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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.

Bermuda's squad

Under-17 Girls

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

Under-20 Girls

100m - Shawnae Brangman

200m - Shawnae Brangman

1500m - Taylor Ashley Bean, Ashley Berry

Triple jump - Alison Outerbridge Akeila Richardson

Under-17 Boys

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

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Published March 31, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated March 31, 2011 at 9:24 am)

Next year’s Carifta is priority, says Watson

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