Tokyo 2020 postponement sees spirit of resilience and cooperation dominate global response

The postponed 2020 Summer Olympic Games will remain in Tokyo – PHOTO: Yoshikazu Sekiguchi

The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, and the Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo, held a conference call this morning to discuss the constantly changing environment with regard to COVID-19 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating. Yesterday, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the COVID-19 pandemic is “accelerating”. There are more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, and their number is growing by the hour.

In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.

The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC said that while the postponement was an understandable outcome of the talks and the current pandemic, the focus of the BVIOC will turn to supporting the athletes and any impact the delay may have on their psyche and preparations.

“Moving the dates to an unknown time in the future is hard on the athletes but this is not the first time that our athletes have had to face adverse situations and we will be doing our utmost to support them and to ease the strain of preparing for the future,” said Mr. Penn. The BVIOC provides a monthly training scholarship and has also secured sponsorship from iForex to assist VI’s Tokyo 2020 athletes in their preparations for the Games.

“While initially I was disappointed with the IOC’s decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Games, on reflection I’m thankful that they are putting our health first,” said Chantel Malone, the Lima 2019 Pan American Games VI long jump gold medalist. “With everything going on, the restrictions definitely put a limitation on training with regards to what we can and can’t do so, all in all, postponing these Summer Olympics is for the greater good and will give us more time to be even more prepared to produce awesome results. Every cloud has it’s silver lining!” Tokyo 2020 will be Malone’s first Olympic Games.

“It’s unfortunate that these 2020 Summer Olympic Games have been postponed because we have been training so hard in preparation but we understand the decision to put our health and safety first and we’ll be making the most of the extra time available to get ready for this important competition,” said Eldred Henry, the VI’s shot putter whose first Olympic appearance was at Rio 2016.

“It’s disappointing after all this time training and competing in what few meets we had in the lead up to the Games in July but we will overcome this hurdle and look to the future as we continue with our preparations. We just hope that our sponsors, the VI government and our supporters continue to stand by our side during this extended period,” said Kyron McMaster, the VI’s Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles gold medalist who will make his Olympic debut at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games.

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020 in consultation with Mr. Penn remains in constant contact with the Virgin Islands’ athletes confirmed or hoping to attend the 2020 Summer Olympic Games and will continue to relay information received from the IOC and the organisers as they decide on the new dates and associated changes.

“I have an open line of communication with all our Tokyo 2020 confirmed and hopeful athletes and our real time conversation enables me to keep them up to date with correct information from the official channels. Right now, the news has been quite hard on them as they have been as focused as they can to compete in their best form in July. They are recalibrating but overall they are in a positive mindset and are determined to work with the outcome of the IOC’s decision to postpone and plan to make the most of the extended time to train hard. It is also really important that the support and encouragement behind them continues,” said Chef Harrigan-Scott.

The global community has rallied to the IOC’s news with three major Tokyo 2020 sponsors – Proctor & Gamble, Intel and Coca-Cola – all reaffirming their commitment to the Games. Organisers of major Games including the 2021 World Athletics Championships slated for August 6 – 15 in Eugene, Oregon and the Commonwealth Youth Games Trinbago 2021 scheduled for August 1 – 7 in Trinidad & Tobago have already communicated their willingness to shift their events to accommodate the new date for Tokyo 2020.

Panam Sports in a press release also stated that it will maintain all of its aid programs for athletes, coaches and National Olympic Committees. They also said that once the new dates for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are defined, Panam Sports will work together with the IOC, the International Federations, the NOCs and the athletes to be able to adjust the schedules for the competitions that follow, in particular the Junior Pan American Games of Cali 2021 that were scheduled between June 5-20.

Malone, Lettsome to attend inaugural Panam Sports Awards Gala

With the aim of recognizing the effort, passion and dedication of the athletes of the Americas, for the first time in history, Panam Sports is bringing together athletes, media, sport and government leaders to an awards ceremony on December 13 honoring the best of the best in sport in 2019, with the highlight being the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.

Chantel Malone – who made history when she won the Virgin Islands’ first Panam Games medal with her gold winning leap of 6.68m in the long jump – and Thad Lettsome, the VI’s first sailor in the Games since the 1990s – will join Olympians, World Champions, historical sporting icons and those who shined brightest in the Peruvian capital at the inaugural Panam Sports Awards in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee and Lloyd Black, Secretary General, BVIOC will also be in attendance.

“This is a momentous occasion for the Virgin Islands,” said Mr. Penn. “We are exceptionally proud of Chantel and Thad who were selected from thousands of athletes to be invited to attend this special, historic event.”

The evening is expected to rival those seen in Hollywood, complete with Red Carpet, bright lights, artistic performances, glamor and emotion.

Featuring the great athletes of the Americas, the Panam Sports family and VIP guests, the historic ceremony honouring the greatest moments and performances from the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games will be broadcast live for the world to see who will be crowned the Best Athletes of the Americas.

The Panam Sports Awards will officially begin at 7:00 pm EST and will conclude at 8:15pm EST.

Univisión is producing and transmitting the event that will be shown free-to-air on their television network on Saturday, December 14 at 11:00 pm EST, 10:00 pm CST and 8:00 pm PST. The special program will feature the best moments and highlights from the inaugural Panam Sports Awards called “Gala del Deporte de las Américas”.

Sports fans across the globe will also be able to watch the Panam Sports Awards ceremony live through multiple streaming platforms. ESPN PLAY will stream the event throughout Latin America and the Caribbean; the R7 channel owned by Record TV in Brazil will also live-stream; and of course, the new and improved Panam Sports Channel will begin the live-stream at 5:00 pm EST from the Red Carpet.

ABOUT PANAM SPORTS

The Pan American Sports Organization (Panam Sports) is the leader of sport and the Olympic Movement in the Americas. We propel the development of sport and support our 41 member National Olympic Committees to inspire more participation in international competitions as well as participation of the youth to prepare the generation to come in our region.

Panam Sports works closely with athletes, National Olympic Committees (NOC), Organizing Committees of all regional games, Pan American Sport Confederations, International Federations (IF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to secure the success and celebration of our main event, the Pan American Games.

BVIOC free sports clinic stepping stone to promote grass roots development in the community

The BVI Olympic Committee organized and ran a free sports clinic for the community at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Grounds on Saturday, October 12 as part of celebratory activities to mark Chantel Malone’s historic gold medal win in long jump at the Lima 2019.

The clinic took place the day after a ceremony recognizing Chantel’s achievement of becoming the British Virgin Islands’ first Pan American Games medalist. The interactive session was presented by Tahesia Harrigan-Scott and Joey Scott of Tru Fit Athletics, Miami and featured the BVI’s elite track and field athletes, Chantel Malone, Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles), Eldred Henry (shot put) and Ashley Kelly (400m) and Dr. Harlan Vanterpool, NHI Medical Director.

“This clinic was a great launch pad for executing grass roots engagement and bringing to life the practical elements of the long term athlete development programme,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “The four BVI professional track and field athletes worked with a captivated audience for the whole morning, interacting with the youngsters in the community, advising and inspiring them to work towards developing their athletic potential.”

The panel of professional athletes are all beneficiaries of the BVIOC Elite Athlete Programme which provides financial support to help them prepare throughout the year for major games. Each of the panelists shared their personal experiences, insights and practical tips on a wide range of topics during the indoor discussion forum and out on the track and field. Attendees heard what it takes to make it in a selected sports and learned more about the dual purpose of college attendance with recommendations to focus primarily on the academics followed by sports as an avenue to excel in a particular discipline.

The most important takeaway for many was the advice to set a personal goal and identify the support base to help achieve the goals. Out on the track and field, attendees loved the ‘form and technique’ sessions provided by the professional athletes – with each participant coming away with something new to apply to their execution.

Dr. Harlan Vanterpool’s engaging explanation about what anti-doping actually means and his conversation on testing and reveal of the testing kit used helped to deliver a better understanding among the young athletes on the reasons, rules and regulations as promoted by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

“The BVIOC sees this clinic as just the start of another way of promoting sport for all and pushing the LTAD program in the community,” said Mr. Penn. “The BVIOC has 16 National Federation members, several of whom have athletes and teams who are on the professional circuit and who can help to build our pool of athletes through similar engagement. We have held two named Sports Festivals on Olympic Day with interactive sports stations set up by the National Federations but we now want to evolve these stations into actual clinics within the Sports Festival as a means of educating and enthusing the public of all ages. We also hope that it becomes an opportunity for the coaches to spot potential talent from within the community and open up a pathway for the development of such talent.”

The Olympic Day Sports Festival is slated to take place on Saturday, June 27, 2020.

View the BVIOC free sports clinic photo album on Facebook

Malone leaps to BVI’s 1st Pan Am Games medal in 36 years

Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
BVI Pan Am Games Media Contact

Chantel Malone on her victory lap after winning the BVI’s first ever medal at the Pan American Games when she leapt 6.68 in the long jump to take gold at Lima 2019. Photo: Todd VanSickle

LIMA, Peru – Four years after a medal slipped from her grasp in the final round of competition in Toronto, long jumper Chantel Malone buried the field on her first attempt, to win the BVI’s first Pan Am Games medal in its 36-year history, on the opening day of track and field in Estadio Nacional, in Lima, Peru.

Malone, No 14 on the 2019 IAAF list and the No 3 listed jumper in the Americas, sailed through the chilled air, then cut the sand at 6.68m (21’11”), a mark none of her 13 pursuers would surpass.

The USA’s Keturah Orji would come closest at 6.66m for silver while Jamaica’s Tissanna Hickling earned bronze with 6.59m.

Chantel Malone, in winners row, center, is joined on the podium by the USA’s Kethurah Ojiri, left, silver medalist and Jamaica’s Tissanna Hickling, who earned bronze  PHOTO: Todd VanSickle, BVI Beacon

“This is amazing,” Malone said. “We know how the season started with a great bang and then I hand an injury, been up and down, with performances and trying to figure things out. And, to come here and come out with the gold, that means everything to me.”

She said after her opening jump, in her mind she wanted to go further but as it got colder and colder – with temperatures dipping to 59 degrees – it became harder.

Long Jumper Chantel Malone sails through the air, en route to capturing the BVI’s first Pan Am Games medal in 36 years, last night in Lima Peru PHOTO: Todd VanSickle, BVI Beacon

Malone explained that her thought process heading into the competition was not to focus on what happened in the past nor anyone else. “Coach and I were talking and he said “you need to be a Dog from the get go and let people chase you and you don’t chase them”,’” she pointed out. “Normally, I would do good as I progress, but honestly, I just went out there, trusted the process and tried to execute and that’s the result that came.”

Malone said she’s happy with her performance which she hopes will inspire other young athletes. “Winning gold is a big deal,” she said. “It lets the world know that the BVI is there. We’re small, but we have a lot of talent and I’m just happy to be an ambassador for my country.”

After jumping a world leading 6.90m at the time then getting a hamstring injury, her coach, Olympic and World Championships gold medalist, Dwight Phillips said he was grateful Malone was able to come out victorious. He said they had been working on hitting the World Championships standard of 6.75m on the first jump an improvement she has been making. “The conditions were quite cold, not the best conditions, but she has been able to come out victorious,” said Phillip, an Olympic champion long jumper and four times IAAF World champion. “I have my first medalist in the Pan Am Games and I’m grateful for that,” he said. “It’s more rewarding coaching someone to a gold than actually winning the gold medal myself.”

BVI Olympic Committee President Ephraim Penn, said he knew that BVI has the caliber of athletes to win a Pan Am title, but didn’t know who’d do it first.

“Chantel came through in flying colors,” he said. “Looks like every time we win our first medal, it has to be a gold,” he said referring to the Central American Championships and Commonwealth Games. “I know everyone at home is proud of this moment – this is a special moment for the BVI. We’re making major breakthroughs after our first Commonwealth and Pan Am Games medals and next year, maybe the first Olympic medal.”

Laser Sailing
Thad Lettsome got in two more Laser races in Paracas yesterday and continues today. He’s currently 19th overall in the fleet.

Radio reports on CBN 90.9 FM with Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway are aired 9.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m., through Sunday, with a 9 a.m. wrap up on Monday.

Lettsome sets sail as Malone jumps into Pan Am Games action

Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
BVI Pan Am Games Media Contact

Laser Sailor Thad Lettsome heading down wind during the first full day of Pan Am Games racing in Paracas, Peru PHOTO Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

LIMA Peru – Laser sailor Thad Lettsome finally got the wind in his sail and made his debut in the 18th Pan Am Games sailing competition in Paracas, Peru yesterday, where he had two races, after the first two days of racing and four races were cancelled.

Lettsome, the youngest in the competition at age 17, was 16th in his best race and completed the first series on 37 points. “The start of the first race was great, 10/10, executed the plan perfectly, exactly what I wanted to do, but a few mistakes and a bit of an unlucky shift, put me way in the back and made it hard to come back up,” he explained. “The breeze got really light and shutting off. For the second race, we got back into it, had another great start – I had two good starts today – then I was in mid fleet for the whole race doing quite well in the new breeze. Then I lost probably three boats in the last leg of the race and that’s how I ended up 16th but I was racing quite well up until the end, so it could only get better now.”

Considering missing the first two days of racing, going out on Sunday and spending hours on the water, Coach Alec Anderson said he thought Lettsome did a good job, with his age and experience to stay level headed.

“We did a great job of preparing for that first race and we did a wonderful job and he was right next to the person from Guatemala who ended up winning the race,” Anderson noted. “He had a couple bad breaks. It was a very light and tricky race where one mistake – especially against some of these guys who are the top Laser sailors in the world it costs you a lot – so he paid the price on those small mistakes which we discussed afterwards and let it got.”

Anderson said another good start in the second race, saw him rounding the mark in 12th position which was excellent with this fleet and his second race in the regatta, and lost a few on the final leg of the race. “It was a bad moment for his boat speed but ultimately a good rally,” Anderson stated. “We know where he stands, we know there’s a lot of potential and we know he has the ability to climb up the leader board every day, so that’s the plan.”

Chantel Malone hits Long Jump runway
Long Jumper Chantel Malone will make her 2nd Pan Am Games appearance at 6:30 p.m. BVI time, in the second busiest day for BVI athletes in the Games. Malone finished fourth in 2015.

Tomorrow, Ashley Kelly will make her debut at 4:20 p.m., followed by Eldred Henry at 7 p.m.

Reports through Sunday will be made by Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway on CBN 90.9 FM at 9.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m., with a 9 a.m. wrap up on Aug 12.

Chantel Malone eyeing improved Pan Am Games finish

Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
BVI Pan Am Games Media Contact

Long Jumper Chantel Malone sails through the air during the 2018 NACAC Championships in Toronto PHOTO: Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

LIMA Peru – With a fourth place showing in the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, Chantel Malone equaled the 1987 Softball team that narrowly lost to Cuba 4-3 in the bronze medal game, as the territory’s best placings in its history. She’s hoping to improve on that in Lima when she competes in the long jump final on August 6th.

Since Toronto, Chantel has gone on to become the territory’s first IAAF World Championships outdoor finalist, when she placed seventh in the long jump in London in 2017 followed by a 2018 Central American Caribbean (CAC) Games silver medal.

Her 2019 campaign got off to a slow start, leading to a point of frustration, before the breakthrough that put her on top the world at the time, when she cut the sand a 6.90m in the long jump at the 3rd annual Torrin Lawrence Memorial in Athens, Georgia in April. The mark is currently No 5 on the 2019 IAAF list after being No 1 for several weeks.

“My first meet was not all that but I wasn’t too worried about it because my coach was saying I was still in the fall base training and I wasn’t doing speed and once I got my feet under me, I’ll be fine, so I trusted him,” Malone explained. “The next two meets were awesome. The one before my personal best was a season’s best, I felt like I was getting the rhythm back on the runway. When I jumped the 6.90m, I didn’t have to think about anything. It was flowing naturally. I got a little injury after that and that kinda set me back a bit. But, I’m pretty confident that I can go out there at the Pan Am Games and come home with a medal.”

Malone was in third place at Toronto 2015 until the final round where her mark was passed and she had to settle for fourth place. The plan around this time she said, is to “knock ‘em out early.”

“I have a tendency to hit my bigger jumps later down in my series and I’m trying to visualize hitting it on the first one so I don’t have to be worrying too much and no one can sneak up on me,” she pointed out. “That’s my main goal going in – just to execute, remember to have fun, stay relaxed and not to let the pressure of being a games or a major competition get to me.”

What would winning a medal mean to Malone?
“It would pretty much solidify all the hard work I’ve put in. I’ve been to these championships and I’ve always fallen short – whether it’s been an injury or someone passes me on the last jump – it’s always been something like almost there but not really grasping it,” she explained. “If I do what I’m supposed to do and execute the way I know I can execute, then there’s no doubt that I should come out with a medal.”

Additional Pan Am Games reports and interviews with Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway, will be carried on CBN 90.9 FM at 5.00 p.m. through August 5th and then at 9.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m., from August 6 – 11. There’s a 9 a.m. wrap up on Aug 12.

Lima 2019 Pan Am Games athletes announced at Olympic Day Sports Festival

Lima 2019 athletes representing the Virgin Islands include Chantel Malone (long jump), Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles), Eldred Henry (shot put) and Thad Lettsome (men’s laser). Photos: track & field athletes – BVI Olympic Committee, Thad Lettsome – Royal BVI Yacht Club

Four athletes were officially confirmed as members of the team who will represent the Virgin Islands in track and field and sailing at the Lima 2019 Pan American (Pan Am) Games this Summer. The announcement was made at the 2nd annual Olympic Day Sports Festival held on Saturday, June 22 at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Ground when Honourable Neville Smith, 1st Vice President of the BVI Olympic Committee named the four as Chantel Malone (long jump), Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles), Eldred Henry (shot put) and Thad Lettsome (men’s laser).

Both athletics and sailing were among 20 other disciplines at Lima 2019 confirmed earlier this month as being qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

Congratulating the athletes, Hon. Smith said, “Qualifying for these Games has become much tougher than previous years and, given the elevated standards and smaller team representing the VI this year, we are justifiably proud and excited to be sending a group of strong competitors who have the proven talent to make history and win our first ever medal – or medals!- in the Pan Am Games. We are also pleased that we have a young sailor who will bring us back into the Games after a long respite.”

The 3 senior athletes who will be competing in track and field events met their specific qualifying marks with outstanding achievements:

Kyron McMaster, who will compete in the 400m Hurdles semi-final on August 6th, qualified by winning gold at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games. Eldred Henry, competing in the shot put finals on August 7th, qualified for the PanAms with his record setting performance during the indoor season. Chantel Malone, set to compete in the long jump finals on August 7th hit her qualifier when she claimed the then world #1 spot with a personal best leap of 6.9m at the at the 3rd Annual Torrin Lawrence Memorial in Athens, Georgia on April 26, 2019. The mark currently ranks Malone #2 in the world.

Joining the 3 track and field athletes is Thad Lettsome who, at 17 years of age, makes history for the VI as the first sailor since the 1990s to represent the VI at the Pan Am Games. Awarded a universality place by the organisers, Lettsome will start his competition in the Men’s Laser class on August 3rd.

Former national sprinter, Mr. Lindel ‘Chef’ Hodge is the Chef de Mission for Lima 2019.

“This is the VI’s 10th Pan Am Games. We have competed in each of the Games since the 9th edition and, in fact, our first appearance at the 1983 Pan Am Games was the starting point for the establishment of the BVI Olympic Committee. The closest we have come to a medal was in 1987 when our softball team finished 4th after a narrow 4-3 loss against Cuba in the bronze medal game but we are hopeful that 2019 will be the year we make the podium,” said Honourable Smith, a member of the historical 1987 softball team.

The 19th edition of the Pan Am Games will be held in Lima, Peru from July 26th to August 11. Approximately 6,700 participants from 41 countries in the Caribbean and Americas are expected to compete in 39 sports and 61 disciplines, 22 of which are qualifiers for Tokyo 2020. News on the Games and the athletes will be provided by Dean Greenaway’s daily reports to media and via radio broadcast on CBN 90.9FM at 5.00pm through August 5th and then at 9.00am, 2.00pm and 9.00pm from August 6 – 11.

NACAC Gold for McMaster in 400m Hurdles, new national records set by Henry and Erickson

Source: The Island Sun

By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

Team BVI at NACAC 2018, Toronto, Canada. Photo credit: Dean “the Sportsman” Greenaway

Kyron McMaster struck 400m Hurdles gold for a third time during a major championship this season, while Eldred Henry and Deya Erickson established national records in the Shot Put and 100m Hurdles respectively, during the 3rd North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Track and Field Championships at the University of Toronto’s Varsity Stadium, in Toronto, Canada.

McMaster who won, dropped the fastest semifinal time of 49.16 seconds on Friday while establishing a stadium record in the process, collared Jamaica’s Annsert Whyte at the 10th barrier in the final, to win the 400m Hurdles in a championships record time of 48.18 seconds on Sunday.

McMaster powered away from Whyte who controlled much of the race in the last 40m to distance himself from his Jamaican rival who ran 48.91 seconds, as McMaster claimed one of the 32 championships records established.

McMaster, who will next see action in the IAAF Diamond League final on Aug 30 in Zurich, Switzerland, said he has been working on some different things during the championships.

“Today we tried a different formula, but I don’t think I executed it as I wanted to,” he said. “There was a lot of wind on the back stretch and from the little knowledge I have of hurdling, running on the backstretch instead of running against the wind, I just ran through the motion with the wind and executed when I felt it was off.”

The way White attacked the race, it left McMaster spent at the end after chasing him down for the victory.

“He kept moving on the backstretch when the wind was attacking so I was like, let me stay calm and not react to anything he may try because I knew once I could execute my curve and the home stretch, I knew it could be a win in my favor and it turned out that way,” he explained. “It feels good to win another gold medal for the British Virgin Islands and I’m just happy that I could deliver, especially with the tough conditions I had to deal with today.”

The with the way the race developed, the battle for the gold McMaster said, came down to who had the best technique over the hurdles.

“Once I saw his technique started to fail at the ninth hurdle, I just attacked and I knew it would have failed again at the 10th hurdle so I attacked again at the 10th hurdle,” he pointed out, nothing that he wasn’t happy with the time. “These days, boys running 46, so you want to keep abreast of the time.”

On Friday, Henry improved his own BVI Shot Put record from the 20.18m effort to win CAC Games bronze, with a heave of 20.63m, to finish fifth.

“I opened with about 19.22, the had 19.80 and on the third one, I really went for it and that’s when I hit my personal best of 20.63, the fourth one was 20.56, then I got a little excited,” Henry said of his series. “I wasn’t surprised. That’s what I’ve been working in practice for the last couple of months. I knew it was there, but it was a matter of putting everything together and getting it in a meet.”

Henry was injured last year and he said the time off made him heal properly and began working in January.

“Everything I’ve been doing is off January’s work,” he noted. “I didn’t really have an off season so I’m kind of surprised with my performances.”

Erickson lowered her 100m Hurdles personal best from 13.98 seconds to 13.80, to place a non-advancing sixth in her heat.

“Running 13.80 is not what I expected to run, I expected to run way faster than that, but I had a lot of hiccups in my race,” Erickson noted. “Hopefully, by next year I can correct all the mistakes and reach the goal I was pushing for this year.”

Erickson’s success is even more remarkable as she returned from a severe 2016 knee injury and Doctors told her she wouldn’t even be running again, but began jogging in October, following Hurricane Irma.

She said her journey has been a simple one—work hard and stay focused, never give up and have faith in your abilities.

“I did rehab for me knee and strengthened areas in my knee that we don’t focus on, areas in him hips, my calves, my quads and my hamstring that we don’t usually focus on,” Erickson noted. “I put a lot of focus on areas that will keep my knee from relapsing and not getting reinjured.”

Tynelle Gumbs was fourth in the Hammer Throw with a measurement of 58.78m her second best mark in a season of limited competition.

“It wasn’t the best that I could have done and I think my technique was a little off today,” she noted. “It wasn’t the worst I’ve had and I did better than as the CAC Games, but it still could have been better.”

Meanwhile, veteran sprinter Tahesia Harrigan-Scott was seventh in the Women’s 100m dash on Saturday, with a time of 11.61 seconds, after turning in 11.62 as one of the fastest losers advancing from the semifinals.

“Making a final is always a good thing, that was my goal, to make it by taking each round at a time,” she said. “I tried to correct the mistakes I made in the semis. It felt better and like I was more aggressive most of the race but just lost it a little at the end, but overall, I was excited to be in the final.”

Long jumper Chantel Malone finished fifth in her pet event and Kala Penn was eight.

“This was probably the worst meet of the season,” said Malone who had a best leap of 6.19 meters while Penn’s best measurement was 6.04m. “I was having trouble gauging the wind today and I just felt kinda flat going into the board, so as a result, I didn’t get the kind of pop I wanted. But overall, I’m not content. I’m hungry for what’s to come in 2019.”

Penn said she wanted to get a personal best but with the current injuries, she was limited and pulled out of the Triple Jump.

“I was happy with my end of the season,” said Penn, who’s heading to the University of Florida on a scholarship later this month.

Shaquoy Stevens had a non-advancing time of 10.52 seconds in the 100m semis but did not advance to the final. He won his semifinal heat in 10.67 seconds.

“It was a pretty ok race, I stayed to relaxed in the drive phase and I paid for it in the end,” Stephens said. “But, I’m satisfied with the performance.”

Trevia Gumbs fouled out of the Shot Put on Sunday afternoon.

“This was a challenging competition for me. I think the nerves got the better of me,” she revealed. “I fouled out in the Shot Put but my Discus was better than in CAC Games. I was really disappointed in how I ended my season but I’m excited to see where 2019 takes me. I see where I have to change. I’ve had a consistent series of mistakes in the past couple competitions, so I know what I have to train for and do in the off season.”

Tarika “Tinkerbell” Moses limped home with a left foot injury in the 400m and was timed in 57.94 seconds.

Gold, Silver and Bronze for Virgin Islands at Barranquilla 2018 CAC Games

Medals at Barranquilla 2018 – Kyron McMaster, 400m hurdles gold and new CAC Games record with a time of 47.60, Chantel Malone, long jump silver (6.520, Eldred Henry, shot put bronze (20.18). Photo: CM Farrington/BVIOC

With one day of competition remaining for the Virgin Islands’ athletes at the 23rd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, the territory’s senior athletes have set new records for the Games and for the nation so far as they secure three medals of gold, silver and bronze.

Last night, Kyron McMaster, ranked by the IAAF as the third fastest man in the world, set a new CAC Games record when he won the gold in the 400m hurdles with his second fastest time of 47.60. The new record, set in the final race of the night, surpassed the standing eight-years old Games record of 48.47 by almost one second.

On Monday evening, Chantel Malone leapt her way to a silver medal in the long jump with a seasonal best of 6.52. This was her second medal of the CAC Games after winning gold in the same event in Mexico in 2014.

The first win for the VI and new national record was set with Eldred Henry’s bronze medal finish in the shot put on Monday night when he hurled the orb a distance of 20.18m to break his previous national record of 20.00m.

This is the fifth consecutive CAC Games in which the VI has won gold medals starting with Dion Crabbe in the 100m at San Salvador 2002. Tahesia Harrigan-Scott continued the gold medal win when she came 1st in the 100m at Cartagena 2006 and again at Mayaguez 2010. Chantel won the fourth gold in long jump at Mexico 2014 and now the VI has its fifth gold with Kyron’s win. It is the first time at the CAC Games that the territory’s athletes have won 3 medals.

“It has been quite emotional here as we celebrated the 3 medals won at these games so far. I am exceptionally proud of the athletes’ achievements and I along with the VI delegation are looking forward to cheering on Ashley Kelly, Trevia Gumbs and Kala Penn in their upcoming events. I know the same is true for all their supporters back home and elsewhere.” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee.

Ashley Kelly will run in the 400m finals tonight while Trevia Gumbs will compete in the shot-put final and Kala Penn in the triple jump.

“To date, all 13 of the VI’s senior and national athletes at Barranquilla 2018 have competed in their track and field events and a full report will be distributed at the conclusion of the Games but I can confirm that all athletes have worked hard and have been excellent ambassadors for the territory,” said Cleave Farrington, Chef de Mission for Barranquilla 2018. “We have Kyron’s medal ceremony later today followed by 3 more track and field events which we are excited about. The majority of the delegation will depart Colombia tomorrow.”

Updates are posted on the BVIOC social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Team BVI wraps up Gold Coast 2018 with historic Gold medal and fanfare

Team BVI at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Queensland, Australia. Photo: BVICGA

Team BVI was led by flag bearer and four-times Commonwealth Games athlete, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott in the Gold Coast 2018 Closing Ceremony on April 15 marking the end of the 21st edition of the Commonwealth Games.

“This has been an amazing and emotional Games,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Commonwealth Games Association. “We saw Gold Coast 2018 as an opportunity to inspire the Virgin Islands through sports after the devastating hurricanes Irma and Maria and hoped that the athletes’ achievements would motivate the territory to tackle new beginnings. Our athletes rose to the occasion with their tremendous effort and individual and team achievements. We believed that this was the strongest team we had yet taken to the Commonwealth Games and their performances have proved it to be the case. We are exceptionally proud of each, and every one of them and thank them for showcasing our nation on the world stage with grit and grace.”

At the end of 10 days of competition in Queensland, Australia, 10 of the VI’s athletes had participated in 9 track and field events and 2 squash events. All track and field athletes completing their events made it through to semi-finals and five went on to compete in the finals. In squash, the VI won the Plate of the men’s singles.

British Virgin Islands Kyron Mcmaster won the men’s 400m hurdles final in a time of 48.25 seconds during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 12, 2018. Photo credit: SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The crowning moment came on April 12 when Kyron McMaster took to his starting blocks in front of a packed stadium in the 400m Hurdles and made history with his 1st place finish in a time of 48.25 seconds and winning the territory’s first medal ever in the Commonwealth Games.

Competing in his first Commonwealth Games, Kyron triumphed for his hurricane ravaged country and in memory of his beloved coach, the late Xavier ‘Dag’ Samuels. “My first phase of the race wasn’t what I wanted but I remembered what coach would have told me ‘just in case something like that happens, just stay calm and relax’” said Kyron. “When I saw I was in a position to take control of the race, I did and ran home with the gold. I am very proud that I was able to bring it home for the Virgin Islands.” 2nd and 3rd places went to Jeffrey Gibson of the Bahamas (49.10) and Jaheel Hyde of Jamaica (49.16) respectively.

That same evening, Chantel Malone landed a 5th place in the Long Jump final with a leap of 6.48. This was Chantel’s second appearance in a Commonwealth Games, the first being at Glasgow 2014 where she landed a 4th place with a jump of 6.41. Podium finishers of the long jump were Christabel Nettey of Canada (6.84), Brooke Stratton of Australia (6.77) and Shara Proctor of England (6.75).

Next up were Commonwealth Games debutants, twin sisters Tynelle and Trevia Gumbs competing against a field of 13 in the Discus final. Tynelle hurled the disc 47.04 to place 9th. Top spots went to Dani Stevens of Australia (68.26), Seema Punia of India (60.41) and Navjeet Dhillon of India (57.43). Tynelle’s performance was in her second event of the Games – the first being the Hammer Throw in which she placed 7th overall and attained a Seasonal and Personal Best as well as beating her previous National Record with a distance of 60.97.

Trevia retired early in the Discus final to avoid irritating an injury and to save herself for the Shot Put final.  On April 13, and the last day of competition for the VI, Tynelle improved on her Shot Put qualifier round result of 14.08 with a third attempt throw of 14.12. Top three putters were Danniel Thomas-Dodd of Jamaica (19.36), Dame Valerie Adams of New Zealand (18.70) and Brittany Crew of Canada (18.32).

Eldred Henry joined Trevia in rounding off the VI’s performance at the Games with his seasonal best throw of 50.96 when he competed in the Discus final. The mark was an improvement of his 50.43 achieved in his qualifying round. Medalists in the event were Fedrick Dacres of Jamaica who set a new Games Record with a throw of 68.20, Traves Smikle of Jamaica (63.98) and Apostolos Parellis of Cypress (63.61). On April 9, Eldred had competed in the shot put final. GC2018 was Eldred’s second Commonwealth Games.

Earlier in the Games, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott ran her last race of a Commonwealth Games on April 8 when she crossed the finish line of the 100m semi-finals with a time of 11.63 to place 7th in her field and 13th out of 24 runners in the semi-finals.

On April 10, Ashley Kelly closed out her GC2018 performance with a 53.00 finish in the 400m semi-finals. The time placed her 5th in her race and 14th out of an overall line up of 23 semi-finalists. This was Ashley’s second Commonwealth Games, the first being Glasgow 2014 where she competed in the 200m and 400m semi-finals.

Khari Herbert Jr was disappointed when he pushed out of the blocks in his 400m qualifying round on April 8 and had to retire due to a hamstring injury. This was Khari’s first Commonwealth Games.

Squash Round Up

In squash, Joe Chapman and Neville Sorrentino ended their GC2018 competitions on April 12 when they played in a hard-fought doubles match against Pakistan’s duo, Tayyab Aslam and Farhan Zaman.

The first game was an exciting round with the BVI taking 8 points. The crowd watched a strong performance from both players with Neville playing some of his best squash for an edge-of-the-seat game. The second game to decide the match was ultimately won by Aslam and Zaman 11-4.

This was the second doubles match that Joe and Neville played at the Games, the first being on April 10 when they were defeated by England’s James Willstrop (CWG 2018 Singles Gold Medal winner) and James Declan (World ranked #25).

GC2018 was Neville’s Commonwealth Games debut and in which he played in the Men’s Squash singles and doubles, and Joe’s fourth appearance at the quadrennial event. The pinnacle for Joe was his win of the Men’s Singles Plate on April 9 when he beat Cameron Stafford of the Cayman Islands 3-1 (11-9, 4-11, 11-8, 11 – 7).

The VI delegation to GC2018 included Mark Chapman, Chef de Mission; Athletics coaches Winston Potter, Joey Scott, Dwight Phillips and Omar Jones; and Squash coach Adam Murrills; Physio Mark Latimer; Attaché Julie-Anne Pearson; CGA Assistant Katrina Pfeffer; BVICGA Secretary General Lloyd Black; and Deputy Premier, Dr. The Honourable Kedrick Pickering.