Pinnock and Smith produce world-leading marks to win in New Mexico Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Jamaica’s Wayne Pinnock started his 2024 campaign with a world-leading performance, securing victory in the men’s long jump on day one of the New Mexico Collegiate Classic at the Albuquerque Convention Center, USA, on Friday.

The Arkansas junior achieved a distance of 8.34m to claim the win, surpassing his previous indoor best. Isaac Grimes secured second place with a 7.74m mark, while Kelsey Daniel of Texas took third with 7.63m.

Pinnock only had three attempts in the competition where he registered his winning mark on his second attempt after a foul on a possibly longer mark in the first round. In the third round, Pinnock reached a distance of 8.03m.

Reflecting on his performance, Pinnock expressed gratitude for the successful season opener. “This is a very good season opener, and I’m very grateful for that,” stated Pinnock, who led the world long jump outdoor list in 2023 with his career best of 8.54m. “I’m just going back to the drawing board, getting my approach right.

“This is a location I had opened last year with, so I always wanted to come back here and show the world what I can do. It was a good day with a personal best. I’m forever grateful, I prayed about it, and came out here and executed.”

The 2024 season’s previous best was 8.16m by Colombia’s Arnovis Dalmero.

Despite improving his indoor best, Pinnock maintains the No. 10 position on the collegiate all-time list, ranking No. 3 Jamaican indoors and No. 4 on the Arkansas all-time list.

In 2023, Pinnock began with an 8.10m victory in Albuquerque and later secured fourth place at the NCAA Indoor Championships with his indoor best of 8.33m.

Outdoors in 2023, Pinnock established the world-leading mark during the qualifying round of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. In the final, he claimed the silver medal with an 8.50m distance.

Meanwhile, Ackelia Smith – another Jamaican, representing Texas, added yet another long jump win to her name after improving her NCAA-leading mark to 6.85m . The mark, a world-leading effort, ranks as the third-best jump in Texas history behind Tara Davis and her own of 6.88m set last season at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Her series also included a jump of 6.76m, which would ranks as the fourth-best in UT history.

Stanford’s Alyssa Jones secured second place at 6.54m, while American athlete Madisen Richards, a former USC All-American, took third with 6.49m.

Jamaica’s Kevona Davis of Texas finished fourth in the women 200-metre invitational with a time of 22.90. Texas ex Julien Alfred set a world-leading time of 22.16 to win, beating Tennessee’s Jacious Sears who claimed second place with a time of 22.57.  Another Texas ex, Lanae Tava-Thomas of Jamaica, finished third in 22.72.