Superb Guyana cops eight medals at CARIFTA Games 2024


By Akeem Greene in Grenada

Kaidon Persaud and Athaleyha Hinckson’s silver medals and a bronze in the Boys’ 4x400m relay pushed Guyana’s medal tally to eight as the 51st CARIFTA Games concluded in Grenada on Monday evening at the Kirani James Athletics Stadium.

Overall, Guyana finished fourth on the medal table, with Jamaica (83 medals), The Bahamas (34 medals), and Trinidad and Tobago (27 medals) being ahead.

Persaud was the first to medal on the final day with an impressive run in the U-17 800m, where after being ‘boxed-in’, he lost the dramatic sprint finish to Jamaican Keandre Kelly (1:56.31s).

The Guyanese clocked 1:56.53s, while Jamaican Alejandro Palmer (1:58.05s) was third.

His silver was the lone medal for Guyana in the 800m finals, as other likely contenders, Attoya Harvey and 2023 U-17 gold medallist Javon Roberts, finished outside the podium along with Alkila Blucher.

Kaidon Persaud lost a dramatic sprint finish in the U-17 800m (PHOTO: News Room/Avidesh Narine/April 1, 2024)

Roberts, whose knee injury severely affected his preparation, could not complete his race, pulling out with about 200m remaining.

Harvey clocked 2:16.10 seconds to finish sixth, and Alkila Blucher’s 2:24.29 seconds placed her fifth in the U-17 race.

Additionally, Hinckson, who stormed to historic gold in the U-17 100m, was edged out of the fancied sprint double by Natrece East in the 200m.

The Jamaican held off the 100m gold medallist to clock 23.74s, followed by Hinckson (23.85s) and Antiguan Tyra Fenton 23.97s.

Hinckson was Guyana’s lone medallist in the 200m finals, as Skylar Charles (sixth—22.36s) and U-20 400m gold medallist Malachi Austin (seventh—21.56s) finished outside the podium spots.

U-20 400m Gold medallist Tianna Springer withdrew from the 200m due to a hamstring niggle.

Jamaican Natrece East in the U-17 200m beats Athaleyha Hinckson (second from left) at the line (PHOTO: News Room/Avidesh Narine/April 1, 2024)

In the night’s final race, Guyana settled for bronze in the controversial Boys U-20 4x400m relay.

After a time trial, Guyana was pushed out of second place to third.

There was an apparent false start, but some athletes continued running, and some stopped, but officials did not bring the race to an immediate halt.

Guyana crossed the line in second place with a time of 3:14.05s behind Jamaica (03:10.58s) and ahead of Grenada (3:14.23s).

However, there was a time trial after, and Trinidad and Tobago clocked 3:11.10s to move into second.

It was Guyana’s second bronze medal at the Games following Harvey’s accomplishment in the 3000m, while the other gold medal came from the 4x400m Mixed Relay team.

At the previous Games in The Bahamas, Guyana won eight medals—three gold, two silver, and three bronze.

From left: Jaheel Cornette, Dh Neilson Gill, Malachi Austin and Jamol Sullivan had to settle for bronze in the U-20 4x400m (PHOTO: News Room/Avidesh Narine/April 1, 2024)

More so, team manager Thelson Williams and executives of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) expressed satisfaction with the team’s level of performance.

The executives said they would consider more strategic planning to get the team to arrive a bit earlier for the Games and the possibility of selecting specific relay teams so as not to place an excessive burden on athletes with specific events.

The 52nd edition of the Games will be held over Easter weekend in Trinidad and Tobago next year.

After Barbados opted out, Guyana has expressed an interest in hosting in 2026.




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