Athletes return from Trinbago 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games with positive experience

The Virgin Islands (UK) delegation to the Trinbago 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games returned home late on August 12. The team of 5 athletes aged 14-18 years competed in track and field events in the 7th edition of the Games in Trinidad and Tobago, August 4 – 11, 2023.

Sprinter J’Den Jackson ran on August 7 and successfully qualified for the 100m semifinals with a time of 11.19 in the heats and placed 8th with a non-advancing time of 11.27. The event was ultimately won by English runner Teddy W Wilson (10.37) with fellow national, Ebuka Nwokejie placing 2nd (10.43) and Shaquane G Gordon of Jamaica placing 3rd (10.43).

On Wednesday, August 9, J’Den ran 22.37 placing 4th in heat 4 of the 200m to qualify for the semifinals where he placed 6th with a non-advancing time of 22.24. Samuel Ogazi of Nigeria won the finals in a time of 21.22, Dean Patterson from Scotland placed 2nd in 21.45 and England runner Rusciano Thomas-Riley placed 3rd in 21.59.

Jonathan Lynch ran in the 800m semifinals placing 6th with a non-advancing time of 1:59.64 on August 9. The event concluded on August 10 with Kelvin Koech of Kenya taking the win in 1:50.14, Miles Waterworth of England placing 2nd in 1:52.21 and Caleb McLeod of Scotland placing 3rd in 1:52.83.

Long jumpers A’Sia McMaster and Cristal Daly competed on August 7. A’Sia’s longest mark was 5.56m for a 9th place finish while Cristal did not make a mark. Jah’Kyla competed in the high jump on August 10 but did not make a mark in her event.

The athletes ended their experience of the Commonwealth Youth Games at the Closing Ceremony at Pigeon Point Beach Facility, Tobago on Friday, August 11.

“The athletes were a great team and we can be very proud of their conduct on and off the field of play,” said Chef de Mission Ms. Ericca Frederick. “One of the main purposes of these youth-oriented Games is to provide an opportunity for athletes to participate in friendly competition, make friendships and be exposed to the different cultures across the Commonwealth, I can say that our athletes embraced the mission and return home richer for their experience in Trinidad and Tobago.”

The team was accompanied by coach Erwin “Redz” Telemaque. Mr. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVICGA, was on the ground to support and encourage the athletes.

“The Commonwealth Youth Games are a pathway to the senior Commonwealth Games and major Games and the 5 athletes will have been exposed to the competition they can expect to face as they progress in their athletic career,” said President Penn. “They were well-guided by their coach and the constructive take-aways from the experience of competing at Trinbago 2023 should serve the athletes well going forward.”

More than 1000 athletes from 71 Nations and Territories across the Commonwealth participated in the Games competing in events across 7 sports including athletics and para-athletics, aquatics, beach volleyball, cycling, FAST5 netball, rugby sevens and triathlon.

The Games have traditionally taken place every four years with the first event being hosted in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2000. The VI was first represented at a CYG at Samoa 2015 when athletes competed in track and field and tennis. The date and host for the next Games has not yet been decided.