BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (Sporting Alert) — Jamaican Akeem Bloomfield eased into the final of the 2015 CARIFTA Games Under-20 boys 400m in Friday night’s opening action at the Silver Jubilee Stadium.
Bloomfield, who entered these Games on the best form among his competitors, ran 46.98 to top the list of qualifiers heading into Saturday night’s final.
The talented 17-year-old brings a 44.93 of personal best into Basseterre, after becoming the first Jamaican high schooler to break the 45-seconds barrier that the Boys and Girls Champs in Kingston, last week.
Finishing second to Bloomfield in the heat was Bahamas’ Henry Delauze, who was timed at 47.19.
Also going under 48-seconds in the semi-finals was Rai Benjamin of Antigua & Barbuda, after winning his heat in 47.55.
In the boys Under-18 400m dash, event favourite Christopher Taylor posted a heat winning time of 48.58 seconds to take semi-final three on the night.
The 16-year-old Jamaican, who comes into the CARIFTA Games with a personal best of 45.69secs, got home ahead of Loic Prevot (FGU, 48.71), who also qualified for the final.
Running the fastest time on the day in his category was Jamal Walton of Cayman Islands and he clocked 47.40 to win semi-final two in front of Jacob St Clair of Trinidad and Tobago, who crossed the line at 48.20.
Walton comes into these Games on good form, having run a personal best of 46.80 last month in Coral Gables, FL.
Devaughn Ellington of Jamaica was the other semis winner, as he clocked 49.41 to take the first heat over Barbados’ Josiah Atkins (49.93).
On the girls’ side, Jamaican duo Junelle Bromfield (53.86) and Shanique Walker (55.24) both booked their place into the final, while Doneisha Anderson of the Bahamas ran 54.67 to stay in touching distance.
Meanwhile, defending champions Jamaica opened its medal count with two golds and a silver, following the Girls Under-18 Discus Throw and the Boys Pole Vault open.
Devia Brown and Shyledeen Smith finished 1-2 in the Discus Throw, with the former winning the event with a sixth round attempt of 48.78m.
Smith also produced her best attempt in the last round — improving to second place with an effort of 44.83m.
Bahamas’ Serena Brown, who led the event until the fifth round, had to settle for the bronze with a mark of 44.20m, which she produced in the first round.
Akeem Kerr took gold for Jamaica in the boys pole vault open with a clearance of 4.10m.