CARIFTA Trials took place this past weekend (March 31-April 1) in New Providence and the Bahamas Association of Athletics Association (BAAA) ratified a 65-member team this past Sunday.
With a team that is said to be “loaded with talent” in each age division (Under 18 boys and girls; Under 20 boys and girls) The Bahamas is prepared to improve on their performance last year in St. George’s, Grenada.
Out of the 65-names listed, nine athletes out of Grand Bahama were listed to represent the Bahamas. The 2017 Flow CARIFTA Games take place April 15-17 in Willemstad, Curacao.
Kennedy Culmer was named to the team for the Under 18 females. Listed to the Under 18 male team were Corey Sherrod, Shaquille Higgs and Bryant Lowe. For the Under 20 Females, 2016 CARIFTA bronze medalist Quanisha Marshall and D’Ajonae Jayawardana made the list. And for the Under 20 Males, Javan “50” Martin, Holland Martin and Johnathan Smith made the cut.
BAAA second vice president Norris Bain issued congratulations to the athletes out of Grand Bahama and all the athletes over all.
“We are expecting great things from the athletes once they get down into CARIFTA,” he said, “I’m praying that, first and foremost, the athletes from Grand Bahama would come back with medals. Secondly I’m hoping The Bahamas as a team would do extremely well down there. I hope that we would surpass any of our performances from any of the CARIFTA Games we participated in.”
While the second vice president is confident the athletes will perform well he expressed that he expects to see some very strong showings out of a few athletes from Grand Bahama.
“I anticipate that Holland Martin from the Invictus club and student at Tabernacle, I’m expecting him to definitely medal. I’m hoping he’ll be able to win the gold medal this time around in the long jump.
“I think Bryant Lowe from Golden Eagles will do well in the 400 meters and 800m. I’m hoping he does really well in the 400m and 800m. Then of course our relay teams are always exceptional. Hopefully we can take down the powerhouse Jamaica in some of those relays.
“But overall I expect the team will do really well.”
For Culmer and Martin, both athletes must prove their fitness ahead of the Games after they suffered minor injuries.
The athletes continue to put the time and effort into the training in hopes of turning in their top performances. Parents also enjoy the thrill and chanting their favorite athlete’s name on race day. However, Bain feels that the fan support could be greater.
“From all indications we still need to have more fan support for our athletes and encouraging them as we make our national team,” Bain expressed, “We as a nation have to realize that our youth is indeed our future. But I’m certainly glad that the BAAA under the leadership of President (Rosamunde) Carey is continuing to the legacy in this region.”
Bain concluded by saying the executive body is “excited” about the CARIFTA Congress where they will make a presentation to host the 2018 CARIFTA in The Bahamas.
“I know the Bahamian populous will be really happy that CARIFTA is coming back to The Bahamas. Hopefully, Lord’s willing, next year we will be able to really put on a good show at home and really give Jamaica a push for that place of dominance that they’ve had for so long.”
Published Tuesday, April 4, 2017