Guyana eye improved medal haul at CARIFTA
- Mental fortitude key to athletes’ success - Coach Edmonds
By Akeem Greene
Even before the first race, jump or throw commences at the 2019 CARIFTA Track and Field Championships, the Athletics Association of Guyana has created a bit of their own history by sending 21 athletes to the Cayman Islands, their largest contingent ever since the Games started in 1972.
With a larger team, some of who have seasoned experienced at CARIFTA, the general consensus is for more medals and possibly records at the April 20-22 showpiece.
Coach Julian Edmonds, who is the head man in training the athletes since last year, expressed optimism Guyanese can produce telling performances and win medals.
“The team is gelling well, a lot of the athletes did personal best in qualifying and some maintained their times, but the team is rearing to go. The expectation as always is high but let’s not forget this is CARIFTA, the junior Olympics of the Caribbean, and just like how we have preparing, other countries have been doing so”, Edmonds told News Room Sport prior to Wednesday’s departure.
Edmonds is joined by Raymond Daw on the coaching staff, and one of the areas they expect to make the difference between a podium finish and just a ‘good run’ will be how tough athletes are mentally.
“CARIFTA is very tough and we got to prepare them mentally. We are also walking with a physio to help them loosen and recover since most are doing multiple events, but certainly mental toughness will be a key factor”, Edmonds suggested.
The experienced coach highlighted Matthew Gordon, 14-year-old Adriel Austin, Princess Brown a former medallist, Daniel Williams and 15-year-old Anisha Gibsons currently national female javelin record holder as talents he hopes to blossom into full potential.
The Full team reads: Females: Breanna Charles (100m, 200m), Deshana Skeete (200m, 400m), Keliza Smith (400m, Long Jump), Adriel Austin (800m), Shaquka Tryrell (800m, 1500m), Princess Browne (Long and Triple Jump), Jahaziah Copeland ( Shot Put and Discuss), Anisha Gibbons (Javelin), Shema Tyrell (3000m), Chantoba Bright (Long and Triple Jump), Joanna Archer (800m, 1500m), Claudrice McKoy (1500m & 3000m)
Boys: Noneil Marks (100m, 200m), Daniel Melville (800m), Daniel Williams (200m, 400m), Cordell Charles (1500m, 3000m), Osa Blair (100m, 200m), Melon Lowenfield (High jump), Tremaine Browne (Long Jump), Matthew Gordon (800m, 1500m), Wesley Tyndall (100m, Long Jump).
Management: Sheryl Hermonstine (Manager), and coaches Julian Edmonds and Raymond Daw.
At the 2018 Games held in the Bahamas Guyana copped one Gold, compliments of Chantoba Bright, who returns this year, one Silver via the female 4x400m team and six bronze medals.