Local athletes receive long-awaited CARIFTA medals

Members of the 2018 Bahamas CARIFTA team along with Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) executives as well as event organisers.

The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) delivered on its promise to host a special medal ceremony for local athletes that didn’t receive their medals at last month’s Caribbean Free Trade Agreement (CARIFTA) Track and Field Champions in New Providence.

Both the under-17 boys and girls 4×400 (metre) relay teams were awarded their respective medals on Saturday at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.

On hand to present the athletes with their medals was BAAA president and 2018 CARIFTA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rosamunde Carey.

“As CEO of the most successful CARIFTA Games, I am deeply humbled to be able to present to these athletes, their hard-earned medals. And also, to apologize,” Carey said.

“I think it is only fitting that we recognize these athletes that worked tirelessly; preparing themselves to be winners.”

Carey also addressed the fact that some Bahamian athletes were asked to return their medals so they could be presented to their regional counterparts.

“I can assure you that this order did not come from me, or any member of the local organizing committee for that matter,” she added.

“We would not make such an awful decision. Your effort, talent and ability is equal to all athletes around the Caribbean. So, we would never disrespect our local athletes in that manner.

“We don’t like when things happen and we have to make corrections, but sometimes things happen.”

Carey, along with IAAF Council member and local North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) official Pauline Davis-Thompson, traveled to Jamaica and Trinidad to present their athletes with medals won at the CARIFTA games last month.

“I think it was a good thing that we were able to travel to Jamaica and Trinidad, because now we know their athletes are already sizing us up for the world juniors in Finland,” she said.

“They know everything about our athletes and they are already preparing. But we want them to know that we are preparing too and will be ready to compete in Finland. But in all, we want to continue to support the regions youth and continue to provide a positive outlet filled with lots of opportunity.”

The 2018 IAAF World Under-20 Championships takes place July 19-24 in Tampere, Finland. A total of 44 events will be contested over the course of the six-day event.