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.

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

Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission Tahesia Harrigan-Scott visits Japan 1 year ahead of Summer Olympic Games

(l-r) Aki Murasato (Executive Director of International Relations, Tokyo 2020), Yukihiko Nunomura (President, Tokyo 2020), Maxwell De Silva (Secretary General, NOC of Sri Lanka), Tahesia Harrigan-Scott (VI Chef de Mission), unkown, Turo Kobayashi (Head of NOC Services, Tokyo 2020), James Macleod (Director, NOC Relations & Olympic Solidarity, IOC) at the Chef de Mission Seminar in Tokyo, Japan, Aug 20 -22 2019.

Tokyo 2020 is just under a year away and the Virgin Islands’ 100m CAC multi-gold medalist and IAAF World Indoor Championships bronze medalist, Mrs. Tahesia Harrigan-Scott is the Chef de Mission for the 32nd edition of the Summer Olympic Games.

Undertaking her first official duty, Harrigan-Scott attended a three-day Chef de Mission Seminar in Japan from August 20 – 22. She joined representatives from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) for progress updates and venue tours a year ahead of the Games which takes place in Tokyo from July 24 to August 9, 2020.

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, Chef de Mission, Tokyo 2020 with the Olympic Torch

“The seminar has been very informative and I have received a lot of information which will assist in structuring my plans going forward as Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020,” said Harrigan-Scott. “I was a bit disappointed not to be able to go into the Olympic stadium as the venue is still under construction. While some venues – like the field hockey venue – are completed, most of the others are in their test event phase so in term of venue tours, it’s just seeing the progression of the stadiums and the different areas being developed.

“The atmosphere in Tokyo is great, the environment is good with the only thing of concern to most people and the Tokyo 2020 organizers is the heat and humidity around the period of the Olympic Games. A lot of counter-heat measures are being put in place to ensure the safety of the athletes and the spectators coming out to visit.

They are taking safety, along with everything else, into consideration so I think it’s going to be a great event.”

Harrigan-Scott, who recently retired from her career as a professional athlete, was appointed by the BVI Olympic Committee to manage all aspects of the VI athletes’ participation in Tokyo 2020.

“The role of Chef de Mission will be well-suited to Mrs. Harrigan-Scott who was the first female to represent the Virgin Islands at the Summer Olympic Games at Beijing 2008 and who since then also competed in the subsequent London 2012 and Rio 2016 Summer Olympics,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “She has a wealth of experience in major international competitions that is unmatched by any other of our national athletes and we are fortunate that she accepted the role for what we anticipate will be an exciting Olympic Games for our roster of elite athletes who qualify to compete at Tokyo 2020.”

Harrigan-Scott’s athletic career
A long-serving athlete who represented the VI in athletics at various levels between 1998 through 2018, Harrigan-Scott made her debut competing regionally in the U17 division at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Junior Championships in the Cayman Islands and ended her international career as a finalist in the 100 meter dash at the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Open Championships in Toronto, Canada.

She was the VI’s first female athlete to win a gold medal at an international Games with her victory in the 100 meters at the 2006 CAC Games a feat she repeated at the same Games 4 years later. Harrigan-Scott’s most significant accomplishment, however, was winning a bronze medal at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in the 60 meter dash in 2008. She has also been a finalist at the Pan American and Commonwealth Games and a silver medalist in the 100m at the CAC Championships.

She currently holds the national athletics records in the 100m and 200m dashes as well as the 4x100m relay. She was also a national record holder in the long and triple jumps.

Harrigan-Scott was an outstanding student during her collegiate career and has provided leadership to many of her younger colleagues. On two occasions she and her husband, Joey Scott, himself a former athlete, conducted brief athletics camps in the Virgin Islands.

Committed to using her training and experiences as a professional athlete, Harrigan-Scott will be working with the BVI Olympic Committee on projects which will serve to advance the Long Term Athlete Development programme in the territory as well as providing input towards the elite athlete programme.

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.

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.

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott completes her Commonwealth Games Career with fourth appearance

British Virgin Islands Tahesia Harrigan-Scott ran her final race in the athletic’s women’s 100m semi-finals during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 8, 2018. Photo SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images

Three Virgin Islands athletes took to the track and field on the first day of Athletics at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games on Monday, April 8.

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott advanced to the semi-finals of the 100m when she placed third in her heat with a time of 11.64. A couple of hours later, Tahesia ran her final race in a Commonwealth Games.

It was a bright clear day and the stadium was packed with ardent Games supporters generating an energetic atmosphere. Tahesia, racing in lane 8 took to her blocks and shot out strong and held her position near the lead until the last quarter of the race when she dropped into 7th place finishing her race in a time of 11.63. Her time placed her 13th overall in a total of 24 runners in the semi-finals.

“The heat was my first 100 meters of the season so it felt like the first race,” said Tahesia. “I felt good in the second race. My start felt fine, my reaction was good, it’s just the last 30 meters of the race when I really faded and it cost me a better time than I should have ran. While I would have liked to have done better I gave it all that I had at that moment.”

Enjoying the experience of Gold Coast 2018, Tahesia will now be turning her attention to her team mates and cheer them on in their competitions. This is the fourth Commonwealth Games for Tahesia. She was the first female Virgin Islander to compete at the Commonwealth Games when she made her debut in Manchester in 2002 and advanced to the quarter-finals in the 100 meters in what was then her first senior international meet. Tahesia went on to finish in 5th place in the finals in both Melbourne 2006 and Delhi 2010.

“We are exceptionally proud of Tahesia,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Commonwealth Games Association. “She has been an excellent ambassador for our athletes, our team and the Virgin Islands at all Commonwealth Games. Her positive attitude and cheerful disposition along with her ethical approach to competition is what we at the BVICGA hope all our athletes will aspire to. We thank Tahesia for being a leader in the VI corps of athletes, and for her commitment to her sport and to the team.”

Eldred Henry was next up in the stadium on day one, competing in Group B of the Shot Put. He hurled his furthest throw of the flight in his first attempt to land at 18.19 meters. His distance placed him 5th in his group with the top thrower in his group achieving 20.47m. While Eldred felt he could have done better, his throw was good enough to get him through to the Shot Put finals on April 9.

Khari Herbert Jr started off from the blocks in the 400m heats but pulled out of the race after a few meters when he felt pains in his hamstring in his right leg. While disappointed not to have been able to compete in these Games, he is looking forward to racing in the upcoming events of the season.

Joe Chapman beat Manda Chilambwe (Zambia) in Plate Semi Final 11-5, 11-4, 6-11, 11-4. Photo: Max Harris

In Squash, Joe Chapman played in the semi-finals of the Men’s Singles Plate to win against Manda Chilambwe of Zambia. In an exciting match that took 38 minutes, Joe came through comfortably in four games 11-5, 11-4, 6-11, 11-4. He will face Cameron Stafford of Cayman in the Plate finals at 1.15pm on April 9 (11.15pm, Sunday, April 8 VI time).

Upcoming events:

Joe Chapman and Neville Sorrentino will play England’s Declan James and James Willstrop in the Men’s Squash Doubles at 11.45am on Tuesday, April 10 (9.45pm Monday, April 9 VI time).

Track and field competitions for the VI’s athletes will continue on Monday, April 9 with Ashley Kelly running in the 400m heats at 10.30am (8.30pm, Sunday, April 8, VI time) and Eldred will compete in the Shot Put finals at 8.25pm (6.25am Monday, April 9 VI time).

Kyron McMaster will debut in the Commonwealth Games with the 400m Hurdles heats at 11.15 am on Tuesday, April 10 (9.15pm, Monday, April 9, VI time), followed by Tynelle Gumbs in the Hammer Throw at 8.40pm (6.40am, Tuesday, April 10, VI time).

Chantel Malone will compete in the Long Jump at 7.00pm on Wednesday, April 11 (5.00am, VI time).

Eldred will then throw the Discus at 10.00am on Thursday, April 12 (8.00pm, Wednesday, April 11, VI time) and Trevia Gumbs will hurl the Shot Put at 12.15pm (10.15 pm, Wednesday, April 11, VI time). Trevia and twin sister, Tynelle will then compete in the Discus throw at 8.40pm that night (6.40am, Thursday, April 12, VI time).

The Games will be broadcast via Flow Sports Live and Flow’s mobile customers will also have live access via WiFi or Mobile Data to the Games via the Flow Sports 1 App. Live coverage on the Flow Sports Networks will start each evening at 7pm Eastern Caribbean Time and extend well into the late-night hours. Caribbean fans can also follow live Commonwealth Games events each morning, which is evening in Australia.

Supporters who want to follow the events and competition live must subtract 14 hours from the times scheduled on the official Gold Coast 2018 web site (www.gc2018.com).

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott set to compete at her 5th IAAF World Indoor Championships

By the BVI Athletics Association

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott set to compete in the 60m dash at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships, Birmingham UK. Photo: BVIAA

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott will be competing in the 60m dash event this Friday, March 2, 2018 at the IAAF World Indoor Championships which take place March 1 – 4, 2018 in Birmingham, U.K.

Mrs. Harrigan-Scott is accompanied by coach Mr. Ralston Henry.

3-time Olympian Mrs. Harrigan-Scott’s greatest success at the World Indoor Championships came in 2008 in Valencia, Spain where she placed 3rd in the 60m final with a time of 7.09.

Dropped baton cost team BVI possible Gold at IAAF Relay

Source: BVIPlatinum

(l-r) Nelda Huggins, Ashley Kelly, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, Karene King and (not pictured) Chantel Malone and L’t’sha Fahie made up the 4×100 relay team at the 2017 IAAF/BTC World Relay Championships in the Bahamas. Photo: Provided

A minor error cost team BVI a possible gold last weekend, at the 2017 IAAF/BTC World Relay Championships in the Bahamas, April 22 and 23.

The event saw participation from a local team made up of female sprint stars, Nelda Huggins, Ashley Kelly, Chantel Malone, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, Karene King and L’t’sha Fahie.

While participating in the B Finals of the 4x100m event, which took place last evening, the team, who was leading by a significant distance, suffered a blunder while passing the baton from the second to the third leg.

Consequently, the race was incomplete by the BVI team.

Prior, the team secured 10th place in the semi-finals of the 4×100 relay, thus securing a spot to compete in the B Finals.

The team also made it to the finals in the 4x200m relay race, securing 7th place.

In interviews following the race, Ms. King expressed her delight in representing the BVI, and commended their effort.

“For us to make it to the finals is a big thing. As you know we are a small country, but with a big heart.”

Mrs. Harrigan-Scott, said, “We went in there thinking that we can make it, all the girls gave their best effort and were able to reach the finals.”

New National Records set by VI athletes

Source: VINO

St Augustine University senior Khari Herbert Jr won the 400 metre dash in 47.49 seconds at the CIAA Conference Championships held in Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo: MileSplit BVI/File

St Augustine University senior Khari Herbert Jr won the 400 metre dash in 47.49 seconds at the CIAA Conference Championships held in Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo: MileSplit BVI/File

The Virgin Islands’ top athletic prospects continue to enjoy improvement and success overseas, with four new National Indoor Athletics Records set during the period spanning February 10-13, 2017.

At the ISTAF meet in Germany on February 10, 2017, Chantel E. Malone placed 4th in the long jump, extending her National Best by 2 cm to 6.67m, finishing behind Olympic bronze Medalist Ivana Spanovic of Belarus and two German internationals. Malone’s mark also places her 9th in the early season rankings.

In Boston, Tynelle Gumbs, now representing the University of Fundlay (Ohio) continued to impress, winning the weight throw with a stellar 21.32m, third best this year among Division II throwers and twentieth in the USA.

She also continued to improve in the shot put, propelling the iron ball out to 13.97m after never having thrown as far as 13 metres prior to this season.

Clemson University freshman Lakeisha”Mimi” Warner, after coming close on two prior occasions, finally secured the national record for 800m, finishing 4th at a home meet in 2:09.37, knocking over three seconds off her indoor best and moving into the top 10 all-time OECS two-lappers (all conditions), ironically dropping clubmate Tarika ‘Tinkerbell’ Moses one spot to 11th.

The final new national record went to Khari Herbert Jr at the CIAA Conference Championships held in Lynchburg, Virginia, as the St Augustine University senior won the 400 metre dash in 47.49 seconds and also finished second in the 200 in a personal best (indoor or outdoor ) time, clocking 21.57 as St Augustine’ took the team title in commanding fashion.

Other good weekend performances came from Tahesia G. Harrigan-Scott, who finished third in a photo finish with Jamaica’s Jura Levy (7.32) and Audra Segree (7.33), a time also recorded by the Virgin Islands veteran in the 60 metres.

Finally, Iowa Central College freshman Nelda Huggins, who won the 60 metres in a personal best of 7.46 seconds, stamping her name as one to watch at the Lunior College Championships.

Behind the Scenes at Rio 2016 with Tahesia Harrigan-Scott

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott taking stock of the track. Photo: BVIOC

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott taking stock of the track. Photo: BVIOC

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott is looking relaxed as the veteran Olympian of the British Virgin Islands’ team of four competing at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. She is on her way to the Maracana training ground, adjacent to the stadium where she will be competing on August 12.

Rio 2016 is Tahesia’s third Olympic Games and where she will run the 100m.

It’s an evening training session and the track is active with athletes from all nations, including Grenada’s 400m Gold medalist, Kirani James, running drills.

Tahesia sips her pre-work out drink before she starts her routine of waking up her muscles with stretching exercises.

“Tonight I’ll be keeping it light with some starts, block work, and sprints,” she says. “So I’ll be taking off from the blocks for 10 and 20 meters and also do a couple of 100m and 110m sprints.”

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott concentrates on the task ahead. Photo: BVIOC

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott concentrates on the task ahead. Photo: BVIOC

She moves on to the track where she joins her training partners representing Haiti, Cayman, and Nigeria. Under the observant eye of coach and husband, Joey Scott, Tahesia goes through her sets of leg work – a series of fast, high-knee hops, skips and strides – which will fire up her muscles and trigger limb-placement memory for optimal results.

“At this point all the work is done,” says Coach Scott. “There’s nothing I can say to her or tell her now that’s going to have an impact. It’s all up to her and what we do at competition training is just fine tuning.”

The banter on the track is light and friendly but concentration on the tasks at hand is unwavering.

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott measuring up the blocks. Photo: BVIOC

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott measuring up the blocks. Photo: BVIOC

After measuring distance and adjusting the blocks to suit her leg position, Tahesia executes an impressive backward lunge to land both her feet precisely on the blocks. Lined up against fellow sprinters from elsewhere, Tahesia waits for the start signal before she explodes off the start, keeping up with the four men in the lanes next to her.

Her performance that session wins the nod of approval from Coach Scott. It’s time for a post work out treatment with Team BVI’s physiotherapist, Matt McGrath.

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott at Maracana training grounds, Rio. Photo: BVIOC

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott at Maracana training grounds, Rio. Photo: BVIOC

“I’m feeling good,” says Tahesia as she comes off her last, fast sprint. “This is the first Games where I can say I don’t have any niggling worries, for example an injury that I might not have mentally shaken off. Everything seems aligned for me and I feel well balanced in body, soul and mind to give this my best shot.”

(l-r) at the Rio 2016 Maracana training grounds with Coach Joey Scott, Chris Huffins, former USA decathlete and bronze medalist, Sydney 2000, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, Kirani James, 400m Gold medalist London 2012, Coach Harvey Glance, 4x100m Gold medalist Montreal 1976.

(l-r) at the Rio 2016 Maracana training grounds with Coach Joey Scott, Chris Huffins, former USA decathlete and bronze medalist, Sydney 2000, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, Kirani James, 400m Gold medalist London 2012, Coach Harvey Glance, 4x100m Gold medalist Montreal 1976. Photo: BVIOC