Bahamian Devynne Charlton Smashes World Record and Dominica's Thea LaFond Captures Historic Gold

GLASGOW, Scotland – Bahamian Devynne Charlton broke her own world record in the women’s 60 meters hurdles while Thea LaFond captured a historic gold for Dominica in the triple jump, to headline the final day of the World Indoor Championships on Sunday.

charltonBahamian Devynne Charlton celebrates her new world record at the World Indoor Championships.The 28-year-old Charlton, fourth at last year’s World Championships in Budapest, sped to a time of 7.65 seconds to win gold, while shaving two hundredths of a second off the mark she set in New York only last month.

France’s Cyréna Samba-Mayela took silver in a time of 7.74 while Poland’s Pia Skrzyszowska clinched bronze in 7.79.

“It felt like [the perfect race]. I drew a blank on that one so I can’t really tell you what happened,” Charlton said.

“The thought going into it was just to execute and I think I did that. I knew I had that kind of time in me, it was just about putting my race together on the day. 

“[Today] was mainly about the gold. I was sharing the World record – didn’t like that too much – so the second goal was to lower it, but if I came away with the gold medal it would’ve been enough for me.

“It feels amazing. I can’t wait to get home and celebrate this.”

Running out of lane four, Charlton burst from the blocks to establish a healthy lead by mid-race, and there was never any doubt over the outcome afterwards.

Fellow Bahamaian Charisma Taylor finished sixth in a time of 7.92.

Charlton had earlier captured her semi-final in 7.72 but there was disappointment for Jamaican Megan Tapper who finished third in the third heat to miss out on the final.

Meanwhile, the 29-year-old LaFond repeated the heroics of St Lucian Julien Alfred from 24 hours earlier when she delivered Dominica’s first-ever medal at a global track and field meet.

She unleashed a world-leading second-round leap of 15.01 metres to get the better of Cuban Leyanis Pérez Hernández (14.90) and Spaniard Ana Peleteiro (14.75).

“At some point it’s going to hit [me], and I think right now I’m like just really, really proud,” an overwhelmed Lafond told reporters afterwards.

“I’m proud to have done what I did, I’m proud of Aaron [Gadson] and I – Aaron is my coach and husband – and I’m so proud to be from that small beautiful country, [that] powerful country in the Caribbean. 

“I’m so grateful and I really hope that today was just an inspiration, [I hope] today was just a day that just brought joy to my people.”

She continued: “I want them to know how much I love them and how much I appreciate them. I want my DOC and my DAA to know how much I’m grateful and how grateful I am for their love, their support [and] even their prayers – the people that just reach out and push me a little bit.

“This probably is going to hit at 2 am in the morning and I’ll probably just end up sobbing in my pyjamas.”

Taylor (14.11) and Jamaican Kimberly Williams (14.07) produced season-bests but finished outside the medals.