The 2013 BTC Carifta Games promises to be the best ever. The visiting officials and athletes will be impressed as soon as they enter the hall at the new Lynden Pindling Airport and until the time they depart The Bahamas.
The fans are expecting to be impressed by the performances of the athletes. If last year and this season so far is any indication the fans will certainly be impressed.
A lot of the athletes who are expected to impress are from Jamaica. They have had unbelievable success in the sprints, jumps and throws. They even dominate some of the middle distance and distance events, although sprinting is what Jamaica is known worldwide for.
Historically, we remember athletes like sprinters Merlene Ottey, Raymond Stewart, Veronica Campbell, Aileen Bailey, Shelly Ann Fraser-Price, Usain Bolt, Roy Bailey, Yohann Blake, Dexter Lee, Odane Skeen, quarter miler Claudine Williams, distance stars Inez and Janice Turner, and hurdlers Michelle Freeman , Deon Hemmings, and Melaine Walker.
Just take a look at the weekend’s Boys’ & Girls’ Championships. It was quite competitive and turned out quite impressive results.
This year the Jamaican Carifta squad should be led by World Youth and Junior Discus champion Federick Dacres who threw 62.80m(206’0”) at Champs, tying his Personal record of done at the Barcelona World Junior Championships, and setting a new personal best of 19.29m(63’3-1/2”) at Champs, in the Shot Put.
In the Long Jump Clive Pullen jumped 7.57m (24’10-1/4”) and a personal best of 15.83m (51’11-1/4’) in the Triple Jump at Champs.
In the High Jump Christoffe Bryan cleared 2.19m (7’2-1/4”) at Champs, a personal best one of the best performances for juniors in the region this year.
In the Girls Under-20 100m Monique Spencer ran 11.59sec to win.
A non-Jamaican, Delano Williams from the Turks& Caicos ran an amazing 10.27sec and 20.28sec to win Champs. He won the 200m in the World Junior Championships last year. Williams is not eligible this year. He turns 20 in late December.
Odail Todd, who finished second to Jevaughn Minzie in the Jamaican Carifta Trials finished second at Champs in 10.49sec.
Todd is the 2011 100m IAAF World Youth champion.
At Champs he also ran 20.78sec for the Silver in the 200m.
Jovan Francis ran 20.82sec in the 200m for third place and clocked a quick time of 46.21sec to win the one lapper.
Shericka Jackson won the 200m in a personal best of 22.98sec. Jackson also captured the 400m in 51.60sec, another personal bests. Jackson captured the Bronze medal in the 200m at the Lille’ World Youth Championships in 2011. Interestingly enough, she is not listed for the 400m for the Games.
Chris Ann-Gordon finished in second place in 52.16sec
She impressed in the 800m with a 2:09.56 clocking.
Simoya Campbell has run 2:07.56.
Omar McLeod was quite impressive running 13.24sec in the 110m Hurdles and 49.98sec in the 400m Hurdles.
These are just some of the Jamaicans we anticipate giving us great and exciting competition at the Games.
They will be the team to beat at Carifta. In the last forty-one editions of the Games they have lost only five times, in 1975 to Bermuda, and in 1980, 1981, 1983, and 1984 to The Bahamas.
Wherever they compete at the Carifta Games there are usually hordes of their countrymen lending their support. So will it be in The Bahamas, March 29th-April 1st this year.
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Next week we will talk about some of the star athletes from the other teams attending the 2013 BTC Carifta Games.