Meets lined up overseas while track is resurfaced
Bermuda's aspiring Carifta Games athletes will have to train on a grass track during next couple of months while a new track at the National Sports Centre is resurfaced in February.
The island will host the 49th Carifta Games from April 11 to 13, having previously been held in Bermuda in 1975, 1980, 2004 and 2012.
“The track is being resurfaced and it is due to finish in February,” said Donna Raynor, the president of Bermuda National Athletics Association.
“We will have to find somewhere for the athletes to train, specifically a grass track during the time the stadium is not available.
“We are hoping to get the athletes overseas to some meets, indoor and outdoor, so that we continue with their preparation.”
The BNAA unveiled the 2020 Carifta Games medals in September. We are well ahead in our preparations and are excited about where we are,” Raynor added.
“In January, we will really be picking up our marketing towards April. Carifta will be everywhere!”
Raynor said she hopes Jamaican Briana Williams, who won gold in the 100 and 200 metres at the World Under-20 championships in Tampere, Finland, in July, will compete in Bermuda for her final Carifta Games.
Williams, who was born in Miami, is a world age-15 and world youth and age-17 record holder in the 100 and has won the Austin Sealy award for outstanding athlete at the 2018 and 2019 Carifta Games, the first Jamaican to claim the award two years in a row since compatriot Usain Bolt in 2004.
At this year's Carifta Games in Georgetown, Cayman Islands, Williams won gold in the 100, 200, and 4x100 relay in the under-20 age group.
“Briana Williams is a standout athlete and we are hoping that she will be competing in Bermuda,” Raynor said. “We also have our standout sprinter in Caitlyn Bobb, who I think is going to be a standout athlete as well.”
Jamaica hold records in ten of the 21 under-20 men's events and share 11 of the 17 under-20 women's records at the Carifta Games.
At the under-17 level, Jamaica's boys hold nine of the 17 records, while the girls possess ten of the 16 records.
The oldest record at the Carifta Games is held by Bermuda's Sonya Smith, who threw 53.98 metres in the under-20 javelin in 1979 in Kingston, Jamaica.
Bermuda also have two Austin Sealy award winners, with sprinter Debbie Jones the inaugural winner in 1977 in Barbados and Candy Ford, also a sprinter, the outstanding athlete at the 1981 event in Nassau, Bahamas.
Meanwhile, the BNAA is hoping for a strong turnout at the National Cross Country Championships at the Botanical Gardens on Saturday, which starts at 8.30am.
The championships have been brought forward a week and will involve various age groups from under-10, under-12, under-14, under-17, under-20, Open, Masters, senior masters and 70-plus.
Dage Minors returned from his overseas studies to win the 20-39 age group at Clearwater Beach last year, comfortably beating Nathan Trott with a winning time of 30min 40.33sec over the five-mile course.
Rose-Anna Hoey won the women's race over three miles in 21:47.69, with Delila Monterrosa finishing second in the 20-39 age group. “We are hoping to attract some of our top road racers to the championships this weekend,” Raynor added.
“Our top Carifta athletes have been competing all season as this is their preparation towards the Games.”