Friday February 24, 2017, is one of the most eagerly anticipated days in the Hindu religious calendar.
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Carifta athletes impress at 13th Falcon Games
Several of T&T’s Carifta Games hopefuls rounded into form ahead of next week’s Carifta Games in Martinique with personal best performances.
Reigning two-time Carifta gold medallist Chelsea James (Tobago Falcons) signalled she is ready for the region’s premier meet for young athletes with a personal best throw in the girls under-18 shot put and discus events.
On the first day of the 13th annual THA/Blink B Mobile Falcon Games at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Saturday, James improved her mark in the shot to 15.38 metres. Her previous best of 15.19 was recorded in a gold medal performance at the Secondary Schools Championships on March 18.
James, 16, returned to attain a new standard in the discus with a distance of 41.61 metres eclipsing the 40.24 achieved in winning the Tobago Schools title on February 12.
The Signal Hill Secondary School fifth former won the girls under-17 shot put titles at the 2012 and 2013 Carifta Games improving the record on each occasion and will be going for more gold in Maritnique.
Akidah Briggs (Toco Titans) produced her best mark ever in the girls under-18 javelin, winning with 38.86, (5cm) better than her previous best achieved at the Carifta trials on March 16.
Asha James (Zenith) took the runner up spot (35.61m). Briggs won bronze in the Carifta girls under-17 event in 2011 and silver in 2012. Both are TTO’s representatives in the event in Martinique. Briggs was also second on James in the shot put (14.18).
Tyriq Horsford (Zenith) improved his mark in the boys under-18 javelin with a third round effort of 62.21 to take the top spot. Horsford’ four legal efforts (56.63, 59.29, 62.21 and 57.40) were better than his club-mate Vondel Joseph who was second with 54.47.
Defending boys under-20 5000 metres champion Akeem Marshall (Toco Titans) lowered his pb to 15:52.67 when he finished second in the men’s run which took the field 12 and half times over the 400 metres track. Matthew Hagley (TTDF) took the top spot (15:48.65).
Akanni Hislop (Zenith) sped a new personal record in the boys under -18 100 metres sprint getting to the line in 10.76 (+0.1) with Carifta team-mate Joash Huggins (Dovers) in second (11.09).
In the heats Hislop was even quicker stopping the clock at 10.73(+2.8). World Junior and Youth semifinalist Reubin Walters equalled his pb in winning the boys under -20 110m hurdles.
The Memphis Pioneers cleared the ten barriers in 13.66 metres to match the mark he established in winning bronze at last year’s Carifta Games in the Bahamas. Aaron Lewis (Zenith) was second, also in a pb of 14.01. Walters and Lewis will represent TTO in boys under-20 110m and 400 hurdles in Martinique.
Another Memphis athlete Jeminise Parris took the girls under-18 100m hurdles in 13.88 seconds to match the personal best clocking she did at the Carifta trials on March 15.
On the first day the St Francois Girls College student secured the 400m hurdles and will seeking a similar double in Martinique.
Akoya Cummings (Neon Trackers) produced a strong finish to take the women’s 400m in a pb of 55.86 passing the American duo of Najah Floyd (56.00) and Chana Powel-Vinson (56.17) in the last 80m.
Defending Carifta boys under 20 400m Machel Cedenio (Simplex) skipped the meet while boys under 20 javelin hopeful Shaquille Waithe (Rebirth) is currently training in Cuba with Olympic men’s javelin champion Keshorn Walcott.
Fourteen-year-old sprint wonder Adell Colthrust (Southern Athletics) did not compete in an individual event.
Trinidad and Tobago will be represented by 68 athletes at this year's Carifta Games. The team will have its final meeting on Tuesday April 15 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium from 8am before heading out to Martinique on Thursday April 17.
The Carifta Games begin on Friday April 18 with the Opening Ceremony to be followed by three days of action from Saturday April 19 to Monday April 21.
The national contingent will be seeking to improve on its 20 medal haul at the 2013 edition in the Bahamas and better the record 40 medals won at the 2010 Carifta Games in the Cayman Islands.