Five gold medals, one silver and two bronze, were on the cards for the Trinidad and Tobago swim team on the opening night of the 2015 Carifta Championships at the Barbados Aquatic Centre Friday night. The effort in the pool was boosted in the Boys’ 15-17 4x100m relay, where the T&T team won gold, clocking three minutes, 36.50 seconds. Currently, the national team stands at third on the overall standings after the first day of competition.
Jeron Thompson, Kael Yorke, Racine Ross and Tyla Martin were the other swimmers who got to the wall first in their individual events.
Thompson won the Boys 13-14 50m backstroke, clocking 28.47 seconds. Yorke got home first in the 100m butterfly in 58.17. Racine Ross (13-14) and Tyla Martin (15-17) both won the 100m butterfly Girls events, clocking 1:04.78 and 1:04.82 respectively. Meanwhile, the 15-17 boys were able to clock 3:36.50 on the way to victory in the Boys 4x100m relay.
Other athletes to cop precious metal included Aquel Joseph, who came second in the Boys 11-12 100m butterfly, clocking 1:05.82. Jahmia Harley placed third in the Girls 11-12 100m butterfly in 1:10.53, and Emil Goin with 57.23, won bronze in the same event in the Boys 15-17 division.
Graham Chatoor may not have medalled last night, but he did have a reason to be satisfied, shaving 33 seconds off his personal best when he clocked 17:36.31, finishing fifth in the Boys 13-14 1500m freestyle.
The four-day competition features junior swimmers from across the region and is but a small portion of the overall action. The event also includes the already completed water polo and synchronized swimming events from March 27-29, while the open water event will conclude the championships on April 8.

Team standings:
1.Bahamas 209.
2.Barbados 149.50.
3.Trinidad and Tobago 128.
4.Guadeloupe 117.
5.Jamaica 112.
6.Suriname 73.
7.Aruba 72.
8.Cayman Islands 64.
9.Bermuda 61.
10.Martinique 57.


Silver for St Clair, Briggs, James

Isaiah Taylor produced Trinidad and Tobago’s first golden moment at the 44th Carifta Games, here in Basseterre, St Kitts, yesterday.

Taylor topped the Boys Under-18 shot put field with a Games record throw of 17.56 metres. Jamaicans Kevin Nedrick (17.44m) and Kyle Mitchell (17.03m) earned silver and bronze, respectively.

Jacob St Clair produced a spectacular run to strike silver in the Boys Under-18 400 metres final.

St Clair made a strong challenge for the title, the T&T quartermiler battling hard in the final stages of the race. He closed in on the leader, Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor, but eventually ran out of track. St Clair had the satisfaction, though, of clocking a personal best 46.73 seconds. Taylor got gold in 46.64, while bronze went to another Jamaican, Devaughn Ellington (47.43).

Asha James claimed silver for T&T in the Girls Under-18 javelin with a 45.12m throw. Gold went to Barbadian Hayley Matthews (47.37m), while bronze was bagged by Dominica’s Shanee Angol (43.55m). Another T&T thrower, Akidah Briggs (40.35m) was sixth.

Briggs put T&T on the medal table during yesterday’s morning session.

The Toco field athlete threw the iron ball 15.09m to seize silver in the Girls Under-18 shot put. Briggs was in pole position for much of the competition, taking the lead in round one with a 14.43m effort. She followed up with her 15.09 personal best in round two, and kept the lead up to the end of the fourth round.

In round five, however, Jamaica’s Sahjah Stevens produced a monster throw, 16.31m, establishing a new Carifta Games record and snatching gold from Briggs in the process. In an effort to land the big one, Briggs fouled her last three attempts. Bahamian Laquell Harris earned bronze with a 14.54m effort.

At the end of the competition, Briggs spoke to the Sunday Express.

“The feeling is very good. I expected more than this, but unfortunately I came out with the silver medal…not what I wanted, but I’m extremely satisfied. The goal was over 16 metres. Unfortunately I fell short, but I’m happy that I got the silver medal and I’m also happy that I got over 15 metres.”

Renee Stoddard finished sixth in the Girls Under-18 400m final, the T&T quartermiler clocking 55.95 seconds.

Meanwhile, both Tauren George and Aaron Lewis are through to today’s Boys Under-20 400m hurdles final.

George was an automatic qualifier, clocking 55.09 seconds to secure third spot in the opening heat. Lewis, though, advanced as a “fastest loser” after finishing fifth in heat two in 55.15.

Lewis went out hard and looked a contender for one of the automatic qualifying berths, but faded coming home.

Ashton Gill returned a time of four minutes, 08.10 seconds to finish seventh in the Boys Under-20 1500m. His T&T teammate, Iley Bruce was eighth in 4:14.30.

In the Girls Under-18 long jump, Safiya John (5.24m) and Chevelle McPherson (4.85m) were sixth and 14th, respectively.

Omari Benoit finished seventh in the Boys Under-20 high jump. The T&T jumper’s best clearance in the competition was 2.00m. In the Boys Under-20 discus, Kenejah Williams threw 44.36m to secure seventh spot. In the Boys Under-18 high jump, Franklyn Stanislaus cleared the bar at 1.80m to finish 11th.

And late on Friday, Alisha St Louis finished sixth in the Girls Under-18 triple jump. The T&T athlete produced a wind-assisted 11.56m effort. Her only wind-legal jump in the competition was 11.38m.

After press time, last night, T&T’s Kayelle Clarke challenged for the Girls Under-20 100m title. The New Mexico Junior College freshman won heat one in 11.64 seconds to advance to the final as the second fastest qualifier.

The other T&T sprinter in the event, Kadesha Prescott was 11th overall in 12.33, and did not qualify for the championship race.

Akanni Hislop was among the starters in the Boys Under-18 100m final. He was third in his heat in 10.68 and progressed as a “fastest loser”. Hislop’s T&T teammate, Tyrel Edwards was disqualified for a false start in heat two.

Xavier Mulugata qualified for the Boys Under-20 100m final when he finished third in heat two in a wind-assisted 10.57. He advanced via the “fastest loser” route. Francis Louis clocked a windy 10.58 in heat three, and just missed out on a lane in the final.

And in the Girls Under-18 100m, Deleth Charles and Akeera Esdelle were eliminated. Thirteen-year-old Charles finished 15th overall in 12.33 seconds, while Esdelle was 16th in a wind-aided 12.42.

Jeminise Parris will make her Carifta Games under-20 debut in St Kitts and Nevis on the weekend.

The Trinidad and Tobago athlete is a former champion at the regional junior meet, having captured the girls’ under-17 300 metres hurdles title in 2013. At the 2015 edition, she will bid for honours in the girls’ under-20 100m hurdles.

Parris warmed up for the Games with a wind-assisted 14.34 seconds clocking at the trials, earlier this month. The 18-year-old hurdler told the Express that while she was not satisfied with the run, she is anticipating a successful Carifta campaign.

“I’m expecting in the heats to make 13.4 (seconds). And I’m expecting to medal. This is my first time under-20, so I’m just going there to represent and to execute what I learnt in training.

“I’m a little sore from therapy,” Parris explained. “Just strengthening up my hamstrings so they would get stronger and powerful. But I’m getting there, and just going there (Carifta Games) to perform.”

At the 2014 Youth (under-18) Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, last August, Parris finished fifth in the 100m hurdles final in 13.76 seconds. As a result of her participation at that meet, she is not attempting the hurdles double at Carifta 2015.

“China finished late last year, and I missed out a lot of off-season training, so I’m not as ready for the 400 hurdles as I am in the 100 hurdles. Hundred hurdles is just sprinting, but I need sprinting plus endurance for 400 hurdles, so I’m just focusing on one event for now.”

The St Francois Girls’ College student has set herself goals on and off the track for 2015.

“Finishing CXC and getting all my passes, and to be injury-free for this year. And every meet I attend I would like to get PBs (personal bests) all the time,” Parris ended, “and to also have Trinidad and Tobago at the highest.”

Portious Warren signalled a warning to her regional rivals with a solid series of throws at the Carifta trials, earlier this month.

Warren landed the iron ball 14.29 metres to secure a comfortable victory in the girls’ under-20 shot put. Her best effort on the day was short of the 14.47m throw she had produced to win the 2014 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Junior Championship title, in Mexico. But Warren could take pride in bettering 14 metres four times at the trials.

“No, I’m not satisfied. My goal was to break the 15-metre barrier. I didn’t walk away with that goal but it was my first meet for the season so I’m thankful. Going into the throws I was taking it very calm. I wasn’t putting much effort into it because I just want to peak at the right time.”

Warren is confident of throwing 15-plus at the 2015 Carifta Games in St Kitts and Nevis, on the weekend.

“Based on my preparations, definitely. I’ve been training Monday to Friday, no rest, just thinking about it, breathing everything about Carifta Games, just hoping to get up on that podium and hopefully getting the record.”

To replace Martinique’s Claudia Villeneuve as the Carifta Games girls’ under-20 shot put record holder, Warren would have to better 15.75m. The record, though, is the secondary goal.

“My coach always tells me you walk into the event with the gold medal. What you do during competition determines if you walk away with that gold medal. Hopefully I’m prepared, do everything, go through all my phases, and yes, definitely that gold medal is mine.”

Warren is also looking forward to the July 31 to August 2 Pan Am Junior Championships, in Edmonton, Canada.

“Firstly, I’m focusing on my short-term goal, but Pan Ams is definitely my long-term goal. I want to get over 16 (metres) by Pan Ams, so now I’m just putting in all the preparations necessary. Hopefully, I’ll use Penn Relays as a prep for that.”

RAYMOND TIM KEE, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), says that the local governing body is not ignoring the national women’s football team, but they are stretching their financial resources to deal with various national teams (both men and women), in all age groups.

Tim Kee made this disclosure in a telephone interview yesterday, a couple days after national women’s team captain Maylee Attin-Johnson took to social network site Facebook to highlight the perceived neglect towards the squad, dubbed the “Women Soca Warriors”, by the TTFA, since their failure to qualify for the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada.

Trinidad and Tobago lost a home-and-away playoff to Ecuador 1-0 (after the first leg in Ecuador in November and the return leg at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo on December 2) for the 24th and final World Cup spot.

The TTFA boss said, “right now, we are preparing a document for release, because we also have other women’s teams, like the Under-17s who are preparing for a (CONCACAF) tournament in a few weeks.

“It’s ten national teams we have,” Tim Kee continued. “And because of our limited resources, we have to be distributing the monies in the best possible way. The only (other) option we have that could present a different picture is if we pull out about five different age-group teams from activities. And we don’t want to do that because, in the development process, we’ll need the younger ones coming up.”

He emphasised, “we have not ignored the senior team. We’re bringing Randy (Waldrum, the American-born women’s coach) and all those things are very costly. I know the Ministry of Sport has been doing some supporting but it’s not as easy as people may think because we have the men’s team to prepare too. “We still have a huge amount of debts that have been incurred in the last two years,” Tim Kee added. “So we have to be playing a balancing act. All I can say is that the administration wants to do the best they can.”

Tim Kee referred to the use of funds towards the TT Beach Soccer team, who are currently involved in the CONCACAF Championships in El Salvador, and the Futsal team, with screening sessions underway for potential national players.

About the women’s team itself, Tim Kee noted, “(we) have to do things in harmony with the coach and his technical staff. They would know where their plans are and they’ll come to us with their plans, in terms of training and preparation.

He added, “Randy sent me an e-mail on Friday making recommendations of how we should proceed with our fitness exercises and so on. What we are trying to do is put the training for three teams together — the women’s team, the men’s team and the (women’s) Under- 17s.

“We’re trying to get them under the same training regimen instead of having three different sets of people or facilitators.”


The TTSA National Dinghy Championships Series 1 were sailed in strong winds last weekend and featured 28 sailors from the Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Association (TTSA) Sailing School in Chaguaramas,

Vessigny Vikings Sailing Club and the HydroTec Point Fortin Sailing Club participated in three classes of boats.

Star of the show was Kelly-Ann Arrindell whose seven straight wins in the Laser Radial class left little doubt who will be this year’s Laser Radial Class Champion when the event concludes in June at either Vessigny or Point Fortin. With a catalogue of strong international results this year, Arrindell is up for a pick to represent TT at the Pan Am Games to be held in Canada in July this year. Second to Arrindell was Abigail Affoo and third by one point was Noel Furlonge-Walker, both showing improvement due to experience gained from attending

international events. The Laser 4.7 Class was won by Meiling Chan Chow with Kwame Gudel second and Isiah Paul of HydroTec Point Fortin Sailing Club in third. The Laser Standard class was won by Ian Mahon by one point from James Arrindell with Emmanuel Joseph of Vessigny third.

In the two-man 420 dinghy, victory went to Patrick Francois and Michael Stewart of Vessigny with Kathryn Christopher and Brittany Assam of TTSA second and Grace Moraine and Owen Joseph of Vessigny in third.

Thirteen participants took part in the 15 and under Optimist class. Proceedings started with an early tussle for dominance in the Opti class between TTSA’s Nathaniel Clarke and Christopher Dells of Vessigny but a more consistent second day performance by Clarke told in the end. Clarke won the class with Dells second and Akim Williams and Jamal Morson of Vessigny tied for third.