LaQuan Nairn claims long jump gold at Commonwealth Games

BIRMINGHAM, England – Arkansas alum LaQuan Nairn claimed the first long jump gold medal for the Bahamas in the Commonwealth Games history of the event at Alexander Stadium on Thursday with a leap of 26 feet, 6.25 inches.

Nairn’s accomplishment is also the first medal of the 2022 Commonwealth Games for The Bahamas through eight days of the 11-day multi-sport event.

Nairn earned the victory by the narrowest of margins as he and India’s Murali Sreeshankar both produced marks of 26-6.25 (8.08). Nairn hit that mark in round 2 while Sreeshankar established the same distance in round 5.

Due to the equal leading marks, the second-best distance for each jumper was used to break the tie for medals. Nairn had a leap of 26-0.75 (7.94) from round one and improved his secondary mark to 26-2.25 (7.98) in the final round. Sreeshankar had a pair of 25-8.75 (7.84) marks from rounds 2 and 3.

South Africa’s Jovan van Vuuren finished in bronze-medal position with a mark of 26-5.5 (8.06) while Jamaica’s Shawn-D Thompson placed fourth with a 26-5 (8.05) effort. Only an inch and a quarter (3 cm) separated the top four jumpers in the competition.

With the Commonwealth Games long jump dating back to 1930, the previous best result for a Bahamas long jumper was silver status in 1982 by Steve Hanna. The previous best mark by a Bahamian long jumper at the Commonwealth Games was 26-0 (7.92) set by Osbourne Moxey in 2002.

Competing in the discus final at the Commonwealth Games, incoming Razorback transfer Rojé Stona (Jamaica) placed sixth with a mark of 203-11 (62.15).

Australia’s Matthew Denny set a career best of 220-8 (67.26) to secure gold. England’s Lawrence Okoye (213-2 | 64.99) and Jamaica’s Traves Smikle (211-10 | 64.58) finished in silver and bronze medal positions.

Competing at the World U20 Championships in Cali, Colombia, a pair of incoming Razorback freshmen were in action.

Jaydon Hibbert of Jamaica, the 2020 World U20 silver medalist, led qualifying in the triple jump with a second-round leap of 53-8.5 (16.37). He will compete in the final on Friday at 4:55 p.m. (CT).

In the 400m hurdle semifinal, Grant Williams of Celina, Texas, ran a career best of 50.82 seconds to place fourth in the second of three semifinal heats. That time ranked ninth overall among the 24 hurdlers but left him 0.20 shy of the final time qualifier for the final.

Williams bettered his previous best of 51.02 he set as a bronze medalist during the USATF U20 Championships in June.

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