Bolt leads CARIFTA charge
JAMAICA'S CARIFTA GAMES team, led by Usain Bolt, the World Junior 200 metre champion and record holder, are due in camp next Monday before leaving the island two days later for the track & field championship starting in Hamilton, Bermuda, on April 9.
Bolt, who set a new world junior 200 record in Barbados two years ago, heads Jamaica's 63-member squad and is down to run his pet event, as well as the 4 x 100 metres and 4 x 400 metres relays.
Simone Facey, the world junior 100 metres silver medallist, will head the girls team. She will run her pet event and the quarter-mile relay. Missing from the Jamaica squad is Anneisha McLaughlin, who is focussing on preparing for the World Junior and Olympics Games, both scheduled for later this year.
On the girls side, five of last year's champions are returning. Kayann Thompson, gold medal winner in the Under-20 girls' 1500 metres, will be back to defend her title and also take aim at the 800 metres and 4 x 400 metres relay. Sherene Pinnock, the Under-17 girls' 300 metres hurdles winner last year, has graduated to the Under-20 girls and will contest the 400 metres hurdles and the mile relay, and similarly, Natasha Ruddock, the Under-17 girls' 100 metres hurdles champion, will defend her crown and help form the quarter-mile relay team.
Kimberly Williams, last year's Under-17 girls' triple jump winner, will also be back to defend her title as well as contest the long jump, while Nadina Marsh, the Under-20 girls' 100 metres hurdles champion, will centre her attention on the high jump and heptathlon.
On the boys' side, there are four returning champions from last year. All but one won in the junior boys' division and have not graduated to the senior boys'. Romaldo Rose, last year's Under-17 boys' 100 metres winner, will try to do the same thing in the senior boys' 100 and will be a member of the quarter-mile relay side, while Josef Robertson, last year's double gold medal winner in the 400m and 400m hurdles, will try to repeat in the senior boys' events this year.
Alain Bailey, the Under-17 high jump champion last year, will contest the same event and the long jump in the Under-20s this year, and Carlos Mattis, the Under-20 high jump king, will seek his second straight title in this event and attempt to add the triple jump.
UNDER-17 GIRLS: Kimberly Smith, Schilloni Calvert, Julia Smith, Bobbi-Gaye Wilkins, Vanessa Boyd, Jessica McLeod, Doraine Samuels, Natasha Ruddock, Judith Riley, Kimberly Williams, Kimona Smith, Kenisha Throughsingh, Latanya Nation.
UNDER-20 GIRLS: Simone Facey, Jodi-Ann Powell, Nickeshia Anderson, Tracey-Ann Rowe, Sonita Sutherland, Shaunetta Stewart, Kayann Thompson, Vanessa Whittle, Lorain McKenzie, Latoya Greaves, Nadina Marsh, Sherene Pinnock, Trishana McGowan, Anna-Kay Campbell, Rosemarie White, Tamara Francis, Althea Duncan, Keisha Brown, Nadia Alexander, Shaneka Parker.
UNDER-17 BOYS: Winston Barnes, Ramalo Turner, Favian Blagrove, Gawain Gray, Theon O'Connor, Bengallo Morrison, Desrick Brooks, Akeem Smith, Sandor Pennicott, Omari Dookie, Robert Peddlar, Raymond Brown, Nicholas Gordon.
UNDER-20 BOYS: Romaldo Rose, Kevin Stewart, Usain Bolt, Nestar Carter, Josef Robertson, Michael Gardner, Davian Parker, Clayton James, Kenroy Williams, Andre Drummond, Patrick Lee, Markino Buckley, Carlos Mattis, Alain Bailey, Wilbert Walker, Camoi Hood, Shawn Haughton.