Locals darting for Caribbean props

As the FIFA World Cup nears its
playoff stages, darts players are preparing for their own major tournament.

Cayman’s national darts team is in
the midst of training for the 2010 Caribbean Championships. The competition is
scheduled for 20-31 August in Abaco, Bahamas. The Cayman team is slated leave
the island on Thursday, 19 August.

Cayman takes part in the fifth
annual Americas Cup event (21-23 August) before tackling the 18th annual
Caribbean Cup (24-30 August). Faith Convention Centre in Marsh Harbour will be
the venue for the action and Abaco Towns by The Sea is the host hotel.

The Bahamas is hosting the
championship for the first time since 1989. Cayman’s competitors will be the
USA, Canada, Antigua, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, the British Virgin
Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Turks and
Caicos.

Bars on Grand Cayman have seen
about 18 people preparing for the tournament. Cayman’s nine male players are
Adrian Mannouch, Eddie Ballantyne, Cliff Weeks, Earl Smith, Paul Anglin,
Richard Campbell, Mel Tagalog, Edsell Haylock and Hank Ebanks (he might not
play after sustaining an injury to his arm).

Five women will represent Cayman in
Michelle Terry, Michelle Cullen, Miriam Rodriguez, Linda Locke and newcomer Tiffany
Laurie. There will also be a junior player in Arek Archibold. All will receive
guidance from team manager Arthur Ebanks, head coach Tony Archibold and
assistant coach Cassius Anglin.

Arthur Ebanks, who doubles as the
president of the Cayman Islands Darts Association, said he is confident about
Cayman’s chances at the tournament.

“Two years ago in Trinidad was one
of the best achievements Cayman has had in the sport of darts,” Ebanks said.
“We placed fourth out of 13 countries and produced a Caribbean champion in
Edsell. He wasn’t the first in our history as Frankie Coleman and Earl Smith
(who was also a champion in his native Bahamas) came before him. But we’re
happy we got another one.

“We have a fantastic team this time
and we’re looking for a better placement. I feel we can do better in Bahamas
than we did in Trinidad. Our guys are doing a lot of good things and though
we’re looking for tight competition we expect to be very impressive in the
tournament.”

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