The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange says she’s confident that the future of Jamaica’s track and field is in good hands following “the exceptional performances of the national team at the IAAF World Under 20 Championships” which ended yesterday in Tampere, Finland.
Jamaica finished second on the medals table with four gold, five silver and three bronze for a total of 12 medals. Kenya finished at the top of the medals table with six gold, four silver and one bronze for a total of 11 medals.
Minister Grange said she was particularly pleased with the performance of Briana Williams who secured the sprint double on Saturday after winning the 200M in a championship record of 22.50. Williams had earlier won the 100M in a time of 11.16.
“Briana is just 16 years old and she has been able to dominate athletes who are older than she is and deliver so well for Jamaica. She is already an extraordinary athlete and we look forward to watching and supporting her for many years to come. I had the opportunity to speak with Briana’s mother to offer sincerest congratulations on behalf of the nation and I look forward to welcoming home Briana and all the members of this very good youth team,” said Minister Grange.
Williams has emulated Jamaica’s track superstar Veronica Campbell Brown in becoming one of the youngest athletes to take the sprint double at the prestigious championships.
“There is no doubt that Jamaica continues to be sprint capital of the world. The performances of our young team solidify that position. I am happy to see that we are reaping rich dividends from the investment of resources, energy and time that has been put into our track and field programme by all our stakeholders,” said Minister Grange.
Minister Grange also congratulated Kai Chang winner of the Discus Throw; Damion Thomas who won the 110M Hurdles; Orlando Bennett silver medallist in 100M Hurdles; Britany Anderson silver medallist in 100M Hurdles; Shiann Salmon silver medallist in the 400M Hurdles; the men’s 4x100M team who got silver in their event; the women’s 4X400M team who got the bronze; Wayne Pinnock bronze medallist in the Long Jump; and Chantz Sawyers bronze medallist in the 400 metres.
The Minister offered special encouragement to rising star Christopher Taylor who finished second in the 400 metres:
“Christopher is a young athlete, a very special athlete who has been having a wonderful season over 100 and 200 metres, especially. I am very proud of his performance in the 400 metres and this experience will help to propel him as he continues to shine for Jamaica.”
“I take this opportunity to commend all members of the Jamaica team that represented our country so well in Finland. We are proud of you and anticipate even greater performances in the future.”