Richmond ‘in a class of her own’
Eleanor Richmond has expressed her elation over achieving her primary objective competing at the Star Performers Track and Field Classic in Nassau, Bahamas, last weekend.
The 15-year-old Warwick Academy student went into the track meet at the Bahamas National Stadium looking to achieve the Carifta Games qualifying standard in the under-17 girls' javelin which she ultimately accomplished convincingly.
Richmond won the event with a throw of 37.97 metres with the Carifta standard being 36.00.
“I was there to qualify and so I was very happy to have achieved that,” Richmond said.
“It was my first time competing away and it was nice to see a new country and see how they do their track meets compared to Bermuda. It was awesome.
“At first I was very nervous. But then when I got out there did my warm up the nerves settled and I was better.
“I was very happy with my throws and now I am looking forward to competing in Bermuda. It's going to be a good experience and I can't wait.”
Terry-Lynn Paynter, the Bermuda national throwing coach, has high expectations for the athlete ahead of the Carifta Games, which Bermuda is hosting at the National Stadium from April 10 to 13.
“Eleanor is in a class of her own,” Paynter said. “She actually qualified last year but unfortunately about six weeks before Carifta she broke her wrist and what she qualified with actually won a medal.
“What she threw this year is farther than she threw last year and she's still in the under-17 age group, so I am expecting good things from her. I expect her definitely to be on the podium if she remains healthy.”
Richmond competes in multiple sports, including football and basketball, but has opted to channel most of her focus and energy towards javelin in preparation for the upcoming Games.
“She's kind of put the other sports on the back burner until Carifta, which is a good thing because she is concentrating a bit more and the progress is there,” Paynter added.
“Because she has decided to focus on the javelin she has progressed a little faster and it's a good thing.”
Richmond was among a trio of local athletes achieving the Carifta standard in triumphant fashion in Bahamas last weekend, which also included Sancho Smith and Kahzi Sealey.
Berkeley Institute student Sealey won the under-17 boys' 1,500 in a time 4min 21.94sec with the Carifta standard set at 4:23.00.
Smith won the under-17 boys' 800 with no margin to spare as his time of 2:03.00 was right on the qualifying mark.
Sealey is the first local athlete to achieve multiple Carifta qualifying standards. He has already reached the standard in the 3,000, competing at the National Stadium last month.
Bermuda's athletes secured 16 medals in Bahamas, including six gold, six silver and four bronze.