ST JOHN’S, Antigua – It was a good weekend for track & field in Antigua & Barbuda, as the country had a bountiful showing at the Leeward Islands Juniors Track & Field Competition held in Tortola, returning with a total of 34 medals which included 12 gold, 15 silver and seven bronze. In addition, Tahir Walsh won the gold at the OECS Meet held in St Kitts.
Walsh captured the 200 metre Under-20 event in 21:66, while Althea Charles threw her way to a silver medal in shot put completion with a distance of 2.72 metres.
There were bronze medal performances by Kasheem Colbourne and Richard Richardson who placed third in the 200 metres race and the long jump, respectively.
Colbourne clocked 21:76 in the 200 metres event, while Richardson cleared a height of 6.76.
Meanwhile, at the Leewards Juniors, Antigua & Barbuda broke three records after clocking 43:97 in the Boys’ 4×100 Under-17 relay to win gold and 41:26 in the 4×100 Under-20 Boys’ relay, winning gold also.
Antigua & Barbuda’s Matthew Mitchell also set a new record of 2:03.73 in the Boys’ 800 metres Under-17 event.
Coach of the Antigua team, Teddy Daley, said the team did exceptionally well considering that the competition was a stiff one.
“The fact that we had just an 18-member team and we did not take part in several events because of the limitations of our team, we performed extremely well, way above what was expected. The competition was extremely high. In fact, the competition included medallists from the just concluded Carifta Games and people who have qualified for World Juniors, CAC Juniors, and so forth; so the competition was very keen,” he said.
Daley also noted that it was the first time most of the athletes were competing at such a high level.
“For quite a few it was their first time; but this is a different experience. This is something a couple of notches above and they did enjoy the experience. At times, they showed some nerves; but in the end they went out and they gave their all for the country,” he said.
The coach congratulated the young athletes on their performances but said he was not surprised.
“We are definitely doing something right. Those of us who would have watched the Inter-schools championships and so on, because that’s where the team came from, we would see that the Inter-schools track & field championships have been growing from strength to strength; and as that grows, coaches from the different clubs and so forth have begun to pull out all the stops. The coaches are more knowledgeable at this point in terms of the science of coaching and so we will continue to see improvement in track & field in Antigua & Barbuda. And as a result, we will continue to perform at a higher level at regional, extra-regional and international levels as well,” Daley said.
The country’s medals at the Juniors competition ranged from the track to the field events.
The list includes Micaiah Washington who won gold in the 1000 metres Under-17 category; Alex Stuart and Cehjae Greene who had silver in the Under-17 and Under-20 categories, respectively, along with Cassie Machia and Kenneth Benjamin who also had gold medals in the Girls’ 1,500 and the Boys’ 1,500 metre events, respectively.
Kenneth Benjamin also registered victory in the 1,500 metres, while Mitchell also won in the Boys’ 400 metres.
Travis Campbell had gold in the Boys’ Under-17 long jump, while there was a silver medal for Washington in the long jump, and silver for Delita Daniel in the Girls’ Under-20 long jump.
Full results will be printed once they become available.