By Treiston Joseph
Guyana had one of the biggest medal hauls at the 2016 edition of the South American Youth Athletics Championships that concluded on Sunday in Argentina.
Guyana walked away with five medals over the two days of competition- three of which were silver and two bronze. The most successful athlete for the four-member squad was Linden’s Daniel Williams, who won two silver medals and one bronze.
Williams took silver in the Boys 400 metres with a time of 48.57s, a bit slower than the record set by Guyanese Jason Yaw two years ago with a time of 46.79s. Bruno Da Silva of Brazil won the event in a time of 48.12s.
Adding to his medal count, Williams also took silver in the Boys high jump by clearing the 2.00 metres mark one jump after the gold medallist from Chile in Francisco Moraga, who cleared the 2.00 metres mark as well one jump ahead of Williams.
In Williams’ final event he copped bronze in the Boys 200 metres in a time of 22.11 metres, while Guyanese compatriot Tyrell Peters finished fifth with a time of 22.50s. Vinicius Moraes of Brazil was the winner of the event in a time of 21.41s.
Meanwhile, Peters took silver in the Boys 100 metres with a time of 10.68s, losing out to Moraes of Brazil who won the event in a time of 10.36s for the sprint double.
Guyanese Chantoba Bright was also in action and took bronze in the Girls long jump with a leap of 5.94 metres, while Colombian Andrea Quinto won the event with a jump of 6.13 metres. In addition, Bright missed out on another bronze by finishing fourth in the Girl’s triple jump with a leap of 12.29 metres. Marcela Cuesta of Columbia won gold in the event.
Kenisha Phillips, who was touted as a medallist at the event, fell short in both the 100 ad 200 metres events. Phillips finished in a disappointing fifth in the Girls 100 metres with a slower than usual time of 12.31s. Lorraine Barbosa Matins of Brazil won the 100 metres in 11.78s.
However, Phillips’ run in the 200 metres was even more bizarre finishing fourth in the Girls 200 metres with another slower than usual time of 25.12s.
Phillips time of 24.67s in her heat would have gotten her silver medal if she had clocked the exact time in the final. The times for second and third place in the final were 24.90s and 24.98s respectively. Michelle Cifuentes of Ecuador won the event in 24.44s.
The four top athletes will now be on show at the National School Championships next week in their final competition of a long 2016 season.