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CARIFTA games 2004
The CARIFTA Games, where first held in 1972, an annual junior competition for members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM, formerly known as the Caribbean Free Trade Association).
Athletes are banded into under 20 or under 17 age groups, although under 17 athletes may compete in under 20 events if the equivalent under 17 event is not included on the programme.
Venues since 2000
2000 St. George's (GRN),
2001 Bridgetown (BAR),
2002 Nassau (BAH),
2003 Port of Spain (TRI),
2004 Hamilton (BER)
Dario Alleyne brought the class act to the National Sports Centre when he won Barbados’ first gold medal and two of three overall – one of each colour – won by Bajan athletes on the first day. He had earlier won a silver medal and Ryan Ross claimed a bronze.
Alleyne brought the crowd to its feet with a commanding run in the Under-17 Boys’ 400 metres, slamming the field by about 20 metres in 48.44 seconds, his personal best in that event. Guyana’s Dax Danns, who was also third in the 100 metres in 11.18, was second in 49.47 and Jamaica’s Gawain Gray third in 49.57.
He and teammate Kenroy Williams – who was later disqualified – set the pace in a breakaway pack, while Ross fought for position with two others who included silver medallist Cleveland Forde (4:05.81) of Guyana.
Barbadian Ross dug deep on the home stretch to catch Williams on the line after it seemed as though he would lose out on a medals, giving Barbados its first official medal in the Under-20 Boys’ event. The race was won by Jamaican Andre Drummond raced home in one minute, 05.04 seconds.
“I was saying, ‘I have to bring home a medal, I have to bring home a medal’. The only thing I could fight for was third and I did it,” said Ross.
“The weather is different here so I figured the time would be slow, but I am pretty satisfied because I brought home a bronze medal.”
He followed the strategy set out by his coach Michael Jules to remain in third or fourth position before making his run and it worked perfectly.
All of the other athletes struggled to find their top performance in the strong winds which blew across the stadium, cooling warm bodies very quickly.
Akinwole Jordan (11.43) was sixth in the 100 metres; Shadir Greene was fifth (12.46) among the Under-17 Girls; Liann Kellman (12.24) brought up the rear in the Under-20 Girls’ race; Ramon Gittens (10.78) and Kristian Yearwood (10.89) were fifth and seventh respectively among the Under-20 Boys; while Jamil Jones 48.54) and Lorenzo Wickham (51.01) were sixth and last respectively in the Under-20 Boys’ 400 metres. All of the times were below the athletes’ best this season.
In the field events, Alex Straughn was fifth in the Under-20 Boys’ high jump at 2.00 metres, failing at 2.03, a height he has cleared this season.
Sheldon Roach was last in the Under-17 boys’ shot put with 13.04 metres and Seidre Forde was seventh in the Under-20 girls’ long jump with 5.50 metres.
Jamaica have taken the customary lead at the CARIFTA Games but other countries have shown their mettle.
Schilloni Calvert (11.98) and Kimberley Smith (11.99) were first and second in the Under-17 Girls’ 100 metres; Simone Facey (11.72) and Jodi-Ann Powell (11.86) top the top spots among the Under-20 Girls, but Renaldo Rose (10.58) had to settle for silver in the Under-20 Boys’ race after Antigua’s Daniel Bailey upset the form book with a fast-finishing 10.54 seconds.
Jamaica also claimed seven medals – three gold, three silver, one bronze – in the 1 500 metres, and won all of the 400 metres except the one won by Alleyne.
Taijuan Talbot was the toast of the Bermudian athletes when he dug deep to win the Under-17 Boys’ 1 500 metres in 4:17.15 to give the hosts their first gold medal.
Zindzi Swan, who was expected to win gold was second in the Under-20 Girls’ long jump with 6.05 metres after Trinidad’s Rhonda Thompson produced 6.29 metres to take the gold.
Grenada’s Ryan Frederick produced 61.50 metres in the Under-20 Boys’ javelin, impressing everyone with his consistency to claim his country’s first gold medal.
Click to learn more about other CARIFTA gold medals
Compliments of the Nation News
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