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Track and field worry


Sherrylyn A. Toppin

Track and field worry

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CONCERNED?ABOUT?the state of Barbados’ track and field, Michael Worrell, head coach at the recently concluded LIME 40th CARIFTA Games in Montego Bay, Jamaica, is recommending that the present team be kept together and expanded to include other athletes.
Speaking to NATIONSPORT just before the closing ceremony last Monday night, Worrell said Barbados could have a strong team in the future if all of the relevant parties worked together.
“I think we could continue having some sessions with Mac [Fingall] or whoever wants to come in and talk to the team. I think we should train at least twice a month together, bring in some more that we would have a pool to keep on working with and we can pull from the pool,” Worrell noted.
I think that is very important. Probably some people won’t like it, but I think it is the way to go,” added Worrell, a two-time CARIFTA?400-metre gold medallist.
Barbados had the best performance since 1997 when 33 medals – 11 of each colour were won.
“It is a great accomplishment by the children themselves – nine gold, eight silver and ten bronze. It fell a bit below what we wanted and what we anticipated, because we were going for the record. We are happy with that.”
A late bronze medal was awarded to the open men’s 4×400 metres relay team after The Bahamas, the original winners, were disqualified.
Earlier, Matthew Wright was second in the 5 000 metres and the Under-17 girls’ mile relay team also got silver.
“We really dominated the half-mile today [Monday] and that is what started everything. We asked Cindy Forde to carry the baton as we asked Akela Jones the first day and she did it with style. Then we moved from there and we went from strength to strength,” he said.
“That’s what the team was on, we built on each other’s strengths. We let the negatives pass, but we looked for the strengths to build on in the half-mile today [Monday] and then it went straight into the hurdles. We had a great day. The children deserve every accolade, every compliment, everything that they get from parents and friends.
“I think we had an all-round performance even though we didn’t get any medals in the sprints. I saw a lot of improvement. Young Tristan Evelyn who still has three years at this particular division, I think she did a great job and that speaks for her coaches. The other coaches, I would like to thank them too. 
“I feel if we come together, we would have a strong Barbados team in the future,” he added.
Injuries also took a toll on the Barbados team. Nicholas Deshong, who was ranked No. 2 in the 200m didn’t reach the final. Deon Hope, who did, was unable to run. Dario Scantlebury didn’t face the starter for the 110 metres hurdles. There were other niggles which had to be treated.
Worrell said he wasn’t so much concerned about the conditioning of the athletes since he was unaware what they did with their personal coaches.
“I am concerned about Barbados track and field on the whole . . . I just think that we can continue to talk to each other and make sure that we continue to assist in making each athlete go a bit further,” he said.
Worrell thanked the other coaches, medical staff, parents and supporters and said they would be heading back to church to give thanks.
The official medal table wasn’t released as the protest by The Bahamas over their disqualification lingered long after the dancing and celebrating Barbadians, the last team to leave the stadium, wearily climbed into the buses.
The victorious team returned home yesterday afternoon.

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