CARIFTA GAMES 2024: Austin, Hinckson and Springer win gold on sensational day one


By Akeem Greene in Grenada

Day one of the 51st CARIFTA Track and Field Championships ended sensationally for Guyana, as they won three gold medals thanks to Tianna Springer, Malachi Austin, and Athaleyha Hinckson.

Springer met expectations and stormed to gold in the Girls U-20 400m final on Saturday evening.

Springer clocked a world-leading 52.31 seconds to deliver Guyana’s first medal at the Games.

She ran a controlled race to beat Jamaican pair Abigail Campbell (52.85s) and Shanque Williams (53.03) for the top spot on the podium.

In 2023, she won gold in the Under-17 final.

Tianna Springer produced another sensational run to seal gold (PHOTO: News Room/Avidesh Narine/March 30, 2024)

Hard work and determination delivered Guyana’s second gold.

Austin won the Boys’ under-20 400m final in a personal best time of 46.35 seconds, which also secured his spot at the upcoming World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Lima, Peru.

Earlier in the day, he lowered his previous best of 47.97s, set at the Commonwealth Youth Games in August 2023, to 46.80 seconds.

Austin became the favorite in the final when Jamaican Javaughn Pinnock was shown the red card after a false start.

Jamaica still earned a podium spot, thanks to Marcinho Rose (46.59 seconds), followed by Grenada’s Joshiem Sylvester (46.93 seconds).

Hinckson clocked 11.44 seconds to win her first CARIFTA Gold in the U-17 100m, capping a fairytale night.

Jamaican Adora Campbell (11.52s) and Barbadian Aniya Nurse (11.76s) rounded off the podium, and the Guyanese sprinter said she would focus on a sprint double as she gears for the 200m.

Additionally, U-17 athletes Marissa Thomas and Kaidon Persaud were the other Guyanese to reach a sprint final.

Thomas clocked 58.51s to finish seventh in her 400m race, while Persaud was sixth in 49.56s for a new personal best. Thomas achieved a new ‘PB’ of 58.08s in the heats.

However, Kenetha Fraser, Skylar Charles, Ezekiel Millington, Nalicia Glen, and Jaheel Cornette also competed in the 100m heats but did not progress, while Narissa McPherson, who lowered her personal best to 54.03 seconds in the heats but finished the final fifth with a time of 54.72s.

Earlier in the day, Persaud also contested the U-17 Javelin, where he entered with the fourth-best distance – 52.16m – but his efforts were below his best as he could not break the 50m barrier.

His furthest effort of 49.61m on his second attempt saw him finish sixth.

Athaleyha Hinckson won the U-17 100m final (PHOTO: News Room/Avidesh Narine/March 30, 2024)

Antiguan Maleik Edwards won gold with a new games record of 68.84m. Bahamian KeyShawn Strachan held the previous of 64.31m, set in 2019.

Jaheem Clarke of St. Kitts and Nevis won silver (56.09m) and Delron John of Grenada got bronze (54.70m).

In U-17 Long Jump, Duel Europe (6.79m) and Ryan Joseph (6.59m) finished fifth and eighth, respectively.

A surprise for Guyana was that there was no medal in the 1500m event.

A nagging knee injury prevented title favourite Javon Roberts from challenging for a podium spot, while Attoya Harvey opted out of the event to focus on the 800m and 3000 m.

Director of Sport Steve Ninvalle (far right) and Deputy Chairperson of the National Sports Commission Cristy Campbell flank gold medalist Malachi Roberts and Tianna Springer (PHOTO: News Room/Avidesh Narine/March 30, 2024)

Jamol Sullivan clocked 4:16.97s for 11th in the U-20 1500m with Roberts, who won silver at the U-17 level in 2023, behind in 4:17.41s.

Alkila Blucher (5:16.37s) and Ester McKinnon (5:20.85s) were eighth and ninth in the U-17 1500m final.

The Championships continue today with the commencement of 200m heats, and the relay finals will be contested later in the evening.

Full results:

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