Coach Devon Bean backs island’s athletes to achieve Carifta standard
Devon Bean, the national track and field coach, said the qualifying standards for next year’s Carifta Games will provide a good test for Bermuda young athletes, some who will be attempting to qualify for the first time.
In a recent meeting local club coaches agreed on qualifying standards for next year’s Games in Jamaica, which includes track events from the 100 to 5,000 metres as well as jumping and throwing events.
“The team we have right now is a very young team, meaning that those who are going to be in the under-20 age group, this will be their first year in the under-20s,” Bean said. “And those who are in the under-17 age group, the bulk of athletes we have to chose from are still in the 14 to 15 age category.
“We tried to look at some previous results to see where our athletes are at and came up with a medium as far as setting the Carifta standards for this year. The coaches feel we will have a young team and we didn’t want to set the standards so high, especially in the under-17 age group, where the kids will feel discouraged by not being able to attain those standards.”
Bermuda still holds two Carifta records, including the oldest in the Games held by Sonya Smith, which goes back to 1979 when she had a throw of 53.98 metres in winning the under-20 girls javelin event in Kingston, Jamaica.
Sprinter Raneika Bean set a record time of 11.20 seconds in the 100 metres heat at the 1998 Games in Trinidad, according to Carifta Games records. In total Bermuda athletes have won 104 medals since 1990.
In the 100 metres, under-17 females and males must meet qualifying times of 12.55 and 11.20 seconds respectively, while the under-20 females must achieve a time of 12.15 with the under-20 males required to clock 10.80 seconds.
In the 200 metres event, the under-17 females must meet a qualifying time of 25.50 seconds while the males have a standard of 22.40. For the under-20s, the marks are 24.68 seconds for the females and 21.80 for the males.
Javelin standards are 34.00 metres and 40.19 metres for the under-17 and under-20 girls respectively, while the boys marks are 13.90 and 14.70 metres.
The 1500 metre competitors have qualifying times of 5:15:00 and 4:23:00 for the under-17 girls and boys respectively and 5:00:00 and 4:10:00 for the under-20 girls and boys.
Those athletes competing in the 3000 metres must get under 11:10:00 for the under-17 females and 9:58:00 for the under-17 males, while the standard for the under-20 females is 11:10:00. The 5000 metres will have a qualifying time of 16:50:00 for the under 20 males only.
In the high jump, the heights are 1.65 and 1.85 metres for the under-17 girls and boys and 1.80 and 2.00 metres for the under 20 girls and boys.
The respective long jump marks are 5.55 and 6.50 metres in the under-17s and 5.80 and 7.10 in the under-20s, while the triple jump distances are 12.00 and 13.90 metres for the under-17s and 12.70 and 14.70 metres for the under-20s.
“While Carifta is a developmental championship and is probably considered the best age group track meet in the world next to the World Junior Championships as far as quality, the quality of performances will either sink you or have you swim,” Bean acknowledged.
“It’s an eye opener, particularly to those youngsters who are used to competing here in Bermuda or in the US. It’s a whole different ball game as far as atmosphere, the level of competition and the excitement.
“There was some concern about lowering the standards so much and having the kids go down there with a false sense of hope. We looked at previous results, looked at the athletes that we have and set standards we think they can attain and assured them this is just the qualifying.”
Bean added: “When you get down there the whole idea is to make a final. As everybody knows anything can happen in a final.”
The Bermuda National Athletics Association is also satisfied with the qualifying standards set for the local athletes ahead of the first track meet in January.
“Coaches strived to ensure that all of the standards were rigorous, yet attainable,” the BNAA revealed.
“Since Bermuda will potentially have a young under-17 squad, coaches also wanted to ensure that under-17 standards were created to encourage participation which they collectively believed is important after the two year Covid layoff.”
Bermuda won six medals at the last Carifta Games in Cayman Islands in 2019.