Weather hits CUT Games
Weather, costs and lack of funds have hit this year’s Caribbean Union of Teachers 17th Biennial Student Athletic Championships, which started last evening at the National Sports Centre, hosted by the Bermuda Union of Teachers.
The two-day event would usually attract hundreds of athletes but the weather, which forced an American Airlines flight out of Miami to be cancelled on Wednesday evening, left some teams unable to make the trip, according to Devon Bean, the meet director.
“I believe some of the Guyana team is here and the rest are coming on a flight this evening and are going to miss some of their events, unfortunately,” Bean said.
The first race of the evening, the open girls 1,000 metres, would have normally contained several athletes but only two participated, Layla Haynes, of Barbados, and Bermuda’s Jezhari Talbot, with Haynes winning. Local athlete Chayse Tanner won both the under-15 boys 100 metres and long jump.
“I believe St Lucia pulled their team a few days ago, I take it to be because of finances plus the inclement weather,” explained Bean, the national track and field coach. “It’s definitely the weather coming off the East Coast. Luckily we have enough teams to field the events. Ideally in order to for an event to be scored you need at least three competitors in the race to count towards the medal table and points. This event happens every two years and for a lot of the islands it is not in their budget. Bermuda is not a cheap place to come to.
“We are lacking some of the big teams who have used up most of their budgets for various track meets in the region, i.e. Carifta as well as teams at the World Juniors in Finland. Teams like Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados are not here and they would have brought 40-plus competitors. It just wasn’t in their budget.”
Flags from eight countries, including Bermuda, were seen flying at the northern end of the stadium, but not all those countries are here, Bean said.
“We have five teams here but it could have been close to at least 20,” he revealed.
Bermuda will host the Carifta Games in two years time and Bean will use the meet to identify some new talent.
“We have discovered a few athletes who are competing here right now that are not affiliated with clubs, just compete in school sports and the odd track meet,” he said. “As you can see some of them have medalled and this is the type of thing we need, especially for when we host Carifta in 2020.”
Competition continues this morning at 9.30 before the evening session starts at 5, closing with the relays, which start at 7.40.
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