By Neto Baptiste
The country’s assistant coach for this year’s Carifta Games, Kesswin Anthony, believes that for the first time since 2004 when national sprinter Daniel Bailey won gold in the 100 meters, Antigua and Barbuda could dominate the sprint events with this year’s crop.
The former athlete made the statement during an interview on the Good Morning Jojo sports show, expressing confidence in the likes of Ajani Daley, the son of former national athletes Heather and Teddy Daley, and Osei Gardener and others.
“Antigua has not won the sprint events in a while, and although we have won medals in the sprint event from Joella Lloyd, we haven’t won a gold medal in a sprint event since 2004 and that last person was Daniel Bailey. This crop of athletes that we have in Ajani Daley, Osei Gardener, Geolyna Dowdy, Dwayne Flemming, and just about anyone in the 100 meters can bring away the gold medal, so we are looking forward to that to see how competitive we can be,” he said.
The team consists of lone outright qualifier, Alyssa Dyett, who will compete in the under-20 girls’ triple jump. Dyett, in February, leaped a distance of 12.12 meters to eclipse the qualifying mark of 12:10 meters set by the association.
Daley, whose 10.55 seconds in the 100 meters during the association’s Carifta trials over the weekend qualified him for World Juniors, was also selected.
Anthony is hoping the athletes will also gain critical experience from the highly competitive games.
“Carifta is just a different atmosphere, and I can tell this much that with the exception of the two that’s been there before, this will be something totally different for the others. It’s how well they can hold their nerves because the competitiveness of the Carifta Games is like a junior Olympics so I think that coming back from that a lot of them will take away a zest to want to do good going forward. Training harder come the off season to go out and put on their best performance than they did at this Carifta,” he said.
Full Carifta Squad: Geolyna Dowdy, Dwayne Flemming, Osei Gardener, Alyssa Dyett, Mia McIntosh, Ajani Daley and Craig Pendergrast.
The team will be coached by Heather Daley and managed by Jamille Nelson.