Tina Clayton continued Jamaica’s rich tradition of global sprinting when she easily copped the 100m title at the World Athletics Under-20 Championships at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya on Thursday night.
Clayton, the ISSA/Gracekennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Championships star from Edwin Allen High School, clocked a personal best 11.09 seconds to annihilate the field, which included Namibia’s Beatrice Masilingi, who competed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan earlier this month.
Masilingi, who was expected to pose a threat, finished a distant second in 11.39 seconds, with Melissa Gutschmidt of Switzerland third in 11.51 seconds. Jamaica’s other entrant, Kerrica Hill finished seventh in 11.67 seconds.
Clayton had entered the final with the fastest time of 11.34 seconds, with Masilingi just behind. Clayton follows in the immediate footsteps of Briana Williams who won the sprint double at the last edition in Tampere, Finland in 2018.
Tina was ecstatic with the win and praised her mother and her coach for their support.
“I feel really glad to know that I came out here and do it, to retain another Jamaican title, it feels really great,” she told the Jamaica Observer newspaper.
“I knew that I would have a personal best because I have been training really hard and my coach (Michael Dyke) kept on pushing me. Sometimes you know that challenges may come, but he is always there, my mother is always there to support me and tell me never to give up.”
And coming only two days day after her 17th birthday, Tina dedicated the win to her twin sister, Tia, who did not make the team as an individual competitor.
“I know that Tia is very glad, maybe she is at the hotel very excited, but I know that this would be a very special birthday present for her and for me. I came out here to do it for me and her, because she didn’t get a chance to run the 100m.”
Tina was convinced that had they both been given the chance to run the 100m at the championships, that they would have finished first and second.
“I know that if she got a chance to run the 100m, we would have taken the quinela, but it didn’t happen so, I came out her and did it for us,” she said.
Jamaica had another finalist on Thursday, Kobe Lawrence in the men’s shot put. However, his 18.32m was good enough only for eighth place for the 17-year-old in the field of 12.
The event was won by Juan Gomez of Cuba with a best of 19.73m, Yauheni Bryhi of Belarus was second with a personal best 19.70m and Jephte Vogel of Switzerland was third with 19.16m.
Elsewhere, Ackelia Smith safely advanced to Friday’s final, with a jump of 12.99m in the women’s triple jump.
Garriel White and Moseiha Bridgen secured their places in the finals of the women’s 400m hurdles. White led from start to finish to win in 58.65 seconds, the fourth best in qualifying.
Brigden ran well to finish second to Canada’s Savannah Sutherland who won in 58.45 seconds, with Brigden clocking 58.88 seconds. Maria Tarabanskaya (Authorized Neutral Athlete), was third in 59.18 seconds.
In the men’s equivalent, Roshawn Clarke matched his personal best of 50.93 seconds to win heat one, while his compatriot Devontie Archer won heat four in 52.17 seconds.
In the men’s 800m, Jamaica’s lone representative Chevonne Hall, advance to the semi-finals after finishing third in heat two in 1:49.57 minutes, behind winner Kacper Lewalski of Poland in 1:48.84 minutes, and Abdullahi Hassan of Canada in 1:49.09 minutes.