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Baton relay to highlight former Carifta athletes

Former Carifta athletes Sonya Smith, left, Gina Evans, Debbie Hunter and Branwen Smith-King, who will be participating in the baton relay on Saturday from Front Street to the National Sports Centre (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

The baton relay that was supposed to start the events at the Carifta Games this year in Bermuda, will take place on Saturday, the second day of the Bermuda National Championships, starting at 3.30pm on Front Street.

The relay, which will honour past Carifta athletes, will start outside Stevedoring Services and move along to Lane Hill, up to Middle Road and then finish at the National Sports Centre when former triple jumper Brian Wellman will take it to the finish line. The relay will start the events for Carifta 2020: Our Vision, which was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Participating in the relay are athletes who have represented Bermuda at Carifta since the first Games in 1972.

“This was an event that was going to be the start of the 2020 Carifta Games but we felt we still wanted to honour our past athletes even though the Games were cancelled,” Donna Raynor, president of the Bermuda National Athletics Association, said.

“We will have some of our athletes dating back to the 1970s, the first Carifta Games, right up to the last Games held. Some of the athletes will run and some will walk.

“At the end of the event we will be presenting each of the athletes with a commemorative Carifta medal. They will also be wearing specially designed T-shirts for this event.

“We have confirmed thus far Terrance Armstrong, Stanley James, Juma Mouchette, Henry Stevens-Carty, Kyle Virgil, Michael Watson, Vivian Yearwood, Debbie (Jones) Hunter, Eulanne Douglas, Nandi Woods, Kyrah Scraders, Allison Outerbridge, Gina Evans, Shar-Dae Whitter, Branwen Smith-King, Candy (Ford) Williams, Florence Sharpe, Emma Williams, Sheena Simons-Moore, Jay Donawa, Bessie Horton and Sonya Smith.

“Of course if there are other past Carifta athletes who want to be a part of this please contact me.”

Sonya Smith’s under-20 record throw of 177ft 11.5in (53.98 metres) in the javelin is the oldest Carifta record, standing for more than 40 years, since April 20, 1979 in Kingston, Jamaica. Smith was just 15 at the time.

Smith-King won Bermuda’s first Carifta medal, a gold in the shot at the inaugural Games in Barbados in 1972, while Hunter was the inaugural winner of the Austin Sealey award for most outstanding athlete at the 1977 Games.

“We never want to forget our athletes who helped to shape the sport of track and field with some of them still giving back and assisting our up and coming athletes,” Raynor said.

“We are looking forward to this event and the start of our Carifta 2020: Our Vision ceremony this weekend.”

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Published July 07, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated July 06, 2021 at 11:45 pm)

Baton relay to highlight former Carifta athletes

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