Overview of the Caribbean medal performance


Here is an overview of the Caribbean medal performance at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, by Peter B. Jordens (Curaçao, October 7, 2019). He gives us information on athletes from The Bahamas, Colombia, Cuba, Grenada, Jamaica, and Venezuela.

Introduction: The 17th World Championships of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) were held in Doha, Qatar, from September 27 to October 6, 2019. The present overview summarizes the performance of the Caribbean nations that won medals at Doha 2019. The overview takes into account both the absolute medal count of a country and the medal count per capita (i.e. the medal count per population size of the country in question). The main sources used for this overview are https://www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-worldchampionships and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_World_Athletics_Championships.

Medal count as a region:  As a region the Caribbean won 21 medals of which 7 were gold, 8 silver and 6 bronze. These medals were won by six of the Caribbean nations present in Doha: Jamaica (12), Cuba (3), The Bahamas (2), Grenada (1), Venezuela (1), and Colombia (2).


Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad and Tobago also participated in Doha 2019 but did not win a medal. The British Virgin Islands did come close, though, finishing fourth in the men’s 400m hurdles.

The 21 Caribbean medals represented 14.7% of the total of 143 medals that were won in Doha 2019. This is a relatively high medal count, bearing in mind that the total population of the six Caribbean countries that won medals in Doha constituted only 3.5% of the total population of all the 43 countries that won medals.

The medal tally of 21 improves upon the region’s performance at the previous (16th) IAAF World Championships (13 medals in London 2017) and matches the accomplishment at the 15th IAAF World Championships (21 medals in Beijing 2015). The following chart shows the evolution in the Caribbean region’s medal count at the IAAF World Championships between 2005 and 2019.


The individual medal winners

  • Medals, events, names

image 4image 5

  • Outstanding feats

Jamaica matched its second best ever medal performance at the IAAF World Championships with 12 ― a welcome turnaround from the disappointing 4-medal performance two years ago in London.

Shericka Jackson won three medals for Jamaica, while Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Tiffany James, and Nathon Allen each won two.

sherryannShelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s gold in the 100m race confirmed her return to the top of world athletics after taking time away from sports to give birth to a son in 2017. At age 32, Fraser-Pryce has become the oldest woman to ever win a world or Olympic 100m title. She is the second mother to achieve the honor (USA’s Gwen Torrence was the first in 1995). It is Fraser-Pryce’s fourth world title on the 100m, which is unmatched among both women and men, making her the greatest of all time in the event. She previously won gold on the 100m in 2009, 2013, and 2015. She has also won two Olympic golds on the 100m (in 2008 and 2012).

The Jamaican women appear to have taken over the mantle of global sprint superpower from the Jamaican men. In Doha they showed the depth of their talent by winning eight of Jamaica’s twelve medals without the services of reigning Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, who was injured, and 17-year-old prospect Briana Williams.

venezuelasVenezuela’s Yulimar Rojas retained her world title in the triple jump, affirming her dominance of this event. Rojas is the only Venezuelan to have ever won an athletics world title. The triple jump in Doha was an all-Caribbean medal affair, as Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts won silver and Colombia’s Caterine Ibargüen got bronze.

Ibargüen’s bronze medal was her fifth consecutive laurel at the IAAF World Championships since 2011; the 35-year-old veteran has won 2 golds, 1 silver, and 2 bronzes.

Grenada’s Anderson Peters won his country’s second ever World Championships gold medal.

Country rankings

The IAAF ranks the medal-winning countries according to the number of gold medals won. This way of ranking privileges the larger countries. Here is the top 6:


If the countries are ranked by gold medal count per capita, a very different picture emerges with the Caribbean taking the top three spots: Grenada first, the Bahamas second, and Jamaica third. Also, Cuba ranks tenth on this list. The USA ranks 12th.


If the participating countries are ranked by weighted total medal count per capita, a similar picture emerges for the region, with Grenada in first place, the Bahamas in second, Jamaica third, and Cuba ninth. On this list, the USA ranks 16th.



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