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Middle distance athlete Nathan Armstrong pulls out of Carifta Games

Nathan Armstrong

Nathan Armstrong has been ruled out of the Carifta Games for a second straight year.

The 18-year-old middle distance runner was expected to compete at the three-day meet after meeting the qualifying standard in the boys under-20 800 metres and 1,500 metres events.

However, he has been forced to withdraw due to academic and athletic commitments at Rider University.

“Unfortunately, I will not be competing in the Carifta Games this year,” Armstrong told The Royal Gazette. “As much as I want to, I have a conflict with my college and we have a meet the same weekend.”

This year is the Rider University freshman’s last year of eligibility to compete at the championships.

He was also denied the opportunity of competing at last year’s regional championships that Bermuda were due to host, after it was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I was really looking forward to Carifta this year after not competing for Bermuda in the Carifta Games for two years,” Armstrong added.

“But I am looking forward to getting the chance to compete for Bermuda in some races over the summer and in the near future.”

Armstrong had been among a trio of local athletes to have reached the Carifta Games qualifying standard, which also includes fellow middle distance runner Jaeda Grant and sprinter Caitlyn Bobb.

Grant has reached the qualifying standard in the girls under-17 1,500 metres and Bobb in the girls under-20 200m and 400m.

The 2022 Carifta Games will be held in Jamaica from April 16 to 18.

News of Armstrong’s unavailability for next month’s Games in the Caribbean comes fresh on the heels of his victory competing at the Rider 5-Way in Lawrenceville, New Jersey at the weekend.

He won the 3,000 steeplechase in 9 mins 51:06 sec on his debut competing in the discipline at the Michael P Brack Track and Field Complex.

“This was the first time running this event, so I didn’t really know what to expect,” Armstrong said.

“I just wanted to make sure to not go out too hard because I knew it would ruin the rest of the race. So the first few laps I went out a little conservative then once I got my bearings a bit I picked it up a little.

“I was really excited and confident going into the race until we had only two days of practice on the water barrier because we could not get it filled.

“And the first day did not go well at all, which caused me to start getting really nervous for the race. But on the second day everything started coming together, and I gained a lot of confidence going into race day.”

Armstrong is looking forward to making more appearances in the discipline.

“This is a race I would definitely enjoy doing again at some point in the season after a little more training for it,” he added.

“On the last three laps is where it started to really hurt and I felt myself getting tired and slowing down between the barriers, which is something that will come with a bit more experience with the event.”

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Published March 29, 2022 at 7:44 am (Updated March 29, 2022 at 7:44 am)

Middle distance athlete Nathan Armstrong pulls out of Carifta Games

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