Elated NACAC medallists said confidence fuelled their drive at annual youth championships

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(Left to right) Kasiya Daley, Dwayne Fleming, LaNica Locker and Maliek Francis display their medals following successful NACAC championships
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By Neto Baptiste

Antigua and Barbuda’s medallists coming out of the just concluded NACAC meet have all expressed satisfaction with their performances at the under-18 and under-23 championships held in Costa Rica.

Chief among them is double gold medalist Kasiya Daley in the boys’ under-18 category, who won gold in both the 100 and 200 meters with times of 10.56 seconds in the 100 and 21.40 in the 200 meters.

The Princess Margaret School (PMS) student said victory was always the goal.

“Challenging for medals in both races was definitely one of the goals, but to also get two gold medals and a PB is very exciting. It shows that I am improving, so that’s always a good sign,” he said.

Also in a celebratory mood is 15-year-old javelin thrower, Maliek Francis, who registered a distance of 56.80 meters to win gold in the under-18 category. The Antigua Grammar School student said he knew he was better than the competition.

“I knew my PB was 61.33 meters and on the official list they had put 50.80 I think and the other guy was 50.-something so I was thinking because of by 61.33 that I was better than him,” the athlete said. 

Meanwhile, girls’ under-18 competitor who won silver in the 200 meters and bronze in the 100 meters, LaNica Locker from the Ottos Comprehensive School, seemingly had a killer instinct heading into the meet.

“I came down to Costa Rica to medal and not to come fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth. So I focused, I executed my race, I listened to my coaches and I went out and did my best and I medalled. I wasn’t really nervous; I just knew I had to go out and show the people what I am about,” she said. 

Rounding off the country’s medal count is sprinter Dwayne Fleming who bagged bronze in the 100 meters with a time of 10.69 seconds.

The PMS student said his first aim was getting into the final.

“The mindset going to Costa Rica was just to execute, make the finals and whatever happens in the finals happens in the finals, and I came away with the bronze and a personal best,” he said. 

The six-medal haul is the most for Antigua and Barbuda since the NACAC Championships started in 2019.

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