Recently crowned Junior Sportsman of the Year Adell Colthrust and Junior Sportswoman of the Year Khalifa St Fort, said they are proud of their achievements in 2017 after enduring numerous injuries to reach the top of the podium.
The sprinters won the top junior awards at the Annual TT Olympic Committee Awards at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port of Spain, on Friday night.
Colthrust won gold in the boys Under-18 100-metre event at the 2017 Carifta Games in Curacao in April, and in July followed up that performance with another gold medal in the 100m event at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas.
St Fort copped gold in both the girls Under-20 100m and 200m events at Carifta, before winning gold in the 100m event at the 2017 Pan American Under-20 Athletics Championships in July in Peru.
On winning the award Colthrust said, “I am very happy to win this, this is a stepping stone to something greater.”
Colthrust, a student at Debe Secondary School, said he had to challenge his mind to overcome injuries including shin splints, back problems and hamstring problems. Colthrust said in 2017 he realised that even with injuries he can still perform at a high level. “This year was one of those years where I could reflect on to improve myself. This year I was not really 100 percent, but this year has given me motivation that even if I am not 100 percent I can still do great,” Colthrust said.
The Debe Secondary student ranked his gold medal at Carifta as his best accomplishment for the year.
“Again I was not at my best and I really thought that the other fellas would have beaten me. That gave a lot of motivation and a push for the rest of the year.”
St Fort also rated her effort at the Carifta Games as her top moment of 2017. St Fort said, “Definitely the Carifta double (was the better achievement). That is something I have been trying to do since my first Carifta, which I was not able to complete because I had a hip injury, so that really was the closest to my heart. The Pan Ams - the win was great, but I felt I had to work a lot harder for the (Carifta) 200 win because I knew I was not feeling well.”
St Fort said she had to overcome injuries leading up to the Carifta Games which made the 100m and 200m victories special. “I was out from October (2016) to February (2017) with knee injuries. I had two knee injuries and then I developed a hamstring injury.”
St Fort said despite not running her best times during 2017, she is proud that she showed determination while trying to cope with injuries.
“It wasn’t the greatest season, it was not a season full of PRs (personal records) and easy wins, but it definitely showed that there is a lot more to Khalifa than fast (times) and smiles. Sometimes it is hard and you have to suck it up and run, and that Carifta 200 I am not going to lie is probably the hardest race I ever had to run.”