Cayman’s youngsters may have only
got one medal – a gold – at the CARIFTA Games over the weekend, but the squad
of 27 gained immeasurably from the experience.
Chantelle Morrison was Cayman’s
lone medallist, in the Under-17 girls 100 metres. She might have done the
double but a hamstring strain ruled her out of the 200m.
Despite the lack of medals, track
coach Kenrick Williams was nevertheless pleased with the overall performance of
his inexperienced squad.
“One gold medal was extremely good
for us, it’s a positive for our athletes,” Williams said. “Our two U-17
throwers, Jonathan Frederick and Ronaldo Kelly-Vernon, did personal bests. At
one time Ronaldo was in third position.
“After the gold medal on the first
day all the athletes came back and started to perform their best.
“Now we see what we need to do as a
nation. This has been a big boost and I hope the appropriate authorities who
were here will look and see that definitely this is what we need.
“It is something positive for our
young athletes. Track and field is a sport that you can take right through at
competitive level to 60.
“It even gives you an opportunity
to get an education and travel anywhere you want to go.”
All eyes were on Kirani James, the
brilliant 200m and 400m sprinter who is being touted as the new Usain Bolt.
Williams marvelled at the 17-year-old
Grenadian’s brilliance in doing the double. “I just love his style, the way he
runs those events. Definitely, he’s going to be great.
“As for Cayman’s athletes,
Chantelle Morrison is far ahead. One coach commented to me that she’s ready for
the next level which is college and then the Olympics.
“The next person we are looking at
is Joseph Suberan who ran a 200m in a personal best of 21.45 seconds and a
10.80secs 100m. I know this year he can run faster.
“He has also qualified for the 200m
at the World Juniors. That augers well for us. He is one of those athletes I am
trying to push to get him into a college so that he has four years of hard,
intense training which he can bring back to the Cayman Islands and represent us
at the London Olympics 2012.
“Chantelle is the main focus of the
US scouts interest but they’ve shown an interest in some of the others. I have
about 10 applications in my bag.
“One of the things that give us the
edge is the great education system here and the level of discipline that our
athletes take to universities.
“For example, at Florida
International University, Michael Letterlough was the captain, Ronald Forbes
went there and the coach would love to get another Caymanian at that university.”