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American junior athletes promise fireworks in Bermuda

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Delighted to be in Bermuda: Trinity Franklin, left, Kayla Collins and Sanaa Perry (Photograph by Mehluli Sibanda)

A huge presence of junior athletes from the United States has been recorded for the Bermuda National Championships at the Flora Duffy Stadium, featuring the Bermuda Challenge.

Last night and this morning, 157 American athletes, drawn from various US states, took on Bermuda’s rising stars in track and field. This is the second year of the unique format, which brings Bermudian athletes together with their American counterparts for lively competition and cultural activities.

The initiative was borne out of a partnership between the Bermuda National Athletics Association and Speed4Sport, with collaboration from the Bermuda Tourism Authority, The Perfect Timing Group and MileSplit.

Some of the American athletes who spoke to The Royal Gazette ahead of the two-day event expressed great enthusiasm to compete.

Mohamed Toure (Photograph by Mehluli Sibanda)

Mohamed Toure, from Hampton, New Jersey, who competes in the 400 and 800 metres, as well as the Swedish relay, is excited to display his running prowess in front of Bermudian crowds. The 16-year-old is on the island for second time after participating in last year’s Bermuda Cross-Country Challenge, held at the Botanical Gardens.

Toure seems to have really enjoyed his maiden visit to Bermuda, as he is even considering relocating to the island.

“Everything about Bermuda is just beautiful, I might move here when I grow up,’’ Toure said.

“I really liked my first visit to Bermuda, the children were amazing and so was the programme.

American junior athletes from New York stretching at the Flora Duffy Stadium (Photograph by Mehluli Sibanda)

“I’m expecting a sub 2min in the 800 and also expecting to have a good time. I’m here for competition but I also want to have some fun.

“I’m seeing some of the children that were at the cross-country. It’s good because I have people to go to, it feels more like a community.”

Savannah Heyward, a field athlete from Glenarden Track Club, has big dreams. The 14-year-old, who throws shot put, javelin and discus, has aspirations to represent the US at the Olympics.

“It feels really special to come out and compete in Bermuda,’’ she said.

“Bermuda is such a lovely place, the water is really clear. It also has good weather from what I’ve seen.

Savannah Heyward, left, and Chloe Beope (Photograph by Mehluli Sibanda)

“I’m going to win for my parents who are both here with me. I want to be compete at the Olympics one day and I’ll make it.”

Sprint athlete Sanaa Perry will be running only in the 4x100 relay because of injury.

“I’m very excited to be in Bermuda for the first time and I’m excited to take part in the event,’’ Perry said.

“I’m going to do my best, I want us to feel accomplished as a team. I always want to have fun and keep progressing as an athlete.”

Kayla Collins, a 20-year-old sprinter fell in love with Bermuda the moment they landed on the island.

“It’s my first time here so I’m excited, the beaches are very nice and the resort that we’re staying in is very nice as well,’’ Collins said.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s going to be like over the two days. The fans should expect some fireworks, these athletes have been working hard, so I feel it’s going to be a nice event.”

Ten-year-old Amirah Nunez anticipates to accomplish some personal records when she takes to the track.

“It’s a big experience to be in Bermuda, I feel like I’m going to do great and achieve some personal records,’’ Nunez said.

“The fans can expect a big push, a lot confidence and fast running. I’m really excited to be running in Bermuda, it’s a different experience, and it’s something new to all of us.”

Another ten-year-old, Si’myra Daley is relishing the experience of running in Bermuda for the first time.

“I feel excited to be in Bermuda because it’s a new environment and I get to experience something new,’’ she said.

“I want to run faster times and put up a great fight. I’m excited to run against Bermudian athletes, I think I can run faster than them.”

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Published June 22, 2024 at 7:55 am (Updated June 22, 2024 at 8:54 am)

American junior athletes promise fireworks in Bermuda

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