Games could be held tomorrow, says top Carifta delegate – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Games could be held tomorrow, says top Carifta delegate

Carifta Games delegate Alain Jean-Pierre believes the Island is already geared up to host the annual event that starts in two months.

Jean-Pierre was on hand, along with Sports Minister Glenn Blakeney and Bermuda Track and Field Association’s (BTFA) president Donna Watson, to bring everyone up to speed about the progress of the Games.

More than 500 athletes from 26 Caribbean countries, including at least 50 from Bermuda, will compete in the annual event to be held in Bermuda for the first time in seven years from April 7 to 9.

With only two months until Carifta’s curtain raiser, Jean-Pierre and Watson were both satisfied with how the final preparations were progressing.

“The facilities are ready for the Games if they were to start tomorrow, we started the visit of the hotel this morning and the track this afternoon,” said Jean-Pierre.

“Congratulations to Donna and her staff for their work so far and it’s setting up to be a great event.”

Watson also praised her supporting staff for their hard work during recent months.

“I would like to say thank you to all those who are helping in preparations for the Games, the athletes are preparing extremely hard for the Games and will be looking to showcase their talents to not only Bermuda but the world,” she said.

“Our coaches are working diligently to get them in shape, and we are hopeful that we will have an excellent showing from our athletes.”

The Carifta Games have been running since 1972 and are considered by many as the top youth track and field competition in the world.

When Bermuda last staged the event in 2004, current world record holder Usain Bolt, of Jamaica, became the first junior athlete to break 20 seconds in the 200 metres in a time of 19.3 seconds.

This will be the Island’s fourth time hosting the event.

Sports Minister Blakeney said: “The eye of the sports world will be upon Bermuda as some of the world’s best junior athletes come here to compete.

“The preparations for the Games are on schedule and we have received preliminary entries and we are anticipating over 500 athletes and 100 officials to come to Bermuda when some 26 countries are to compete here.

“Scouts will also be in Bermuda from overseas as they look to recruit athletes for their programmes.

“We are hoping to have Bermuda come out and support the local athletes and those who live in Bermuda come out and support whichever country you may be from.”

Minister of Youth, Sports, and Recreation Glenn Blakeney speaks at a press conference to update on the preparations for the 2012 Carifta games to be held at National Stadium. (Photo by Mark Tatem)

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Published February 07, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated February 07, 2012 at 8:07 am)

Games could be held tomorrow, says top Carifta delegate

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