Otabor wins bronze in the women’s javelin
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – Javelin sensation Rhema Otabor won her most prestigious medal, to date, claiming a bronze in that event at the 4th Anita Doherty North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Track and Field Championships in Freeport, Grand Bahama, on Sunday.
Otabor had a best throw of 57.91 meters (m) – 186’ – just off her personal best throw of 58.58m (192’ 2”).
It was a 1-2 sweep for the Americans as Kara Winger won the gold with a throw of 64.68m (212’ 2-1/2”) and Ariana Ince secured the silver with a throw of 59.69m (195’ 10”). Otabor had a strong performance in finishing third.
“That was about a meter short of my personal best throw, so I was happy with it. I had a li’l hiccup at the end but I’m satisfied,” said Otabor. “The competition out there was tough. I got what I expected and overall it was pretty good. I felt the support and love from the crowd and it was great.”
After winning gold at the Commonwealth Games a few weeks ago, LaQuan Nairn was looking for similar success at the 4th Anita Doherty NACAC Track and Field Championships here at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex but had to settle for fourth among a tough field of jumpers.
Nairn soared 7.75m – 25’ 5-1/4” – matching the same distance as the bronze medalist but falling to fourth based on the distance of their second-best jumps.
American William Williams won the gold with a leap of 7.89m (25’ 10-3/4”), Jamaican Tajay Gayle secured the silver medal with a leap of 7.81m (25’ 7-1/2”) and the other Jamaican Shawn-D Thompson won the bronze medal. He had an identical best leap as Nairn but, as mentioned, he had the better second-best jump to give him the edge for the bronze.
The other Bahamian in the field, Holland Martin, finished sixth with a best jump of 7.67m (25’ 2”). There was only about five inches separating Nairn from fourth to the gold.
“It’s a good feeling to be here jumping in front of my family and the home crowd,” said Nairn. “The competition was pretty good.”
Nairn qualified for the final with a leap of 7.45m (24’ 5-1/2”). The other Bahamian in the men’s long jump Holland Martin had a best leap of 7.18m (23’ 6-3/4”) in qualifying. He qualified for the final 10th overall.
“It’s always great to be able to come home and compete in front of the home crowd. I wish I could have done better, but I feel healthy,” said Martin. “I felt very comfortable out there – I love to compete in front of the home crowd. There was a slight headwind which I believe caused an issue with some of our approaches, but it was just about going out there and making the adjustments. My performance was OK but I know I could have done better.”
Nairn said he really wanted a medal, but he’s content with what he was able to do.
“For me, it’s just about staying poised and focused on executing each and every time I step on the runway and not worry about what happened in the past. I’m looking forward to better things in the future,” he said.
In the men’s triple jump, Kaiwan Culmer just missed out on a medal, finishing with a best leap of 15.55m (51’ 0-1/4”) for fourth. The other Bahaman in that event, Kristen Hanna, was sixth, finishing with a best leap of 13.87m (45’ 6-1/4”).
In the women’s triple jump final, Tamara Myers finished fourth overall with a best leap of 13.69m (44’ 11”).
“The field was a good one, so I felt compelled to jump well,” said Myers on Sunday. “It was a long season for me. I took about two weeks off after nationals and went back to training. Overall, I am pleased with my performance and I’m looking forward to the offseason.”
Thea Lafond won her country’s first-ever gold medal at the NACAC Championships, striking gold for Dominica with a leap of 14.49m (47’ 6-1/2”). American Keturah Orji won the silver medal with a jump of 14.32m (46’ 11-3/4”), and Davisleydi Velazco, of Cuba, won the bronze medal with a leap of 14.08m (46’ 2-1/2”).