Next year’s Carifta is priority, says Watson
Donna Watson has dampened expectations ahead of next month's Carifta Games and insists it will be used as a “rehearsal” to prepare the Island's athletes for Bermuda 2012.
Yesterday the Bermuda Track and Field Association (BTFA) named a squad of 38 athletes to fly the nation's flag in Jamaica, looking to improve on the Island's fifth place finish 12 months ago.
But BTFA president Watson has played down their chances of a significant medal haul and hopes the Games will be a platform to prepare Bermuda's young performers for next year's event on home soil.
“With a bigger team I'm hoping we finish better than last year, but we have to remember this team consists of youth and some experience as we are building this squad for next year,” said Watson.
“My main goal this year is to send several of our young athletes so that they can get a real feel for Carifta so they know what they have to work towards in preparation for Carifta in Bermuda.
“I want us to put on a great show in our own country. I want our national anthem to be played several times throughout that event so this is our rehearsal for next year, but I'm still expecting some good performances from our athletes.”
Despite several athletes graduating from the under-17 group to the more competitive under-20 category, Watson remains confident Bermuda's team will pick up plenty of medals in Jamaica.
“Several of our athletes have moved up to the older age group and they will be at the younger end of the age group, like Jeneko Place who will be running in the under-20 group whereas last year he was in the under-17 group. Christian Wright, Juma Mouchette and Akeila Richardson have also moved up to the under-20 age group,” said Watson.
“The athletes who I'm hoping to medal will be Ashley Berry, Shaquille Dill, Taylor Ashley Bean, Kyrah Scraders, Bruce DeGrilla and I'm sure there will be a few surprises.”
Bermuda last staged the Carifta Games in 2004 which saw current world record holder Usain Bolt, of Jamaica, become the first junior athlete to break 20 seconds in the 200m in a time of 19.93.
Last year's Games in Cayman Islands saw Bermuda's squad of 23 athletes capture 11 medals to finish fifth out of 25 nations.
100m - Victoria Clarke, Taahira Butterfield
200m - Victoria Clarke, Tyra Stovell
400m - Tyra Stovell, Rachel Fox
800m - Kyrah Scraders
1500m - Kyrah Scraders, Quasshie Douglas
3000m - Zakiyyah Showers, Ashley Berry
High jump - Khianda Pearman-Watson, Keizhari Knight
4X400m - Tyra Stovell, Rachel Fox, Azaire Smith, Victoria Clarke, Alt. Aailyah Nolan, Taahira Butterfield
100m - Shawnae Brangman
200m - Shawnae Brangman
1500m - Taylor Ashley Bean, Ashley Berry
Triple jump - Alison Outerbridge Akeila Richardson
100m - Kyle Webb, Bruce DeGrilla
200m - Kyle Webb
400m - Karim Creary
1500m - Dage Minors
3000m - Dage Minors, Daniel Oatley
Long jump - Bruce DeGrilla, Chas Smith
Triple jump - Justin Donawa, Jaquan Callabras
High jump - Chas Smith, Jeremiah Steede
Shot put - Jaquan Heatherley
4X100m - Kyle Webb, Bruce DeGrilla,Kidane Callender, Jaret Simmons. Alternate Justin Donawa, Jaquan Callabras
Under-20 Boys100m - Jeneko Place, Jer-quan Simons
200m - Jeneko Place, Jer-quan Simons
400m - Kyle Godfrey
800m - Shaquille Dill
1500m - Juma Mouchette
5000m - Juma Mouchette, Shawn Herman
Long jump - Christian Wright, Tyrone Oswald
110m hurdles - Tristan Joynes
4X100m - Jeneko Place, Jaquan Simons, Kyle Godfrey, Scott Clarke . Alternate Christian Wright, Tyrone Oswald