May 2021 Volume 17

Wayne Pinnock Wins at University of Tennessee

Reprinted from Loop Jamaica
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Former Kingston College (KC) star Wayne Pinnock opened his season with an impressive 8.08m to win the men’s long jump at the Tennessee Challenge at the Tom Black Track at Laporte Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee on recently.

“To be honest it was expected as I’ve been looking very impressive in training,” said Pinnock. “I just want to thank the Lord because it’s almost two years since my last jump. I just put in the hard work and let my success be my noise.”

The 20-year-old Pinnock, who accepted a track and field scholarship to the University of Tennessee in 2020 but is competing unattached, proved too much for Jah-Nhai Perinchief (7.81m) and Anthony Riley (7.62), who finished second and third, respectively. Perinchief and Riley competed in the colours of the University of Tennessee.

The 8.08m puts Pinnock at number 13 on World Athletics 2021 top list for the event. He is now the third-best Jamaican this season behind world champion Tajay Gayle, who is ranked second with 8.27m, and his former schoolmate Shakwon Coke, who has 8.16m and sits seventh.

Pinnock is one of Jamaica’s most promising and versatile athletes.

Following an excellent 2019 track and field season at KC, all eyes were on Pinnock for 2020 but the season was ruined by the COVID-19 pandemic. That year, Pinnock was attempting to become the first local high school athlete to qualify for the Olympics since Bobbi-Gaye Wilkins competed in the heats of women's 4x400m in 2008 in Beijing. However, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed and rescheduled for 2021 because of the virus.

The Olympic qualifying distance for the long jump is 8.22m.

In 2019, Pinnock broke Vere Technical's Leon Gordon's 26-year-old Class One long jump record at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships with an effort of 8.05m. Pinnock broke the record twice in the final with successive jumps. It was the first time an athlete had broken the eight-metre mark in the long jump at the Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships. In his secondary event, the 110m hurdles, Pinnock is the defending Class One champion, having lowered Dejour Russell’s 2018 record from 13.10 to a stunning 13.06 seconds in the final.

Pinnock is also the 2018 World Under 20 bronze medalist in the long jump.

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