Despite the absence of a synthetic track to aid in their preparations, Barbados Head coach Ramon Armstrong believes his athletes are ready enough to give a good account of themselves at the 51st edition of the Carifta Games in Grenada.

In fact, Armstrong has exuded confidence that the 31-member team –one of the largest to be fielded by Barbados in recent years – could equal or even surpass last year’s performances in the Bahamas where they collected two gold, six silver and two bronze in their 10-medal haul.

The three-day Easter weekend spectacle is scheduled to begin on Saturday and end on Monday at the Kirani James Athletic Stadium, and Barbados is certainly aiming to make their presence felt in the ‘Spice Isle’.

 “All of the students and the management are very excited. This has been long in coming. The students worked hard this season having to run on grass, not having a proper surface to train on, so to be here is a big accomplishment and a big achievement for them and they are excited, and we are also excited for them,” Armstrong told the media ahead of the team’s departure on Tuesday.

“Goals and expectations are like all the other teams. Everybody is looking to go and perform their best and either repeat what they would have done or better it…and to get as many medals as they can.

“This is a fresh year, no pressure to anyone, but as I said we’re looking to improve on our performances and hopefully, once we focus on that and we produce well, then medals will come, but we’re not going to give a specific number,” he added.

Armstrong, delighted by the number of athletes on the team, expressed pleasure with the way in which track and field has bounced back since being hindered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I think this is really our rebirth after Covid. You know Covid would have put a stop to a lot of training, and we lost some athletes during that time, so we’re now on the rise again. We know it would have taken a while so we’re glad to see that the numbers are gradually increasing again,” he stated.

On that note, Armstrong explained that the early trip to Grenada was to assist in upping the tempo where readiness is concerned, as well as to get athletes acclimatized to the conditions.

“Pretty much we’ve just been doing recovery and that’s why we’re leaving early. We have them together and we’ll go down and we’ll get to train on the track, on the surface that they’re going to compete on to make sure that they’re prepared for what is to come,” Armstrong said.

He also pointed to the Under-20 athletes as the team’s strong point, especially given that they have another year in the class.

“We might have been weakened this year, but interestingly enough, those Under-20s really stepped up to the plate and is one of the largest groups this year and most of them have another year or two in Under-20, so it speaks well for the future,” Armstrong ended.

The Carifta Games will be live on SportsMax.

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