Forbes Wins Jamaican Long Jump Title
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Former LSU national champion Damar Forbes continued his dominance in the long jump in his native Jamaica on Saturday afternoon as he won his fourth-straight title at the Jamaican National Senior Championships at Kingston’s National Stadium to earn his spot on Jamaica’s World Championship team going to Beijing this summer.
Stepping onto the runway as the three-time defending champion in the event, Forbes took the lead with a wind-aided mark of 24 feet, 11 inches on his very first jump and never looked back to win his fourth Jamaican long jump title in as many years. He also earned the right to compete at the IAAF World Championships for the third time.
The 2013 NCAA Outdoor Champion extended his lead with a windy 25-10 ¼ (+4.1) in the second round before putting the title out of reach with another wind-aided attempt of 26-1 ½ (+2.6) in the third round ahead of the final. Forbes then added another inch to his winning mark in the fifth round of the final with a series-best wind-legal jump of 26-2 ¼ (-0.2) to take the title by nearly one foot.
Forbes was trailed by Jamal Fuller in second place with a wind-aided 25-4 ½w on his only fair jump in the second round, while G.C. Foster’s Denroc Dixon rounded out the medalists in third place at 25-3 ¼w.
LSU’s former SEC and NCAA Champion is ready to represent Jamaica on the international stage for the fourth time in his career while making his third-straight appearance at the World Championships to be held later in the summer from Aug. 22-30 in Beijing, China. After making his World Championships debut in Daegu, South Korea, in 2011, Forbes jumped in an international final for the first time at the 2013 championship in Moscow where he finished in eighth place overall. He also competed at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Former Lady Tiger All-American Samantha Henry-Robinson will look to earn her spot on Jamaica’s World Championship team during Sunday’s finale at the Jamaican National Senior Championship after posting the third-fastest time in Saturday’s 200-meter semifinal at 22.95 (-1.1) to win the second heat. She followed Elaine Thompson (22.60) and Sherone Simpson (22.62) as the third-fastest qualifier of the day.
Henry-Robinson advanced to the women’s 200-meter final just one day after she earned a seventh-place finish in the 100-meter final with a time of 11.27 (+0.4) following her 11.35 (-2.0) in the qualifying round.
Two Tigers saw their championship run in the 400-meter dash come to an end in Saturday’s semifinal round as former LSU All-American and Jamaican 400-meter champion Riker Hylton finished in ninth place overall in a time of 46.21 and junior standout Fitzroy Dunkley followed in 13th place overall with a time of 46.78 while making his debut in the event at the meet.
In other action on Friday afternoon, former Lady Tiger All-American Nikita Tracey crossed the finish line in seventh place in the final of the women’s 400-meter hurdles with a run of 57.70, while former Lady Tiger NCAA Champion and World Championship finalist Nickiesha Wilson rounded out the field in eighth place with a time of 1 minute, 0.64 seconds.