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Athletes happy with exploits

shadiasimpson, [email protected]

Athletes happy with exploits

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The first BATCH of the Barbados CARIFTA athletes and officials returned home yesterday, with an 11-hour journey from The Bahamas hardly denting their joy over their performance at the Games.
The athletes, accompanied by coach Bryan Holder, assistants Anthony “Palance” Williams and Desiree Crichlow and trainer Khervyn Williams, left The Bahamas at 3 a.m. before connecting to Barbados via Miami.
Except for a party from The Lester Vaughan School led by teacher Sonja Brathwaite and a few family members, there was a somewhat small and subdued reception for the athletes.  
However, that number more than compensated as the hugs and kisses were not just confined to family as everyone showed support for the performers.
Two first-timers who struck gold and silver at the Games were the all-round sportsperson Hayley Matthews and Jalissa Burrowes.  
Matthews was a surprise selection in the Under-17 javelin and she captured silver while Burrowes took the gold in the Under-17 long jump.
Matthews, who turned 15 last week, admitted that she was surprised when she was selected to the team.  
“I was not training for competition but when I gained the selection I decided that I would give it the best shot for my country,” she said.
“I was not bothered by the problems with training since I knew of the high standard of Barbados’ athletics and my exposure in cricket, football and basketball helped me to put aside any thoughts about being nervous.
“I am very happy with my medal and I want to train even harder with my athletics so I will be dropping some of my other sports to focus on just cricket and athletics,” said Harrison College’s former Under-15 cricket captain Matthews.
Burrowes was just as thrilled to win her two medals as she indicated that her High Performance Club and her school, Springer Memorial, were the driving forces for success.
“My coaches at High Performance and Springer always encourage us to strive for excellence,” she said.
“That encouragement to excel and to do our best helped me to achieve my medals in The Bahamas and I also had some individuals like Sade Maria Greenidge, Tristan (Evelyn) and Akela (Jones) who had set the CARIFTA standard for us Springer athletes to follow for Barbados.”
The majority of the athletes along with golden 100 metres boy Mario Burke were scheduled to return home last night.  
Burke was preceded by his parents, Vincent and Marvo Burke.  (KB)