The number of potential CARIFTA Games representatives increased from eight to 10 yesterday following the third and final qualifier at the National Track and Field Centre.
Shot putter, Jermaine Simmons and long jumper Tremayne Browne joined the eight other hopefuls who gave themselves a chance at punching a ticket to the Bahamas where the 47th edition of the region’s premier Games will be staged during the Easter weekend.
Sprinter, Kenisha Phillips and middle distance athlete, Joanna Archer were some of the notable athletes who narrowly missed out on achieving the CARIFTA Qualifying standard set by the Athletic Association of Guyana (AAG).
Phillips narrowly missed the mark in the U-20 Girls 100 and 200m events. She posted 11.86s in the 100m which had a qualifying standard of 11.85s. Her 24.22s also missed the 200m qualifying time of 24.20s by a slim margin.
Archer missed out on qualifying for the 800m U-20 event yesterday after posting 2m:16.03s The AAG’s qualifying time was 2m:14.5s
It will be interesting to see if the AAG’s Selection Committee sticks with their mandate of only taking athletes that meet the qualifying standard.
According to a member of the AAG, a meeting is scheduled for some time this week to officially name the national team.
Meanwhile, the eight other qualifiers for Guyana are Daniel Williams (U-20 Boys 200m and 400m), Chantoba Bright (U-20 Girls Long Jump), Deshana Skeete (U-17 Girls 200 and 400m), Princess Brown (U-17 Girls Triple Jump), Torique Boyce (U-20 Boys High Jump), Shaquka Tyrell (U-17 Girls 1500m) and Murphy Nash (U-17 Boys 3000m).
According to IAAF World Athletics Club President, Lamine Diack, CARIFTA is “on par with the World Championships.”
The annual fixture is considered one of the best development meets in world athletics. Having started out on grass tracks, with athletes staying in schools or other similar temporary shelter, the CARIFTA Games have come a long way. College and university coaches and scouts from the United States make their way to the Games each year, in a bid to identify up-and-coming talent.
The Bahamas is set to host the 2018 CARIFTA Games from March 30 to April 2 at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.
This year’s CARIFTA Games will see the Bahamas hosting 26 countries and 500 athletes, and will consist of 400 volunteers and about 150 Bahamian and international officials. It is the premier track and field junior competition in the region.
A number of Olympic and World Champions from around the region competed in the CARIFTA Games including Usain Bolt, Kim Collins of St. Kitts & Nevis, Ato Boldon of Trinidad & Tobago, Karani James of Grenada and the Golden Girls and Golden Knights from The Bahamas.