Fri | Dec 14, 2018

We'll dominate again - Jamaicans expecting another strong Carifta Games performance

Published:Saturday | March 31, 2018 | 12:00 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer

Following several record-breaking performances at the recent ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships, the country's young athletes will be gunning for more history as they will be in action over the next three days, at the 47th staging of the Carifta Games at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas, starting at 8 a.m.

The team, which consists of 76 athletes, will be hoping to surpass last year's medal haul of 86 medals (39 gold, 28 silver, and 19 bronze). This will have to happen without a few big names after the Jamaicans were forced to make a few adjustments due to injury concerns, with Edwin Allen's outstanding sprinter Kevona Davis and Calabar's Anthony Carpenter, who travelled with the team, both not featuring.

Carpenter was withdrawn late, following a training session on Thursday, where it was discovered that he had a groin issue. The coaching staff has assigned World Under - 18 champion and Champs gold medal winner Antonio Watson to the Under-20 400m event as Carpenter's replacement.

Despite missing two of the country's most gifted youngsters, head coach Machel Woolery is still upbeat about the team's expected performance.

"The team is in high spirits, and despite two of our top athletes being out of the team, we expect some great performances as the athletes are in good form coming off a great high school championships," said Woolery in an interview with The Gleaner yesterday.

Edwin Allen High's Peter Gaye McKenzie, who won the heptathlon at Champs, will be the first Jamaican in action today when she competes in the multiple-discipline event, starting at 8:00 a.m.

Overall 35 Jamaicans - 17 males and 18 females, will be in action today, with 21 finals set to be contested, including nine in the field and 12 on the track.

The morning session will see three finals, the Under-17 boys high jump, along with Under-17 boys Javelin and the Shot Put Under-17 girls.

The preliminary round of the 100 and 400 metres will get under way this morning, with the finals set for later in the evening. All the 1500 metres will be run off as straight finals later today, with the girls Under-17 event at 4:10 p.m. being the first track event final on the day.