Although they are bringing a team of 50 to the 48th annual CARIFTA Games, the Bahamians are focussing on quality, not quantity, and are confident they will be a force to reckon with on the track and field at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex this Easter weekend, April 20-22.
The immediate past CARIFTA hosts finished in second place in 2018 with 35 medals, including six gold, 14 silver and 15 bronze, behind Jamaica’s 82 – 44 gold, 27 silver, 11 bronze.
“We are expecting great results this year and we’re ready to give Jamaica a run for their money,” said Kermit Taylor of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations. “I think this is the first time in many, many years that the Federation has over 50 outright qualifiers. Over the years we have struggled with small numbers of qualifiers and then had to take the best other performances to make up a good team.”
Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo is arguably Bahamas’ best female sprinter. The World Championships 200m bronze medallist and 400m silver medal winner from Beijing 2016, has also won several medals at the junior level.
This year, two of Miller-Uibo’s siblings, Shaun and Shaunece, will compete at the Games. Shaun, who is the U17 high jump champion from CARIFTA 2017, will step up in class while Shaunece will be hoping to clear higher heights in the U17 girls’ high jump event.
Megan Moss and Jaida Knowles, however, are considered the top female athletes. Moss will run in the U20 girls’ 400m, and, according to Taylor, will be a threat to the entire region at CARIFTA. Knowles will compete in the U20 girls’ 100 and 200m.
“This year is quality opposed to quantity,” said Taylor. “These are kids who work hard, and you can see they set up their game. In the past, we struggled with U20 girls; this year we will not face that scenario.”
CARIFTA tickets for the Mackie Seymour Stand are available for purchase at Funky Tang’s and all Reflections locations and also on www.caymancarifta2019.ky.