Three junior athletes from the British Virgin Islands have qualified for the 2020 Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) Games which are scheduled to take place in Bermuda in April.
These local qualifiers include the reigning CARIFTA Under-17 Boy’s 200-meter champion Jaleel Croal as well as discus throwers Palesa Ceasar and Kijana Callwood.
Croal, who will now be competing in the under-20 boy’s category at CARIFTA, qualified for the 100-metre event with a time of 10.62 seconds. He clocked that time while competing at a recent staging of the BVI Athletics Association’s (BVIAA) Dag Samuels Development Meet.
Ceasar, in the meantime, broke the national under-18 girls discus record with a throw of 39.90 metres at the aforementioned meet. Representing the Ambassadors Throwing Club, she bettered the previous record of 37.27 metres set by Tynelle Gumbs back in March 2013.
Her teammate, Callwood, won the under-15 girl’s discus throw event with a distance of 33.91 metres.
Notably, the CARIFTA Games does not set qualifying standards for countries to participate in the games. The BVIAA sets its national qualifying standards so local athletes who compete in international events can do well.
More athletes expected to qualify
President of the BVIAA Steve Augustine told BVI News that he anticipates more athletes qualifying for the pivotal regional event at the upcoming local meets.
“Recognizing that it is still very early in the track season we expect that many others will make the standards as competition heats up. The CARIFTA Games has continued to prove itself as an essential regional stepping stone for athletes seeking to compete collegiately, internationally and professionally,” Augustine stated.
“Traditionally we have done extremely well in field events and within recent years we have taken a strong stake in the sprinting events,” he added.
Next track event anticipates regional competitors
The next local event – the Fourth Series of the Dag Samuels Development Meet – is set for Saturday, February 1, at the AO Shirley Recreation Grounds.
President Augustine has said he believes that with the anticipated regional competition travelling into the territory to compete, more local athletes will show up to put their best performance on display.
He said: “Teams such as Antigua and the USVI have expressed great interest in competing as they also seek to secure qualifiers for CARIFTA. With this heightened level of competition, as an executive body, we expect that our athlete numbers will increase substantially.”
“We continue to invite the general public to come on out to the track meets and support the athletes in their pursuit of becoming the next BVI star athlete,” Augustine added.