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Wake-up call

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Wake-up call

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The message sent during an in-house meeting last weekend seems to have gotten through to the Barbadian athletes who will leave the island tomorrow for the 2011 CARIFTA Games this Saturday through Monday in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Reports indicate that some athletes took a very casual approach to competition during the final meet held last Saturday at the National Stadium and were observed talking and laughing while they were on the track.
Naturally, this was reflected in the times, and in an interview with the media at the stadium on Monday evening prior to another training session, head coach Michael Worrell spoke plainly about his disappointment.
“The meet was the last meet going into the competition, but it was the first in two weeks and I was a bit disappointed with some of the results that I saw as far as the leading candidates – the medal hopefuls,” he said.
“I thought they didn’t take it as serious as we would like them to, because they had the Trinidadian team at Falcon Games in Trinidad, the Bahamian team was in the [United] States prepping and Jamaica had a meet.
“This was our last chance and I think personally they didn’t take it as seriously and that was the biggest disappointment this weekend.”
When asked what was done to ensure the joking was put aside, Worrell responded: “We had an in-house meeting and I would let it stay in-house.”
However, both his facial expression and tone indicated that such behaviour wouldn’t be tolerated or repeated.
Worrell said all 41 athletes had the potential to win medals, and the two injured athletes, sprinter Nicholas Deshong and pentathlete Shavonté Bradshaw had passed the fitness tests “with flying colours”.
“The new athletes that are going, we are trying to keep them focused and let them know that it is just like home, just a step up. We are encouraging them to give of their best and we’ll see where we go from there,” he said.
Bradshaw said she was recovered from a knee injury and had been working on the shot put, hurdles and the 800 metres to improve her chances of winning gold in the pentathlon.  
One athlete who stood out at the last meet was Keon Joseph. He not only upset pre-race favourite Tramaine Maloney but had a personal best time in the Under-20 Boys’ 400m hurdles.
Joseph said that at Inter-School Sports and CARIFTA Trials he had been running in front of Maloney on both occasions and that placed him at a disadvantage because he likes to run from behind. On Saturday, he had Maloney in his sights all the way.
“I knew I could run back at him and whatever move he made I could’ve made. So when we got to the 100 -mark, I realized he wasn’t so far in front of me. I put in an extra kick and that took me to the finish in first in a time of 52.83,” Joseph said.
Assistant manager Lennox Ellis was excited about Joseph’s progress.
“He is moving in the right direction. If he keeps up the attitude that he has right now – the drive to run faster like he did on Saturday – he has a good chance of medalling.”
He is also looking forward to seeing quarter-miler Tia-Adana Belle since she has been improving with every meet and looks good in training.
Sprinter Tristan Evelyn, the youngest member of the team, would benefit from the higher competition and could post personal best times, added Ellis.
The team will leave tomorrow morning.