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Bermuda athletes shine as Carifta Games draw near

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Amaris Munya spoke of her Carifta goals at the press conference for the Skyport Magic Mile on Monday. Also pictured are Carlton Crockwell, Wayne Raynor and Nikki Fagan (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Skyport Magic Mile press conference at the National Sports Center. Pictured- Cal Simons (Front). Back left to right- Neil Speight, Wayne Raynor, Dr. Carlton Crockwell and Nikki Fagan (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Skyport Magic Mile press conference at the National Sports Center. Pictured- Cal Simons (Front). Back left to right- Neil Speight, Wayne Raynor, Dr. Carlton Crockwell and Nikki Fagan (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Skyport Magic Mile press conference at the National Sports Center. Pictured- Wayne Raynor (Front). Back left to right- Cal Simons, Neil Speight, Dr. Carlton Crockwell and Nikki Fagan (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Bermuda’s athletes made their presence felt under trying circumstances at the Speed Capital Outdoor Invitational in South Florida at the weekend.

The Bermuda National Athletics Association was represented by a team of 12 young sports stars who came away with eleven medals at the meet held at Western High School on Saturday.

Distance runner Azari Jones bounced back from injury in style by winning gold in the under-14 girls 1,500 metres (5:23.94) and 800 metres (2:28.75) while Amaris Munya captured the silver medal in the same race with a time of 2:29.76.

Sprinter I’Aura Golding also achieved top spot in the 100-metre hurdles with a personal best time of 16.04sec.

J’auza James earned three silver medals competing in the high jump, in which he achieved a personal best leap of 1.75m, 1,500 metres (4:27.94) and 110-metre hurdles.

Distance runner Jaeda Grant, who has already qualified for Carifta, earned silver in the girls 15-16 800 metres (2:28.5) to go with a bronze in the 1,500 (5:19.63).

Sprinters Dalen Scott and Pria Wilson also earned trips to the podium after claiming bronze in the 400m (52.91) and 100m (12.83).

Maya Bean, Fenella Wightman, Miles Outerbridge, Saniya Place and Lashee Jones were the remaining members of the team.

Reflecting on the meet, BNAA president Freddie Evans was thrilled to see the athletes perform admirably despite inclement conditions.

“Despite severely adverse conditions, the ten athletes who competed in the Speed Capital event did acquit themselves, their parents and Bermuda proudly,” he said.

“A day when the temperature soared to nearly 85 degrees, the meet was delayed by technical difficulties for nearly four hours. After sitting and enduring the heat for that duration of time, when the Bermuda athletes took to the track they competed outstandingly.”

Bermuda’s athletes had added incentive as the meet also served as a qualifier for the 50th Carifta Games to be held in Nassau, Bahamas, from April 7 to 10.

“It was an opportunity to qualify and compete against athletes who are also trying to make their country’s Carifta teams,” Evans added.

“The Carifta team will be named on March 6 and there are a multitude of young athletes who are demonstrating their progress and giving the coaches and BNAA Board a lot to consider in these final days.”

Some of the island’s Carifta hopefuls will get another chance to qualify for the annual regional games during the 26th Skyport Magic Mile at the Flora Duffy Stadium on Saturday.

Organisers announced during a press conference held at the National Stadium North Field Cricket Pavilion on Monday they will be staging 100m and 200m races in conjunction with the main event to serve as Carifta qualifiers.

“We are holding 100 and 200 metres events with some of our Carifta athletes and this is a good opportunity for them to run in front of a big crowd and also hopefully some of these athletes will qualify to go to the Carifta Games this year,” Cal Simons, the co-meet director, said.

Munya is looking forward to making her tenth appearance in the popular event.

“I really love running. I love the experiences, I love travelling with my track club and the Skyport Magic MIle has played a really significant role in my running,” she said.

Munya also urged younger athletes to become involved in the fun-filled event.

“I would like to encourage younger athletes to partake in the Skyport Magic Mile as it’s a really fun event and you learn a lot from it,” she added.

“As I’ve learnt over the years, winning isn’t always everything. It’s always about learning from what you’ve done before and trying better next time, and I think Skyport really promotes that and the Magic Mile is a good race to do.”

Founded by the Bermuda Pacers Track Club and sanctioned by the Bermuda National Athletics Association, the Skyport Magic Mile is open to children aged between four and 15.

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Published February 28, 2023 at 7:37 am (Updated February 28, 2023 at 7:37 am)

Bermuda athletes shine as Carifta Games draw near

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