CARIFTA team did well in conditions
- Boyce, Edmonds conclude
By Edison Jefford
President of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG),
Colin Boyce, and Guyana’s CARIFTA Games Coach, Julian Edmonds both concluded that Guyana did well in the unfavourable weather conditions they competed in last weekend at the Games in Bermuda.
They were both conducting an autopsy of the team’s performance in the presence of the media at the Guyana Olympic Association Headquarters.
They concluded that given the cold conditions of Bermuda and Guyana’s failure to acclimatise, the team did well.
“While we expected more medals and I would have had high hopes from the team, I will not nail them to the cross. We are not here to take any positions on the athletes that represented us. We’ll have an assessment done for the future,” Boyce told the media.
“I keep saying to our athletes at home and will continue to say to them that they need to continue to set high standards for themselves and I believe those high standards are International standards and this is where they need to do a lot of work,” the AAG head added.
Guyana returned with one bronze medal in the Under-17 Girls 1500m from Andrea Foster.
Tevin Garraway made both U-17 100m and 200m finals as did Stephan James in the U-20 400m for the second consecutive year. Samuel Kaiton was fifth in the 5000m.
The other two athletes on the team, sprinters, Chavez Ageday and Davin Fraser did not get to the finals in their events. Foster, Garraway, Kaiton and Fraser all made their debut for Guyana at the Caribbean’s most prestigious junior Track and Field competition.
The team’s coach, Edmonds, was taken aback with the weather conditions in Bermuda when the team arrived one day before they went into competition. Edmonds informed that the athletes did not have enough time to adjust to the cold and windy weather pattern.
“Given the conditions and factors, I believe the team did well,” he said, adding that some athletes could have barely managed to feel their legs during warm-up and in their events. Edmonds noted that the local athletes were not prepared for consistent chilly conditions.
Asked to assess the performance of James, who was listed as a definite medal contender after his exceptional performance last year, Edmonds said “Stephan did his best on the day, but his best is not enough to get him a medal this time around”. James was competing in his final year U-20 the year after he made every international final with a bronze at South American juniors.
And on Ageday, whom the AAG has expressed a lot of confidence in exposing Internationally, it was expected that he, as a senior member of the team, also return with a medal.
However that did not materialise, but Edmonds believes Ageday has improved.
“Ageday trains 90 percent on the road and he did 10.69 in the 100m. Only Quinse Clarke has run faster than him on a rubber track for the last two years with his 10.68 in Venezuela (at the ALBA Games). So while he did not make the final, he improved,” Edmonds said.
Boyce interjected and reminded the media that Ageday was running the best times in the country before he departed for the CARIFTA Games.
Boyce said that he forced them to select him when he easily thrashed the qualifying times they had set at their trials.
However, Boyce said that the association will have an analysis done of the pool of junior athletes they now have in their inventory, which he referred to as the best they have had, and a plan to get them into development camps will be created to enhance their future.