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Stars back for Carifta Games


Sherrylyn Toppin

Stars back for Carifta Games

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THREE OF THE FOUR gold medallists from last year have made it back to the Barbados team for the April 19 to 21 CARIFTA Games in Martinique.
Akela Jones, Mario Burke and Rivaldo Leacock will be hoping to reprise last year’s performances in The Bahamas with more gold in their respective age groups, but Jalisa Burrowes, who is injured, won’t be competing in the long jump.
Jones will be returning to the Under-20 division for her final appearance at the Games. She is the defending champion in the long jump and a silver medallist in the high jump. She leaped 6.19m in the long jump last year and has a season’s best of 6.26m. This year, she has gone as high as 1.87m, seven centimetres more than last year.
Leacock and Burke, last year’s Under-17 champions, will be competing in the newly formed Under-18 group.
Leacock stunned spectators with his 53.11-second run in the 400m hurdles last year. He has a best time of 53.50 this year and has also run 53.64, but is yet to get any real competition. He will get that at CARIFTA from first-year Under-20s who will be stepping down.
Burke is one of those first-year Under-20s who will be competing in the Under-18 division. He won the 100 metres in 10.7 seconds, but is faster with 10.5. He won a silver medal in the 200m last year with 21.42, but has clocked 21.06 this season and is more race savvy, having reached the World Youth finals last year.
Among those to watch is sprinter Levi Cadogan. He has a shot at redemption in the Under-20 boys’ sprint double with times of 10.3 seconds in the 100 metres and 20.72 in the 200m.
World Youth 400m hurdles silver medallist Tia-Adana Belle, who is at St Augustine’s in North Carolina, is one of the favourites in that event. She has one outdoor race this season with 59.59 seconds, but her personal best is more than a full second faster. She has also qualified in the 400m.
Meanwhile, 16 first-timers have been names in the team. In the Under-18 division they are: jumpers Shonita Brome, Ashantia Phillips, Josiah Beckles and Hakeem Clarke; sprinters Asha Cave, Sada Williams, Jaria Hoyte, and Kentoine Gibson; thrower Triston Gibbons and middle distance runner Romario Marshall who will be joining his twin brother Akeem.
There are no newcomers in the Under-20 girls’ division, but making their debut among the boys are multi-eventer Akeim David; distance runner and crowd favourite Dario Grandison; hurdler Stephen Griffith; half-miler Tre Hinds; thrower Dequan Lovell and jumper/sprinter Jebarri Cumberbatch.
Former gold medal winners on the team include triple jumper Shamar Rock and 400m hurdler Dario Scantlebury.
 
Team:
Under-18 Girls: Shonita Brome, Asha Cave, Tristan Evelyn, Tiana Bowen, Hayley Matthews, Ashantia Phillips, Danielle Scantlebury, Sada Williams, Jaria Hoyte.
Under-20 Girls: Akela Jones, Ashley Williams, Tia-Adana Belle.
Under-18 Boys: Josiah Beckles, Akeem Marshall, Romario Marshall, Mario Burke, Michael Nicholls, Juwan Augustin-Mayers, Rivaldo Leacock, Ramarco Thompson, Kentoine Browne, Hakeem Clarke, Triston Gibbons.
Under-20 Boys: Romario Antoine, Akeim David, Dario Grandison, Stephen Griffith, Shamar Rock, Tre Hinds, Joshua Hunte, Levi Cadogan, Dequan Lovell, Dario Scantlebury, Joshua Walcott, Jebarri Cumberbatch.
Management: Maureen Dottin (manager), Bryan Holder (head coach), Desiree Crichlow, Ramon Armstrong, Anthony Williams. Medical: Dr Phyllis Burnett, Shonnelle Trotman.

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