Adverse weather threatens Games
HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC):
The 41st Carifta Games opened in a blaze of colour at the National Sports Centre in blustery conditions on Friday night, as more than 500 athletes geared up for the region's premier annual junior athletics showpiece.
Adverse weather conditions are expected to be a factor early in the three-day event as low pressure intensified to the west through yesterday morning, bringing rain, showers, thunderstorms and gale force gusts.
Forecasters say more tranquil weather was expected later yesterday through today. Highest temperature for the Games is expected to be 21Celsius tomorrow.
Hundreds of people witnessed the opening ceremony, while around 4,000 spectators are expected to pack the stands each day for the three days of competition.
Bermuda's medal chances suffered a blow on the eve of the Games when top sprinter Jeneko Place was forced to withdraw from the 55-strong home because of a nagging hamstring injury.
"We had to withdraw Jeneko from the event due to the fact his injury was preventing him from performing to the level which he needs to perform at," coach Brian Wellman said.
"Obviously, he will be greatly missed, but we have other talented athletes who are ready to go."
Place, who won two silver medals at last year's Games staged in Jamaica, was due to compete in the Under-20 boys' 100 metres.
Bermuda is staging the Games, which have been held since 1972, for the fourth time.
When Bermuda last staged the event in 2004, current world-record holder Usain Bolt of Jamaica became the first junior athlete to break 20 seconds in the 200 metres, winning in a time of 19.3 seconds.