Jamaica in eight-medal haul at Special Olympics

Jamaica in eight-medal haul at Special Olympics

Sanjay Myers
Sports Editor
Special Olympics Summer Games

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Jamaica hauled in eight medals yesterday and also benefited from a reinstated gold in athletics as things took a sharp turn for the better in the Special Olympics World Summer Games.

The Jamaicans have amassed 25 medals in the United Arab Emirates with one day of competition remaining. The haul comprises 10 gold, eight silver and seven bronze medals. In the 2015 Summer Games in California, United States they racked up 29.

Most of the joy yesterday came in athletics at Dubai Police Officers Stadium.

Yeshima Stuart won gold with a time of 1:11.14 minutes in Division Four of the female 400-metre race and Daeshawn Green matched that feat by winning Division 18 of the male 100m in 11.37 seconds.

Special Olympics Jamaica (SOJ) claimed bronze in Division 32 of the male 100m when O'Brian McFarlane clocked 11.67.

They boosted their medal count when Delmar Campbell's gold in his division in the 200m was reinstated after a protest was lodged by the Jamaican delegation in response to him being disqualified. Up to press time yesterday, the Jamaica Observer was unable to get the official reason behind both decisions.

There was more success for SOJ in Dubai as Andrew Bartholomew swept to victory in Division Six of the male 100m in 1:39.07 minutes inside Hamdan Sports Complex. India's Rakesh Sawant (1:41.40) took silver, while Malaysia's Muhammad Syamsul Bahri (1:46.94) won bronze.

Kadian Ingleton, who was upgraded to fourth in open water swimming days ago, captured silver in the 800m event.

In unified badminton at Abu Dhabi National Convention Centre (ADNEC), Janoy Daley and Travis Ebanks had to come from behind to snatch gold ahead of the Togolese pair of Eliassou Lamidi and Wahid Ogunmola. The Jamaicans won 19-21, 21-16, 21-17.

“I'm feeling overwhelmed, I'm so elated because it's a lot of hard work we had to put into this. I'm fortunate for the opportunity to be here to secure this gold on behalf of Jamaica. This is my first Special Olympics Games and I thank SOJ for having me on board as a representative of Para Jamaica,” said unified partner Ebanks, who is also a para-athlete.

His teammate Daley is a seasoned athlete with previous medal credential after winning the silver medal four years ago.

“I'm happy right now because we did a good job. I was a little worried for the frst set but the second set we pushed through and now we're gold medallists,” Daley told the Observer.

The female seven-a-side football team took silver despite slumping to a 0-3 loss to Cote d'Ivoire at Zayed Sport City.

Coach Carlton Dennis was disappointed with the meltdown especially since his team had previously beaten the West Africans 2-1 during the group stage, but was grateful for the medal.

“We were not focused, and didn't pay attention to what we needed to do on the field. But we did fairly well, because when we left Jamaica we didn't know we'd be in this position,” he explained.

Perseverance paid off for unified female volleyball players after they survived injury challenges and a loss (20-25, 18-25) to Kenya yesterday to take bronze.

SOJ unified basketball team blew away United States 50-32 in the Division Two semi-final game at the ADNEC facility.

United States were up 9-6 at the end of the first six-minute quarter and held onto their slim lead earlier into the second quarter, but the Jamaicans roared back to take a 31-18 advantage at half-time.

Jamaica, with a noticeable height and speed advantages, made it count as they out-muscled their opponents. The US side had a brief surge after the break but Jamaica reasserted themselves to lead 40-27 at the end of the third.

Jamaica never looked back thereafter, and dominated the fourth quarter to win by 18 points.

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