

“I knew my team would’ve come out here and done their best and they came out here and did what was expected,” Tia said in a post-race interview.

“And I am very happy we finished the race injury free, the baton was around safely. I am glad.”

Tina added: “We put in a lot of work. You know they say ‘train hard, win easy’ so we always train hard so we came out here and did our best and only your best is good enough.”

Overall, Jamaica’s Under-20 team racked up 11 medals — three gold, six silver, and three bronze — statistically tied for second-best ever at a World Athletics Under-20 championships, only behind the 12 won three years ago in Tampere, Finland.

Jamaica finished fifth on the medals table and third in the placings table with 100 points, the latter calculated on points earned by athletes advancing to their finals.

Hosts Kenya topped the medals table with 16 in total, Finland were second with five total medals but four of them were gold; Nigeria finished third overall with seven medals, four of them gold, and Ethiopia had 12 medals.

The hosts also topped the points table with 128 with Ethiopia on 111.

The 11 medals tied the total from Kingston 2002 when the Jamaicans, led by Usain Bolt’s 200 metre gold medal, won two gold, five silver, and four bronze medals while in Finland, Jamaica won four gold, five silver and three bronze medals.

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