Caribbean champion gymnasts performed above expectation
Jamaica Gymnastics Association president Nicole Grant-Brown said the national team surpassed expectations in winning the Caribbean Gymnastics Championships at the National Indoor Sports Centre on the weekend.
The Jamaicans amassed 258 points, ahead of the Cayman Islands, 228 and Trinidad and Tobago, 219 points.
"We expected the team to do well, but they have done exceptionally well ... . They worked very hard and performed way above their ability," Grant-Brown told STAR Sports.
There were outstanding performances from Samario Smalling, Atorio Brown, Steven Lewis, Daniel Williams and Thierry Lodge-McKnight on the men's side, and Kaela Kai Yen, India Shirley, Jane Horan Taylor and Dijonae Cole in the female section.
"Come next year, when we have the Pan Am, the CAC championships and Commonwealth Games, we will be included in these tournaments and we want to make sure we are competing in as many things as we possible can," Grant-Brown added. Steven Lewis, a senior, was the tournament's top scorer with 74.600. He had first-place finishes in level 10 on the floor, vault and parallel bars. His teammate Daniel Williams was second with victory on the rings and pommel horse.
Brown, performing at level eight, was the nation's second top scorer with 62.950. He was perfect in all six disciplines (floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and high bars).
The tournament was primarily a juniors' championship as the organisers thought that Jamaica's senior team was too advanced for the other teams, which would give them an unfair advantage over the other teams. As a result, the junior scores were used to determine the placing of the teams.
"We are really trying to focus a lot on junior to get them competing a lot more, as the seniors have a lot more competition and the juniors don't have those things," said Grant-Brown.