By Neto Baptiste
Carifta gold medallist in the Boys Under-17 100 meters, Dwayne Fleming, said that going into Saturday’s final, he knew that pushing to the very end was the only way he could bring home the gold for Antigua and Barbuda.
Fleming made the disclosure during a recent interview, where he said slowing down in the semifinal cost him the race and that he wasn’t about to make the same mistake twice.
“From the semifinals I was in first place and then I slowed down, so going into the finals I was saying to myself that I can’t slow down, I have to keep my drive phase long, I have to execute my race and so I just did that and I came away with the victory,” he said.
The Princess Margaret School (PMS) student said words are not enough to explain his elation with bringing home the long elusive gold for Antigua and Barbuda.
“I feel very elated because Antigua hadn’t won a gold medal in the sprint events since 2004 and to come and bring back the gold medal to Antigua, it feels very exciting,” Fleming said.
Fleming clocked 10.72 seconds to finish ahead of the field in the final. It is the first time since Daniel Bailey won gold in the 100 meters in 2004 that Antigua and Barbuda has won the marquee event in any division.
Meanwhile, triple jump bronze medallist, Alyssa Dyett, described the moment as “satisfying” following her leap of 12.04 meters to land on the podium
“I feel very satisfied because I knew I could go out there and get a medal for my country so I am very proud of myself, and to have the coach that I have. I was proud of myself for reaching that far and being able to be in the standings for a medal,” she said.
Jamaica-based Craig Pendergast won a third medal for Antigua and Barbuda at the games, claiming bronze in the boys’ under-20 400 meters hurdles event. The Calabar High School student clocked 55.08 to finish just behind of Bahamian Shamiar Bain (52.83) in second and Jamaica’s Roshawn Clarke who took gold in 50.68 seconds.
Also, Antigua and Barbuda’s Ethan Stubbs-Green won gold in the boys’ 13-14 age category of the 100 meters butterfly on Saturday’s day one of the Carifta Swimming Championships being held in Barbados. The athlete, 24-hours later, followed up his gold medal performance by winning bronze in the 200 meter freestyle.