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.

First Come First Serve Tokyo 2020 online ticket sales to launch on December 9

Online ticket sales for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games will go live in the early hours of Monday, December 9, 2019. The Games will take place in Japan from July 24 to August 9, 2020.

Tickets for Tokyo 2020 are only available to BVI residents through the Territory’s approved retailer, Kingdom Sports Group via online application on www.kingdomsg.com.

Ticket sales are strictly controlled by the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOCOG) and the BVI Olympic Committee will not have any tickets for sale.

“With record demand and not enough tickets, we have to manage client expectations,” said Daniel Beniston, Managing Director, Kingdom Sports Group. “We will launch First Come First Serve ticket sales on 9th December in conjunction with TOCOG approval.

“Traffic flow suggests we will have a few thousand people from all the countries we are serving all coming at the same time. Anyone interested in attending the Games who doesn’t wish to purchase a package, this is the date to come onto our site.”

The launch of the ticket sale will take place at 2.00 in the morning and will feature a queue-it system where prospective clients will wait in an online queue.

Ticket and accommodation packages will also go on sale on December 9. Prospective attendees should note that airfare is not included in all of the packages.

“At this stage the majority of 5 Star accommodation is close to selling out, with limited 4 Star accommodation remaining but we have a good stock of 3 Star accommodation,” said Beniston.

Anyone wishing to attend the Games is warned not to attempt to buy tickets outside of the designated official sales channels. A notice on the Tokyo 2020 website sets out the following advice:

“To avoid involvement in any criminal activities such as fraud, you are strongly advised not to purchase tickets from any source other than official ticket sales channels (i.e. Official Ticket Website, Official Ticket Box Offices, or Authorised Ticket Reseller). It is possible that tickets sold on unofficial channels such as auction websites may be invalid or counterfeit tickets. The Terms and Conditions for the Purchase and Use of Tokyo 2020 Tickets specifies that entry to venues will be denied to individuals in possession of a ticket purchased from unofficial channels. Please take the utmost caution to ensure that you do not fall victim to illegal ticket reselling, acts of fraud, etc.”

Eldred Henry Photo: Todd VanSickel

Two of the VI’s senior athletes have already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Games. Eldred Henry was the first VI athlete to secure a spot at upcoming Summer Olympics with his throw of 21.47 in the shot put on May 25, 2019 at the NCAA Division II Championships in Kingsville, Texas. The throw, which is Henry’s personal best achievement to date, exceeded the Tokyo 2020 qualifying mark of 21.10 and set a new NCAA and national record.

Kyron McMaster

Kyron McMaster surpassed the qualifying mark of 48.9 in the 400m hurdles when he crossed the line with a time of 48.33 at the Paris Diamond League 2019 on August 24.

Other Tokyo 2020 Olympic hopefuls including Chantel Malone (long jump) and Ashely Kelly (400m) have until June 29, 2020 to qualify for the Games. The qualifying mark for women’s long jump is 6.82 and the qualifying time for the women’s 400m is 51.35.

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

Eldred Henry places 6th in Pan Am Games Shot Put

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

LIMA, Peru – Eldred Henry brought the curtains down on the BVI’s track and field participation in the 18th Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru on Wednesday night, with a sixth placed shot put finish, after Ashley Kelly had a non-advancing time in the 400m final.

“I’m not pleased at all. I’m very disappointed,” Henry said after his best effort of 19.82m – his first meet of the season under 20.00m. “I’ll say under the circumstances, I can’t complain. I’m just thankful I was able to complete the meet without reinjuring my finger and move on from there. On a good day, I know I should be more than able to be in the medal mix, but it didn’t happen today. I just couldn’t get into my rhythm at all. That was the biggest issue.”

Henry who opened with an unlooked for 18.51m effort, hyperextended the ring finger on his throwing hand before the Games and was out of commission for a few weeks of training.

“Just couldn’t get into my rhythm at all, that’s my biggest issue right now,” Henry pointed out. “I had to take a couple weeks off throwing because I messed up my hand and finally got it back healthy, but, just getting back into the swing of things – it didn’t come together tonight.”

From his opening throw, Henry said he wasn’t feeling it on his left side. He said when he got a good set up, he feels it off the back side – something he wasn’t feeling last night – although he tried to work it, it wasn’t coming at all.

“In practice, it was touch and go,” he noted. “I would hit it and then, a couple throws later, not hit it again. It was coming, but not as fast as I would have liked it to.”

Ashley Kelly’s 400m
Ashley Kelly had a non-advancing time in her 400m semifinal, finishing in 54.42 seconds.

“I really tried to get out, put myself in the race and really finish the last 150 the way I know I had to, make the final by coming in the top three, things didn’t pan out how I wanted it, but, I’m really grateful of the opportunity to be here,” she said. “I felt good during the race but my footspeed isn’t where I want it to be. I’m still l bit uncomfortable in the race but, it is what it is. I’m happy that I made it through and didn’t give up, that’s what important to me right now.”

Laser Sailing
Thad Lettsome had his best race of the Laser competition in Paracas on Wednesday, finishing 15th in his first race of the day. He was 19th in the second race and had an 18th place finish in his last race. He’s currently ranked 19th overall.

He wraps up the BVI’s participation in the 18th Pan American Games today with two races.

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.

Eldred Henry’s stock rises ahead of Pan Am Games action

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

Eldred Henry – British Virgin Islands

LIMA Peru – Eldred Henry arrived in Lima on July 29th to begin final preparations for his second Pan Am Games, in which he’ll see action on August 7.

Former BVI Olympic Committee and BVI Athletics Association President, Rey O’Neal, traces the rising stock of Henry, who’s currently ranked No 13 on the IAAF 2019 list.

In the British Virgin Islands’ long history of participation at the Carifta Games beginning in 1976, the territory’s athletes have returned home with 57 total medals, 50 of them being won by individual athletes. What may be surprising to many is the fact that so many of these medals have been won by competitors in the jumps and the throws. All of our gold medals have come from field event competitors – first by Keita Cline who won three consecutive titles in the Long jump and added another in the Triple Jump, followed by Eric Matthias in the Discus Throw and Chantel Malone in the Triple Jump.

The throws have been particularly productive in the present decade. None of our runners has won more than one individual medal in a single Games and Cline, Matthias and Malone, were the only double medalists prior to that.

However, since the emergence of Eldred Henry, who won bronze medals in the Shot Put and Discus Throw in 2013, the BVI always won at least two medals in every Games until 2018. Six of these came from the Gumbs family, with twin sisters Trevia and Tynelle and younger brother Djimon each adding two to the family collection.

Henry parlayed his 2013 successes in Nassau to a scholarship to Central Arizona College, following the well-worn path previously trodden by, among others, National Jr. College champions, Steve Augustine and Omar Jones, who later became Henry’s domestic coach. Henry won two JUCO titles himself in the Shot Put and another in the Discus Throw during his stay there, where he benefited from the coaching of Ton Dougherty. Just as importantly he set new records in the throws with marks in excess of 20m (6 ft) and 60m (200ft) in the Shot and Discus respectively.

Internationally, Henry also continued to make an impression. In 2014, he placed fourth in the Discus Throw and fifth in the Shot Put at the NACAC Under-23 Championships in Kamloops, Canada. Two years later at the same meet, this time held in El Salvador, he improved his placing to third in each throwing event. In between those events he placed fifth in the Shot and sixth in the Discus Throw at the NACAC Open Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica.

In 2017, with his Jr. College eligibility behind him, he had an abbreviated season but won the Shot at the OECS Championships in Grenada.

In 2018, Eldred Henry emerged as an international caliber thrower. At the Commonwealth Games in Australia to start his outdoor season, he had a modest although promising performance, given his long absence from high level competition.

He decided to give the Discus Throw a pass for the year with a view towards improving his marks in the Shot Put. At the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, he came good with a throw of 20.18m, good enough for bronze behind Jamaicans, O’Dayne Richards and Ashinia Miller. A few short weeks later he unleashed a big throw of 20.63m to place fifth at the NACAC Open Championships in Toronto, Canada, establishing a new OECS record. The throwers who beat him were an American, a Canadian and the two Jamaicans who had bested him in Colombia.

Henry’s performance qualified him for the 2019 Pan American Games and for this year’s World Championships in Doha Qatar, Sept 27 – Oct 6. He stands in 6th place all-time among Shot Putters from the CAC region behind Jamaicans Richards, Dorian Scott and Miller, and the Cuban pair of Alexis Paumier and Carlos Veliz, both of whom like Scott, are no longer active.

Henry, now competing for the University of Findlay in Ohio, tossed the iron ball an impressive 20.61m in a home meet for a national and O.E.C.S. indoor record, a mark bettered only by the Jamaicans Richards and Scott among CAC throwers. He won the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships, adding to those he had won indoors for Central Arizona at the Junior College level.

In May, Henry unleashed a mammoth 21.47m throw to shatter the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships record, a mark that has him at No 13 on the IAAF list.

Heading into the Pan Am Games competition, he’s among the top 5 throwers in the Americas. Henry’s performances stamp him as second only to hurdler Kyron McMaster among BVI male athletes in terms of international ranking and it seems that there is much more to come.

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.

Athletes will feel at home at Lima 2019

The VIDENA sports complex is one of the multiple sports venues which will be used during the Lima 2019 Pan American and Parapan American Games. It includes the velodrome, athletics stadium and warm-up track, an aquatics centre with three pools, a 24-lane bowling alley, an indoor sports arena, plus an upgraded administration building and the Lima 2019 Control Centre. Photo: Lima 2019

With just under four months to go until the Games begin, the construction of the Pan American and Parapan American Games Village, located in Villa El Salvador, Lima, has been completed ahead of schedule. The village is now ready to welcome athletes, Para athletes and technical officials who will travel to Peru in July 2019 to compete in the Pan Am Games.

The Fields of Play have already been established for the majority of the sports at Villa Maria del Triunfo and VIDENA sports complexes that will each host multiple sports during the Games.

Kyron McMaster automatically qualified to compete in Lima 2019 when he won gold in the 400m hurdles at the 2018 Central American Caribbean (CAC) Games in August 2018. Eldred Henry’s recent record-setting achievements during the 2019 indoor and outdoor season have also qualified him for the Games.

With qualifying meets and competitions now underway, the BVI Olympic Committee anticipates additional athletes from track and field, swimming and sailing to qualify over the coming months.

The Pan Am Games is the largest multi sport event in the Americas and while the Virgin Islands is one of two countries yet to win a medal at these games, we are very optimistic of our chances at Lima 2019,” said Mr. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee.

President of Lima 2019, Carlos Neuhaus said that “Lima 2019 will be a sporting and, at the same time, a cultural festival that will allow Peru to be seen by the eyes of the world. In our capacity as host, we will offer athletes sports infrastructure with quality standards and a cultural program of equal quality. The success of the Games will be the great experience that athletes and visitors will be able to have, and the legacy left for Peruvians.”

About the Pan American Games
The Pan American Games (Pan Am Games) is a major sporting event in the Americas featuring a variety of summer sports in which athletes from nations of the Americas compete every four years in the year before the Summer Olympic Games. The 2019 Pan Am and Parapan American Games will take place in Lima, Peru in July and August.

The opening ceremony of the Lima 2019 Pan American Games will be held at the National Stadium on July 26, 2019. This continental event will gather 6680 athletes from 41 countries and delegations from the Americas.

There will be 17 days of competitions and ceremonies, between July 26 and August 11, 2019, which will take place in 14 districts of Lima and Callao at various venues such as VIDENA, Villa María del Triunfo Sports Center, Callao Regional Village, Villa El Salvador Sports Center, Punta Rocas, among others.

The Lima 2019 Pan American Games will include 39 sports and 62 disciplines, where athletes will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals. A total of 23 disciplines are qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The Parapan American Games will gather 1890 Para athletes from 33 countries, participating in 17 sports and 18 disciplines. Competitions will take place between August 23 and September 1, 2019. Fourteen sports quotas for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be granted.

On March 27, 2019, the Panam sports Executive Committee agreed that Cali, the “capital of sport” in Colombia will host the first Junior Pan American Games for young athletes in 2021.

About Panam Sports
Panam Sports (formerly known as Pan American Sports Organization – PASO) is the governing body of the Pan American Games and its structure and actions are defined by the Olympic Charter. Panam Sports is the leader of sports and the Olympic Movement in the Americas and encourages the sports development and supports the work of the 41 National Olympic Committees members, in order to inspire more world-class performances and the next generation of athletes across our region.

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.