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Bermuda athletes seek Carifta qualification in Florida

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Chasing Carifta qualification: Bermuda athletes for Florida meet (Photograph supplied)

A strong contingent of Bermudian athletes will be aiming to qualify for the Carifta Games when they compete in the Speed Capital meet in West Palm Beach, Florida, today.

In the under-20 division, 2023 Carifta octathlon bronze medal-winner, Jauza James will be attempting to demonstrate the ability to compete in four events in a day while earning the necessary point total to qualify for the Games, in Grenada in March.

Jake Smith, of the Developing National Athletics Club will be in action in 1,500 metres, alongside Jayson Simons and Maximillian Reid, with the latter two also lining up in the 800 metres.

Jauza James is seeking enough point total to qualify for Carifta Games (File photograph)

Also going in search of qualification in the Under-20 Division are 100 metres hurdler I’Aura Golding and J’Naz Richards, who is aiming to seal a third Games appearance in the 100 and long jump.

Freddie Evans, the Bermuda National Athletics Association president, lamented the island’s terrible whether conditions, which have affected attempts by athletes to qualify.

Jake Smith is chasing a second appearance at the Carifta Games (File photograph by Ras Mykkal)

“The BNAA has a focus on developing and promoting athletic excellence,’’ Evans said.

“We are very focused on athletes acquiring the Carifta standard to be eligible to be selected for the 2024 Carifta team, but we are also realist.

“Our local weather has not been conducive for anyone to run or jump to the standard, that is why we have been looking for overseas alternatives for our athletes to have the opportunity to compete.”

Evans glowingly described the under-17 participants led by Jaeda Grant who has already qualified for her third Carifta Games.

Joining Grant is Amaris Munya, whom Evans has high praise for, as she is trying to earn her way into the Carifta team for the second time in the 400 and 800.

Also in that category is Azari Jones who is running the 3,000 and 1,500. Evans is hopeful that with a change of venue, these athletes will hit the standard that qualifies them for Carifta.

“For the first time in a long time Bermuda has a squad of female sprinters who are vying for spots in the Carifta team,” Evans added.

“Athletes who are studying abroad Elise Dickinson [200m and 400m] and Arima Turner [100 and 200], who have already met the standard.

“Lashee Jones [100, 200, 400] Hannah Dill [100, 200], Sanyia Place [200 and 400] and Pria Wilson [100 and 200] will be vying to meet the standard, and make the Carifta team.

Evans is really excited about Elise Dickinson and Lashee Jones, athletes who have the range to run in 100 to the 400, and in the former’s case, she could deliver a solid 800.

Sanyia Place missed out last year because of an injury, but has been finding her form. Pria Wilson, potentially one of the fastest in this group moved abroad for school but has joined the team in West Palm Beach in an effort to make the squad.

Daylen Scott, a 200 and 400 specialist, who also is studying in Florida, will be joining up with the team.

The BNAA president also singled out newcomer Hannah Dill for praise.

“Despite being new, Hannah comes to training and works extremely hard,’’ Evans said. “She has a legitimate chance of booking a spot in the 2024 Carifta team during this track meet.”

The BNAA are also turning their attention to the future, with a host of prospects included in the group that will be competing in Florida.

“We’re also looking at 2025 and 2026 Carifta Games, including a couple of up and comers in this travel package,’’ Evans said.

“Rhianna Robinson [800 and 1,500 ] and Jasmine Reid-Rubain [400 and 800] will be competing in their first Speed Capital event.

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Published February 24, 2024 at 7:56 am (Updated February 24, 2024 at 7:31 am)

Bermuda athletes seek Carifta qualification in Florida

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