The tremendous success at the 49th Carifta Games in Kingston, Jamaica, is only another step on the pathway for the British Virgin Islands towards putting their athletes on the podium at the pinnacle of the sport.

At the Games that concluded last week, the BVI enjoyed their best-ever medal haul with four gold, two silver and a bronze medal surpassing their medal tallies from 2012 when they won five. Their medal haul saw them finish third in the standings behind Jamaica with 92 medals, 45 of them gold and the Bahamas 17. What was instructive was that BVI had the same number of gold medals, four, as their neighbours from the Bahamas.

Three of those medals were won by the imperious 16-year-old Adaejah Hodge, who the U17 100m, 200m and Long Jump to come away with the coveted Austin Sealy Award as the most outstanding athlete of the three-day meet.

But according to Steve Augustine, President of the BVI Athletics Association (BVIAA), the best is yet to come and is not too far away.

“What’s next for the BVIs, it’s back to the drawing board and putting in the work.  We have a long list of local, regional and international competitions remaining,” he said.  “While we are there, we haven’t officially arrived until we make the Olympic podium, we fell just short of this with two fourth-place finishes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.  This year, we are, of course, eyeing World U20, the Commonwealth Games and World Championships at which I am certain we will again show up.”

Augustine’s confidence stems from his belief in the BVI’s strong grassroots programme that has consistently produced world-class talents from their population of just over 30,000 inhabitants.

“The BVIs formula for success at the Carifta Games speaks of a preparation process that has taken training and mental preparation processes to a higher level, a level that is more in keeping with our competitive Caribbean counterparts,” he reveals.

“Our local club system has resulted in on-island competition whereby our athletes are pushed, much more than before, to perform at higher levels for victories.  We monitor regional performances, we are well-advised by statisticians such as Rey O’Neal, and we are aware of where we need to be performance-wise if we are to be competitive.

“Our coaches are trained and certified, our athletes are hungry and they all aspire to be the next Kyron McMaster, Chantel Malone, Tahesia Harrigan Scott, Eldred Henry and now the next Adaejah Hodge.”

Hodge, he believes, will inspire a new generation of stars given what she has managed to accomplish at the 49th staging of the Games founded in 1972 by Sealy, who was on hand to present the award to her in front of an appreciative crowd.

“Yes, this will certainly happen but I must say our people naturally gravitate to athletics and despite all the struggles we may face as a growing territory, we have never had a numbers problem in athletics,” Augustine said.

“Support from the BVI Olympic Committee, World Athletics, our government, our fan base and with sponsors such as Puma onboard, we have been able to annually attract scores of athletes into our club system.

 “The level of performance that Adaejah exhibited at the Carifta Games is a reality that our people have become accustomed to over the years.  Adaejah has been performing at the top of her age group for years.  She’s remained world ranked as a junior and she has continued to dominate at the US high school level.  Adaejah was originally scheduled to make her Carifta debut at the 2020 Carifta Games and then the 2021 Carifta Games but for obvious reasons, those intentions had to be put aside.  As it relates to our young ones, they are certainly inspired by Adaejah. It’s been this way for years and perhaps more so now.” 

Augustine is confident that in the years to come, what unfolded in Kingston in mid-April will be more the norm than the exception.

“As it relates to other talents, the truth is there is only a handful of athletes on this year’s team that won’t be back next year and as it relates to those in the pipeline, we have a handful of gifted athletes that I know will represent the BVI well and will prove that they are indeed the next Adaejah Hodge, Kyron McMaster, Chantel Malone, Eldred Henry and Tahesia Harrigan-Scott.  

“The storybook on BVI Athletics is far from finished.”

 

 

 

Adaejah Hodge of the British Virgin Islands secured her status as the standout athlete of the meet with 200m gold as the 49th Carifta Games came to an end at the National Stadium in Kingston on Monday.

Hodge ran 23.43 to win the U-17 Girls 200m ahead of Jamaica’s Sabrina Dockery (24.25) and Theianna-Lee Terrelonge (24.64) and add to her gold medals in the 100m and long jump.

Jamaica’s Rickoy Hunter took gold in the U-17 Boys section with 22.13 ahead of St. Vincent’s Keo Davis (22.19) and Jamaica’s 400m champion Marcinho Rose (22.26).

Jamaica’s Brianna Lyston took gold in the Girls U-20 in 23.16 ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Shaniqua Bascombe (24.18) and Jamaica’s Kaylia Kelly (24.33).

Jamaica’s Bryan Levell completed the sprint double with 21.18 to win the U-20 Boys ahead of teammate Sandrey Davison (21.35) and Grenada’s Nazzio John (21.70).

Bryana Davidson then won gold for the hosts in the U-17 Girls 100m hurdles in 13.50 ahead of USVI’s Michelle Smith (14.31) and Jamaica’s Jody-Ann Daley (14.45).

The top two spots in the Boys U-17 110m hurdles went to Jamaica’s Shaquane Gordon (13.69) and Jadan Campbell (13.91) while St. Kitts & Nevis’ Jermahd Huggins was third in 15.21.

Jamaica once again found themselves with the top two spots on the podium in the Girls U-20 race as Alexis James ran 13.32 for gold ahead of teammate Oneka Wilson (13.67) and Barbados’ Nya Browne (14.63).

Curacao’s Matthew Sophia held his composure to triumph in the Boys U-20 110m hurdles in 13.74 ahead of Jamaica’s Demario Prince (13.88) and the Bahamas’ Antoine Andrews (13.91).

Moving into the 800m, USVI’s Michelle Smith incredibly recovered from her 100m hurdles silver medal a few minutes earlier to win the U-17 Girls section in 2:10.78 ahead of Jamaica’s Andrene Peart (2:13.07) and Guyana’s Attoya Harvey (2:14.08).

Jamaica won the U-20 Girls event through Jody-Ann Mitchell with 2:09.73. Barbados’ Layla Haynes ran 2:10.58 for second while Guyana’s Adriel Austin was third in 2:13.62.

The Boys U-17 event was won by Jamaica’s Ainsley Brown in 1:58.08 ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Keeran Sriskandarajah (1:58.45) and Jamaica’s Rasheed Pryce (1:58.51).

Jamaica’s J’Voughnn Blake added to his 1500m gold medal from Saturday with a 1:49.89 effort to win the U-20 Boys section ahead of Trinidad & Tobago’s Nathan Cumberbatch (1:51.86) and Jamaica’s Adrian Nethersole (1:51.96).

The Bahamas’ Mitchell Curtis won the U-20 Boys 5000m in 16:07.57 ahead of Jamaica’s Nicholas Power (16:08.93) and Trinidad and Tobago’s Tafari Waldron (16:35.73).

The Jamaican team of Sabrina Dockery, Quana Walker, Deandra Harris and Abigail Campbell were dominant to win the U-17 Girls 4x400m relay in 3:43.59 ahead of Bermuda (4:03.23) and the Bahamas (4:04.11).

Zachary Wallace, Ainsley Brown, Princewell Martin and Marcinho Rose combined to win the Boys U-17 section in 3:17.85 ahead of Trinidad & Tobago (3:18.89) and the Bahamas (3:21.35).

Sahfia Hinds, Onieka McAnuff, Shackelia Green and Rushana Dwyer combined to give the hosts their third 4x400m relay gold medal in the U-20 Girls section in 3:36.81 ahead of the British Virgin Islands (3:45.67) and Bermuda (3:48.69).

Shemar Palmer, Roshawn Clarke, Bryan Levell and Delano Kennedy combined to run 3:08.94 to secure gold for Jamaica in the U-20 Boys section ahead of Trinidad and Tobago (3:09.67) and Barbados (3:10.71).

In the field, Jamaica’s Kobe Lawrence threw an impressive new record 20.02m to win the U-20 Boys shot put ahead of teammate Christopher Young (19.12m) and Barbados’ Kevon Hinds (16.18m).

Jamaica’s Dionjah Shaw was also in record-breaking form in the U-17 Girls discus with a winning throw of 45.32m to better Paul Ann Gayle’s 2012 record of 43.99m.

Her Jamaican teammate Rehanna Biggs was second with 42.41m and Trinidad & Tobago’s Adriana Quamina was third with 35.23m.

Jamaica’s Jaydon Hibbert produced a wind-aided 17.05m to take gold in the Boys U-20 triple jump ahead of Barbados’ Aren Spencer (15.80m) and Jamaica’s Royan Walters (15.59m).

Sabrina Atkinson of Jamaica took gold in the U-17 Girls triple jump with 12.00m ahead of French Guiana’s Leane Alfred (11.77m) and the Bahamas’ Zoe Adderley (11.45m).

Jamaica finished at the top of the medal table with 92 medals including 45 gold, 29 silver and 18 bronze. The top five was rounded out by the Bahamas (four gold, six silver, seven bronze), the British Virgin Islands (four gold, two silver, one bronze), Trinidad & Tobago (two gold, 10 silver, 11 bronze) and Guyana (two gold, three silver, two bronze).

  

 

 

 

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