Returning athletes get rousing welcome
THERE?WERE?no fireworks but the joy and jubilation by parents and well wishers for the triumphant Barbados athletics team was like if the 2011 Crop Over Festival had started.
The Grantley Adams International Airport took on a party-like atmosphere yesterday evening when the medal-laden Barbadian athletes team returned home from the 40th LIME?CARIFTA?Games held at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex in Jamaica.
There were deafening screams and shouts from the scores of supporters and family members on hand to welcome the team as the young athletes came through the arrival hall.
They were greeted by Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley, who congratulated the athletes on a sterling performance in his welcome-home address.
“Let me on behalf of the Government and people of Barbados congratulate you for excellent performances at the CARIFTA?Games. Your achievements are an inspiration to the youth of the country,” he said.
Barbados won a total of 27 medals comprising nine gold, eight silver and 10 bronze, the most by a Barbadian team since the record 33 medals in 1997.
Meanwhile, Bahamian sprinter Anthonique Strachan completed the precious sprint double while the Jamaicans stamped their authority in the distance relays and sprint hurdles on the final day of the 40th CARIFTA Games on Monday.
While Strachan raced to victory in the Under-20 200 metres, hosts Jamaica snatched three of the four distance relays and three of the four sprint hurdles to bring a thrilling climax to the Caribbean’s premier track and field showpiece at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex.
Strachan, who finished down the field in last year’s final, ensured there would be no such misfortune this time around as she clocked 11.38 seconds to cross the line first.Fellow Bahamian Carmiesha Cox won the corresponding event in the girls under-17s, crossing the line in 23.96 seconds to beat Jamaica’s Jonielle Smith into second.
Jamaican Jevaughn Minzie seemed poised to hand the hosts their first gold in the half lap in the boys under-17 but he slowed up at the end in premature celebration and allowed Trinidadian Machel Cedenio to sneak through and take victory in 21.43 seconds.
Jamaica, meanwhile, were destructive in the 4×100 metres relays with only the under-20 boys’ team failing to claim gold.
The under-20 girls’ team of Olivia James, Jeneve Russell, Semoya Campbell and Chris-Ann Gordon shattered the five-year-old record of three minutes, 31.90 seconds, as they posted a new time of 3:31.47. (CH/CMC)