Log In

Reset Password

Bermuda worthy hosts of a first class event

Five hundred and fifty athletes, a couple of hundred coaches and officials, a bunch of family and friends in the stands and a considerable amount of local interest adds up to next week's Carifta Games which Bermuda hosts for the second time in nine years.

On that last occasion, Jamaican Usain Bolt served notice that he was soon to assume the moniker of world's fastest man.

At 19, he was the first sprinter under the age of 20 to run the 200 metres in under 20 seconds.

Of course, the rest is history.

Heading into this year's London Olympics, he's still the quickest man on the planet and it's scary that he has the ability to go even faster. He demonstrated that in Beijing where he slowed down, threw his arms in the air a couple of yards before the finish line and still broke the 100 metres world record.

His outrageous performance here in 2004, which raised athletic eyebrows all around the world, reinforced the belief that Carifta might be one of the biggest and best junior athletic meets anywhere.

It would be nice if another Bolt bursts onto the scene at the National Sports Centre next weekend but, if not, you can be assured that many of those representing the various Caribbean countries will make their mark in years to come, be it at the Olympics, Pan Am Games or World Championships.

Carifta has traditionally been a breeding ground for future international stars.

Hopefully, the 50-odd Bermudians taking part will be among them.

Somewhere might lurk another Debbie Jones, Nicky Saunders, Brian Wellman or Troy Douglas, all of whom have distinguished themselves at major meets overseas.

Sprinter Jones was part of a world record-breaking relay time while at college, high jumper Saunders took gold at the Commonwealth Games, triple jumper Brian Wellman was crowned world indoor champion and Troy Dougals remains the only Bermudian to have reached the semi-finals at an Olympic Games on three separate occasions, either in the 400 or 200 metres.

Under the stewardship of Donna Watson, local track and field has enjoyed something of a renaissance, not always by way of international success but certainly in terms of local participation.

And if the hundreds of children who compete in the various road and track events, such as the Telford Mile and KPMG Round the Grounds races, is an indicator of athletic potential, then that trend should continue.

What is particularly pleasing is the fact that all tickets for the NSC grandstand over the Carifta weekend have virtually sold out.

That in itself reflects the continuing popularity of the sport here in Bermuda.

It really doesn't matter how many of the local youngsters find their way onto the podium during the Games, the support they get is more important.

Encouragement builds confidence which in turn boosts self-esteem.

The young athletes will be the stars of the show but the Games itself will be crucial in terms of reinforcing Bermuda's capability to host a major event, particularly with the Island Games just a year away.

Certain Caribbean islands have shown they don't have that ability. St. Kitts had to pull out last year.

This another chance to show the world that Bermuda can handle the big sporting events.

The Grand Slam of Golf, the World Rugby Classic, International Race Weekend, the She-rox Triathlon, the XL tennis tournament, the World Squash Championships have already put us on the map.

Carifta will ensure we stay there.

* * * *

NORTH Village coach Shaun Goater and his players will be hugely disappointed that they didn't advance to the second round of the Caribbean Football Union Club Championships this week.

It's perhaps another sign that the standard of local football isn't where it was 10 or 20 years' ago.

Had the Rams been beaten by teams from Trinidad or Jamaica, it might have been understandable.

But Cayman Islands are hardly a footballing force in the CONCACAF region.

There were mitigating circumstances in that Village had a player sent off in the first half of their second match which they lost 2-1.

But nevertheless it's worrying our defending league champions weren't able to defeat two clubs in a country where the national sport is snorkelling.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published March 30, 2012 at 2:00 am (Updated March 30, 2012 at 8:52 am)

Bermuda worthy hosts of a first class event

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon