Guyana welcomes home CARIFTA champions
Guyanese around the country are beaming with pride and appreciation as they welcomed home the champions from the 50th CARIFTA Games in Nassau, Bahamas, on Thursday.
The champions managed to secure three gold, two silver, and three bronze medals after the event.
In what could be described as a fairy-tale story, Tianna Springer captivated a global audience with a stunning performance to win gold in the U-17 400 metre final, and the Golden Arrow Head was proudly raised in the middle of the winner’s podium.
Guyana’s second gold medal saw the defending champion, Anisha Gibbons, throwing a distance of 47.96 metres in the Women’s U20 javelin, securing gold on her first try.
Javon Roberts also copped another gold medal with his remarkable finish at the U-17 800-metre race.
The silver medals for the land of the mighty Jaguar came again from Roberts in the Boys U17 1500-metre and from Attoya Harvey in the Girls 3000-metre open events.
Rounding out the 8-medal total were bronze medallist Trevon Hamer, picking up his win in the Boys U20 Triple Jump, Seon Booker in the Boys U20 1500-metre and Ezekiel Saul in the Boys U17 Triple Jump.
In addition, Raekwon Noel dominated the CARIFTA Swimming Championships in Curacao, capturing five gold medals in the 1500-metre Freestyle, 400-metre Individual Medley, 800-metre Freestyle, 200-metre Butterfly, and the 400-metre Freestyle events.
“Welcome Home Champs!” said the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson, who was joined by head of the National Sports Commission, Steve Ninvalle, family, friends, and other sporting officials at the brief welcoming ceremony held at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).
“On behalf of the Government of Guyana, His Excellency the President, and the people of the country, we want to take the opportunity to welcome home our champs representing us in the best possible way at the Carifta games, doing something that we know is very important to who we are as a people,”the minister said.
The Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) established the CARIFTA Games as an annual athletics competition. The decades old event first took place in 1972, featuring track and field sports like sprint races, hurdles, middle distance track events, jumping, throwing events, and relays. It has since expanded to include other events.