Cayman track athletes off to international events

The Cayman Islands Athletic Association has a very busy month ahead. This past week alone three separate teams left for different events – Island Games, 20th Central America and Caribbean (CAC) Track and Field Championships s and World Youth Championships – and toward the end there is the Pan Am Juniors, followed by the World Athletic Championships in August.

The first set of athletes – Michael Letterlough, Carlos and Carl Morgan, Opal Bodden and Jena Gaio – departed on last Tuesday for the Island Games in Shetland. Two days later (Thursday) Stephon Johnson, Robert Ibeh, Ronald Forbes, Omar Wright, Kesrick Wright and Cydonie Mothersill were heading for the CAC Track and Field Championships in Nassau, Bahamas.

The team comprising Kemar Hyman, Maxwell Hyman, Tyrell Cuffy and Richard Ibeh left this past on Friday for the World Youth Championship in Morocco.

Kareem Streete-Thompson will attend the CAC Track and Field Championships as the team mentor and not as an athlete because of an injury which may keep him benched until the Commonwealth Games in 2006.

CIAA president Delroy Murray said he was pleased with the athletes’ training: ‘It is impressive how these youngsters have gone about their business over the last year. They have not let anything get in their way. Despite the hardships they have performed well.’

‘Each of these athletes has made the qualifying standards for their events, and while it is a costly venture, we felt we had to send them to one of the three events,’ he said.

‘We expect a great performance from Cydonie at the CAC and World Athletic Championships,’ he added.

The athletes headed for the CAC Track and Field Championships, by all accounts, are the ones the association has identified as the names to look for in future Olympics.

‘The road to Beijing starts in the Bahamas. The athletes going to the CAC are the ones we have identified as having the talent to make it to the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. That is not to say that those athletes going to the Island Games and World Youth Championships are without the talent, but they are still young,’ he said.

National athletic coach Kenrick Williams said he was also pleased with the athletes’ training.

‘I am encouraged with what happened at CARIFTA when we brought home four medals including two gold. Plus, Forbes, Omar Wright and Johnson have all set new national records this year. I am hoping that Stephon and Ronald will step up at the CAC Championships in a big way to make the qualifying standard for the World Championships,’ Williams said.

Johnson, now in his senior year at Lindenwood University in Missouri said it was his goal to qualify for the World Champs.

‘I have set personal bests in the 100m (10.49) and 200m (20.92), and I believe that I can achieve either 20.58 (the A standard) or 20.80 (the B standard). My wife, Melia, and Kareem, who is my mentor, will be at the CAC Championships. I feel I have the support to run fast mentally and physically,’ Johnson said.

Island Games

Letterlough – hammer throw and discus

Carlos – 100m, 200m, javelin and long jump

Carlo 100m, 200m and javelin and long jump

Opal Bodden – triple jump

Jena Gaio – long jump, 100m, and 200m

CAC Track and Field Championships

Stephon Johnson – 100m, 200m and 4 x 1 relay

Robert Ibeh – 200m and 4 x1

Kesrick Wright – 100 and 4×1

Ronald Forbes – 110m hurdles, 400m hurdles and 4 x 1

Omar Wright – high jump

Cydonie Mothersill – 200m

World Youth Championships

Kemar Hyman 100m and 200m and medley relay

Tyrell Cuffy – 100m and 200m and medley relay

Maxwell Hyman – medley relay

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