Preparations paid off for Bermuda, says Raynor
Bermuda’s performances at the Carifta Games in Cayman Islands exceeded expectations as the 19-member team claimed six medals, including three gold.
The team included 12 members who were competing in their first Carifta, with newcomer Caitlyn Bobb winning gold in the under-17 girls 400 metres before Nirobi Smith-Mills clinched the gold in the under-17 800. Isabelle Dutranoit won the gold in the women’s open 3,000.
Nathan Armstrong won two medals, claiming bronze in the under-17 1,500 before winning silver in the 3,000. The under-17 girls 4x100 relay team of Bobb, Keturah Bulford-Trott, Sanaa Rae Morris and Za’Kayza Parsons landed bronze.
The men’s under-17 4x400 relay team of Sancho Smith, Smith-Mills, Chayse Tanner and Armstrong just missed a bronze after finishing fourth.
“I knew before we left that this was an awesome team and had watched them perform at the track meets and at interschool sports,” said Donna Raynor, the Bermuda National Athletics Association president. “Also, of course, the results of our athletes who were overseas.
“I believe a lot of effort was put into preparation of these athletes and I feel the meets that we sent our athletes to compete in overseas, and even the talks at the camp, motivated them to perform.
“Even the athletes who did not win medals gave one hundred per cent.
“This team exceeded my expectations. They were also a very tightknitted group and supported each other.”
“They are also very excited about Carifta 2020 to be held in Bermuda; I feel that inspired them as well.
“I was very proud of this young team and what they accomplished especially with us placing sixth on the medals table. So many people are so excited to be coming to Bermuda next year, athletes, coaches and spectators and we will be ready to put on a fantastic show on and off the track.”
Lovitta Foggo, the Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sport, was proud of the Bermuda athletes as she watched their performances at the Truman Bodden Stadium.
“The Carifta Games was a spectacular event and to see Bermuda punch above her weight was just a testament to the fact that we produce much talent here,” she said.
“We saw things that we want to work on so that come 2020 Bermuda delivers in even a bigger way than we did in Cayman.
“We are committed to working with our athletes to get them where they want to be, where we want them to be, so that they can show our Caribbean brothers and sisters what we’re made of.”
For Parsons, being made captain of the team in her first Carifta Games was an honour.
“I knew as a team we were very close and I knew it wasn’t going to be a problem keeping people motivated,” said Parsons, who capped off the Games by winning a bronze with the relay team.
“I was very proud of the team, especially since it was the first Carifta for a lot of us,” she added. “I was really happy with my 100 performance. I was a bit disappointed in my long jump, but I know what I have to do for next year.”
The medals won by Bermuda were the most since 2012 when the island claimed six medals on home soil. The year before that they also won six medals in Jamaica. Bermuda won five medals in 2013 and 2014 in Bahamas and Martinique before bringing home three medals from St Kitts in 2015.
The last three years produced just four medals in total with high jumper Sakari Famous closing out her participation with three straight medals, including the lone medals in 2016 and 2018. Famous won six medals overall while Kyrah Scraders also enjoyed outstanding success before that, landing eight medals in the 800 and 1,500 between 2011 and 2015.