BREAKING: Walton out of Commonwealth Games

Jamal Walton (file photo) has been advised by his doctor to rest a hamstring injury.

Injury concerns have ruled Cayman Islands 200m and 400m national record-holder Jamal Walton out of competition at the XXI Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia that starts this week. He was scheduled to run the 400m.

Walton, 19, competed at the Florida Relays last weekend but pulled up with an apparent hamstring injury.

Lance Barnes, the president of the Cayman Islands Athletic Association, said he was informed of the situation by Walton’s coach at Miramar High School.

“He told me that Jamal developed a knot in his hamstring and has had some issues for some time. He explained that further examination confirmed this. So, a decision was taken by his high school coach to pull him from the meet,” Barnes, who is in Australia for the Games, told

Walton confirmed via telephone Tuesday morning (Queensland time) that he has been advised by his doctor to rest for at least two weeks before getting back into action. “I’m disappointed to not make it but I’m looking forward to the next time. I was hoping to break my records and getting the experience,” he said.

He added that his focus when he returns to the track is to lower his times and become the top high school performer during the outdoor season.

Walton turned heads in early March with a 45.42 sec run at the Hurricane Invitational to win the high school boys one-lap event. The time is particularly impressive for an early season event.

The Florida-based runner blazed his way to a gold medal in the 400m at the Pan American U20 Championships last summer, when he stormed to the title in 44.99 seconds, breaking a 22-year old meet record and his own Cayman Islands national record. Days later, he made it to the semi-finals of the 400m at the IAAF World Championships in London.

His 200m national record is 20.57 sec set in March 2017.

The Cayman Islands has athletes competing in seven sports at the 4-15 April Commonwealth Games. The remaining track and field competitors are: Kemar Hyman (100m), Ronald Forbes (110m Hurdles), Alex Pascal (Javelin), and Carl Morgan (Long Jump).

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