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Black books his place in Carifta squad

Suresh Black achieved an impressive treble competing at the Silverhawk Open hosted by Lake Howell High School in Winter Park, Florida, on Wednesday.

Representing Orlando-based First Academy, the 17-year-old sprinter won the 100 metre and 200 metre events and then capped a fine outing by achieving the under 20 boys’ Carifta Games qualifying standard in the latter event.

Black won the 100 in a time of 10.96sec and the 200 in 21.78 which was just inside of the Carifta standard.

The promising athlete made his debut at the 2017 Carifta Games in Grenada. He also qualified for last year’s event held in Bahamas, but was ruled out through injury.

“He was injured quite a bit of the season and ended up not competing as much last year.” said Donna Raynor, the Bermuda National Athletics Association president.

Black’s enormous potential was first spotted when he broke two age-group records in the 100m and 200m competing at the Barbados National Championships in 2015.

“I’ve seen him run and he is a beautiful runner,” Raynor added. “He’s definitely got a lot of talent and we are getting a lot of them that’s coming.”

Black brings the overall number of Carifta qualifiers to date to sixteen, surpassing Bermuda’s 14-strong team that competed in Bahamas last year, where Sakari Famous captured the island’s only medal after winning the bronze in the high jump.

“We are closing in on the 20 athletes we are hoping for,” Raynor added. “With a track meet this weekend and our athletes still competing overseas, we are hoping to increase that number.

“I’m hoping that some of the athletes that are knocking on the door can get it done.”

The deadline for Carifta qualification is March 30, with Bermuda’s team to be selected March 31.

Black’s impressive display follows on the heels of a 14-strong Bermuda team that earned 21 medals, including eight gold, and also established three meet records and several personal bests competing at last weekend’s AAU Indoor Championships at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, Maryland.

“These athletes are performing and I can really see the hunger,” Raynor said.

“The more we get our athletes to compete, the better they will be prepared for Carifta.”

The Carifta Games will be held in the Cayman Islands from April 20 to 22.