SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — Briana Williams and Wayne Pinnock struck gold late last night as Jamaica won nine medals on the first evening of the 20th Pan-American Under-20 championships at the national stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica.
In cooler than expected conditions with a threat of rain, the Jamaicans surpassed the total from the previous staging two years ago in Peru as they also bagged three silver and four bronze medals despite missing out in a few events, including the men’s discus throw.
Kai Chang had a season’s best 60.38m for fourth while Ralford Mullings threw a personal best 59.92m for fifth place.
Williams extended her brilliant season with a 11.38 seconds (-1.4m/s), just holding off two Americans Thelma Davies (11.39 seconds) and Brandee Presley (11.41 seconds).
Pinnock took the gold on his first jump of 7.86m (-0.7m/s) while Shaquille Lowe got the bronze with a wind-aided 7.47m (4.1m/s)
Oblique Seville — 10.21 seconds (0.5m/s) — and Michael Stephens (10.34 seconds) were second and third respectively in the men’s 100m behind American Matthew Bolling who ran a personal best 10.11 seconds.
Shantae Foreman, better known for her high jump exploits, won the silver in her first time representing Jamaica in the long jump with a mark of 6.13m (0.8m/s). She led after the first round before she was passed by the American Claire Bryant with a jump of 6.15m (0.7m/s) with another American Ijeyikowoicho Onah taking the bronze with 6.09m (1.2m/s).
Earlier in the afternoon, Bovel McPherson won a surprise silver in the men’s 400m, running 45.97 seconds — his second personal best of the day — as Anthony Cox, a medal favourite was fourth in 46.12 seconds.
Ackera Nugent was second in the 100m hurdles in 13.37 seconds (0.6m/s) and Akeem Cargill was third in the men’s 110m hurdles in windy 13.56 seconds (2.7m/s).