Tia-Adana Belle is looking forward to the Pan American Junior Championships; Mario Burke is not.
Both athletes have qualified for the Under-20 meet which will be held in Medellin, Colombia from August 23 to 25.
Tuesday, after they returned from the 8th IAFF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine, Burke revealed he had picked up a hamstring strain in the semi-finals of the 100 metres and would be taking a break.
“Despite everything, I still feel very good. It was a good season for me and I am satisfied with it,” he said.
“At the moment, I am not feeling any pain because I am not extending myself, just walking and stuff. I’ll rest myself, take about a month off and then come back and see how I am feeling.”
The 16-year-old did a personal best 10.49 seconds in that race. He is happy with the time, but does not count it among his best races.
Burke placed fifth in the final in 10.51 seconds and said he was proud to be “the fifth fastest boy in the world”.
He is looking forward to next year’s CARIFTA Games in Martinique. There will be an age group change from Under-17 to Under-18.
“Next year at CARIFTA, I will be Under-18. Last CARIFTA, I won the 100, but next year I plan to do the double. The change is an added incentive in that whoever wins will have the new CARIFTA record and I intend to have the record stay a long time.”
Meanwhile, Belle, the silver medallist in the 400-metre hurdles, will also be taking a short break before resuming training for the meet. Expectations will rise, but she will also be facing tougher competition, as the youth championships are for Under-18 athletes.
It will also provide another testing ground as she looks to fulfill her goals over the next three years.
“I want to go to the Olympics in 2016 and run the four-hurdles for my country, hopefully, get into the finals and medal. Next year, I have World Juniors and, hopefully, I [will] get a gold medal this time.”
Belle and Burke are among 14 athletes who have qualified for the Pan American Junior Championships, but a smaller number may attend as several athletes are recovering from injury or may be at university on scholarship.
The other female qualifiers are Akela Jones, in the long jump and high jump; half-miler Sonia Gaskin and Ariel Jackson and Shavonne Husbands in the 200 metres.
Kion Joseph, Tramaine Maloney and Dario Scantlebury have met the standard for the 400-metre hurdles; Levi Cadogan in both the 100 and 200 metres and Anderson Devonish in the 400 metres.
Charles Greaves has qualified in the long jump, Tristan Whitehall in the discus and shot put and Janeil Craigg in the javelin.
Teams have already returned from the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Age Group Championships and the CAC Senior Championships.
The World Championships will be held next month in Moscow. (SAT)