Makaira Wallace finished strong for Trinidad and Tobago as the curtain came down on Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) cycling action at the National Cycling Centre, in Couva, yesterday.
Wallace grabbed two medals - women's keirin silver and 500 metres time trial bronze - to take the TTO medal tally to 13. Syndel Samaroo grabbed men's keirin bronze to make it 14. And at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, in Port of Spain, TTO finished third in the mixed 4x100 metres relay for a final haul of 15 for the host nation - four gold medals, five silver, six bronze.
Before the 2023 edition, TTO had a total of six CYG medals. Led by swimmer Nikoli Blackman, with three gold medals, the CYG2023 host nation more than tripled its overall haul.
Wallace opened yesterday's medal account with bronze in the 500 time trial in 36.791 seconds. Her TTO teammate, Alexia Wilson clocked 40.655 for ninth spot. Australian Liliya Tatarinoff was golden at 36.023, with silver going to Scotland's Sarah Johnson in 36.214.
Wallace followed up with keirin silver, the TTO cyclist finishing the race behind Johnson and ahead of Tatarinoff. Wilson was sixth. In the qualifying round, Wallace won heat one, while Wilson was second in heat two.
Samaroo followed up on Wednesday's sprint silver with third spot in the men's keirin. His TTO teammate, Raul Garcia finished fourth. Tayte Ryan was first to the line, the Australian completing an impressive triple triumph - sprint, kilo time trial and keirin. Malaysia's Darwish Sanusi snapped up keirin silver.
Tayte returned a time of one minute, 03.663 seconds in the kilo to finish ahead of Scotland's Calum Moir (1:03.923) and Malaysian Muhammad Jafri (1:04.944). Dannel James, who bagged bronze for TTO in the sprint, clocked 1:10.435 for eighth spot. Garcia was ninth in 1:11.074.
In the men's points race, TTO riders Jadian Neaves and Titus Bharat finished 11th and 12th, respectively. And in the men's scratch race, Dave Cooper was 12th, one spot ahead of Aaron Matas.
At the Crawford Stadium, Sanaa Frederick, Trevaughn Stewart, Sole Frederick and Jamario Russell combined for mixed 4x1 bronze for TTO in 42.77 seconds. In a thrilling finish, Nigeria snatched gold in a Games record time of 42.68, with England clocking 42.71 for silver.
Third in the women's 100m final, Sanaa was thrilled to get a second bronze at CYG2023. She celebrated in style with twin sister Sole. With the "Red, White and Black" draped across their shoulders, the Fredericks made a victory jog in front of a packed, cheering, flag waving main stand. Stewart and anchorman Russell joined in the celebration, holding a TTO flag of their own.
"I'm proud of my team," Russell declared. "I'm happy with the outcome. All of us ran our lives out, and to me that's all that really matters. It's been a new experience for us. This kind of high level at the junior level at our age."
Russell is already looking ahead to the 2024 World Athletics U20 Championships in Lima, Peru.
"Look out for the same faces. We're just getting started."
Earlier, Sole finished fifth in the women's 200m final. The TTO sprinter crossed the line in 24.07 seconds. Faith Okwose clocked 23.36 to secure gold, the Nigerian completing the sprint double. Okwose's teammate, Justina Eyakpobeyan picked up silver in 23.47. Antiguan La'nica Locker produced a 23.56 run to claim bronze.
TTO's Keneisha Shelbourne went over the bar at 1.70 metres for fifth spot in the women's high jump. Australian Toby Stolberg struck gold with a 1.78 clearance. England's Thea Brown also had a 1.78 jump, but had to settle for silver. The bronze went to Australia's Izobelle Louison-Roe at 1.75.
Keeran Sriskandarajah returned a time of one minute, 59.89 seconds to finish eighth in the men's 800m final. Seventh at the bell, the TTO runner was unable to improve his fortunes in the second lap, slipping to eighth and staying there.
At the other end of the race, Kenyan Kimutai Koech was in full control, maintaining a sizeable gap on the field for a runaway victory in 1:50.14. England's Miles Waterworth clocked 1:52.21 to capture silver, while bronze went to Scotland's Caleb McLeod in 1:52.83.
The final CYG2023 gold medal went to Guyana, Austin Malachi, Narissa McPherson, Javon Roberts and Tianna Springer teaming up for the mixed 4x400m title in 3:22.07 - a new Games record.