Contenders for Upcoming Carifta Games in Bahamas
By Alpheus Finlayson
Mar 28, 2013 - 6:44:59 PM

Machel Cedenio of Trinidad & Tobago in middle Has Best time of 46.02sec amongs Cariftaa hopefuls.

Nassau, Bahamas - Since the beginning of The annual Carifta Games in nineteen seventy-two, Jamaica has been defeated only five times, four times by The Bahamas and once by Bermuda.

Kadecia Baird of Guyana of the Women's 400 metres Final of the 14th IAAF World Junior Championships at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on July 13th

The last time they were defeated was some twenty-nine years ago in The Bahamas. When one looks at these Games from a perspective of athletes who have made a mark, there are quite a number of other countries whose athletes will be remembered for a long time.

Gold medal winner Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas in action on her way to winning the Girls 400 metres race during day three

They do include The Bahamas who have captured five Austin Sealy Awards for the Outstanding Athletes of the Games. These include MaryAnn Higgs, a sprinter in nineteen seventy-eight in The Bahamas; Lavern Eve a thrower in nineteen eighty-two in Kingston, and nineteen ninety-three in Martinique; Pauline Davis-Thompson, a sprinter in nineteen eighty-four in The Bahamas; Debbie Ferguson-Mckenzie, a sprinter in nineteen ninety-five in Grand Cayman; and Anthonique Strachan, a sprinter in 2011 in Montego Bay, and 2012 in Bermuda.

The first Austin Sealy Award winner was Debbie Jones, a sprinter from Bermuda who was the Outstanding Athlete in Barbados in nineteen seventy-seven.

Barbados has had its share of Austin Sealy Award winners. They include Richard Louis, a sprinter in nineteen eighty-one in The Bahamas; Nicole Springer, a High Jumper in nineteen eighty-seven in Trinidad & Tobago; Obadele Thompson, a sprinter in nineteen ninety-four in Barbados; and Kierre Beckles in 2008 in St. Kitts & Nevis in the short hurdles.

Darell Brown, a sprinter in 2001 and Jehu Gordon, a hurdler in 2010 in The Cayman Islands; and Gavyn Nero represented for Trinidad & Tobago who captured the Under-17 Boys 1500m and 3000m in Guadeloupe in 2006 with two new Games records.

Kareem Streete-Thompson, a Cayman Islander who was born in the United States, and a jumper, sprinter won the coveted award in nineteen eighty nine in Barbados and nineteen ninety in Kingson. In nineteen-ninety six in Kingson Caymanian sprinter Cydonie Mothersil captured the Most Oustanding Athlete Award.

Guadelopue won the award once with Pascal Theophille, a sprinter at home in nineteen eighty-six.

Grenada did it once with Kirani James, a sprinter in two thousand and nine in St. Lucia.

Antigua had Janil Williams, a young distance star in nineteen ninety-eight in Trinidad & Tobago.

Some Athletes to Watch in Nassau

Other than the mighty Jamaicans, there are numerous athletes one should look forward to seeing in The Bahamas.

The host have quarter miler Shaunae Miller, who holds the Girls Under-17 record of 53.36sec from 2010 in The Cayman Islands. She recently won the NCAA Indoor title for The Georgia Bulldogs in a quick 50.88sec which is better than her personal best of 51.25sec outdoor time of 2012.

Then there is Devynne Charlton in the Girls Under-20 who captured the Gold in the Under-17 Girls 100m in Montego Bay in 2011 and competes in the short hurdles.
Janeko Cartwright captured the Gold medal in the 400m in the Under-17 Division in 2012.

Carmiesha Cox won the Girls under-17 200m in Montego Bay in 2011 and was a Silver medalist in the Girls Under-20 100m in Bermuda.

Mesha Newbold who captured the Gold medal in the 300m hurdles last year will compete in the Girls Under-20 400m this year.

In the Under-20 Boys 400m hurdles Joshua Stubbs upset 2012 Bronze medalist D’Mitry Charlton at the Trials in fifty two point ninety sec to fifty two point nine seven sec. Both will have to run personal bests to beat the Jamaicans and Barbadians who have run some great times in this event this year.

Teray Smith won a Bronze medal in the 200m in the Boys under-20 last year and finished in sixth place in the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona last year.
He will have to run near or better than his best to capture a medal in this event.
The Collie-Minns Triple Jump duo are injured and The Bahamas will surely miss them.

Trinidad & Tobago

This team continues to have great sprinters. Last year they had Keshorn Walcott who captured all of his competitions in the javelin, Carifta, the CAC Jr. Championships, The World Junior Championships, and The London Olympic Games.

This year Machel Cedenio will lead them. In the 400m he has clocked 46.42sec this year. Asa Guevara has clocked 46.42sec.

In the Girls Under-20 100m Lisa Wickham has clocked 11.75sec. and Kay Clarke has clocked 23.75sec in the 200m.

In the Boys Under-20 100m John Constantine has a best of 10.38sec this season. Jereem Richards has a best of 20.5sec in the 200m.


Kion Joseph has a best of 51.82sec in the 400m hurdles placing him as a possible medalist in this event.

In the Girls Under-17 100m Tristan Evelyn has run 11.68sec.


Kadecia Baird was the Silver medalist in the 400m at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona last summer.

Her best of 51.04sec should place her on a collision course with Shaunae Miller, who she defeated in Barcelona. It is not known, however, how much Baird has competed this season.

Historical Facts

Since the inception of the Carifta Games in nineteen seventy-two Jamaica has captured seven hundred and twenty-six Gold medals; five hundred and six Silver medals; and three hundred and twenty-seven Bronze medals!

Trinidad & Tobago has won one hundred and eighty-seven Gold medals, one hundred and ninety Silver medals, and two hundred and six Bronze medals.

The Bahamas has won one hundred and twenty-nine Gold medals; two hundred and eight Silver medals; and two hundred and thirty-eight Bronze medals.

Barbados has won one hundred and twenty-one Gold medals; one hundred and fifty one Silver medals; and one hundred and eighty-three Bronze medals.

Martinique has won sixty nine Gold medals; eighty five Silver medals; and one hundred and nine Bronze medals.

Grenada captured fifty three Gold medals; fifty seven Silver medals; and sixty eight Bronze medals.

Guadelopue has captured forty five Gold medals; fifty eight Silver medals; and seventy five Bronze medals.

Antigua and Barbuda captured twenty eight Gold medals; twelve Silver medals; and twenty Bronze medals.

Bermuda, the only other country to defeat Jamaica other than The Bahamas, has captured twenty two Gold medals; thirty Silver medals; and forty Bronze medals.
Guyana rounds out the top ten with sixteen Gold medals; sixteen Silver medals; and fifteen Bronze medals.

Your Country, Your Athlete, Your Performance, Your Choice

This will be one of the most competitive Carifta Games ever. The Jamaicans have shown their card in their recent Boys & Girls Championships where an amazing thirty championship records were broken.

There are numerous athletes from each of the twenty six countries participating who can win medals and some who can set new Games records.

Nine years ago in Bermuda Usain Bolt broke the World Junior record in the 200m. Who do not know what the top performances will be in Nassau or who will win the Austin Sealy Award?

And there are many athletes competing who are darlings of the visiting and local fans.
When the dust settles on Easter Monday evening it is our belief that the Games will go as IAAF President Lamine Diack said in Nassau in 2002 as the best Junior championships in the world. The Local Organizers are expecting it to be the “Best Carifta Games Ever”!

Numerous media, coaches and fans will descend upon our beautiful island over the Easter weekend to witness just that!

As most people know, The Bahamas is the Bahamas is The “Melting Pot” of the Caribbean with more Caribbean nationals here than any other Caribbean nation. This means many of those nationals residing here will be out cheering for their countrymen.

The stage has been set with the new Thomas A Robinson National Stadium, the “Jewel of the Caribbean”; the top level officials; the hundreds of volunteers; the many partners and sponsors; the Government and the media; and finally the great athletes!

If for whatever reason you have not secured your tickets yet, do it tomorrow! You cannot let the visitors enjoy it all.

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