EIGHT TT archers, several of whom are barely two years into the sport, surpassed expectations at the recently concluded Southern Caribbean Championships in Guadeloupe, winning 20 individual medals and a third place finish in the team shoot event.
Shanta Roopchand left with six gold medals in the cadet compound division, while Bryanna Ramlakhan took three gold and three silver in the same category.
Darnell Garcia contributed with three silver in the cadet, and Candice Silochan with a pair of silver and one bronze in the senior female recurve.
Rollin Bertrand added a bronze in the recurve masters division, and Bishop Taylor, participating in his first major tournament, won another bronze in the recurve masters.
The team shoot, comprising Ramlakhan, Veshash Singh and Kamil Silochan, the latter of whom also featured in his first major international archery event, combined for a third place finish, crowning a successful trip.
The national team closed in second place in the team standings, a laudable feat, said team manager and coach Selwyn Jagesar, considering it was not quite a full-strength TT team and that several of the other participating nations and territories fielded as many as 30 archers in comparison to TT’s eight.
“It was a high level tournament, I must say, because the standard has raised tremendously,” said Jagesar in an interview with Newsday, following the team’s return Tuesday evening. “When I saw what was happening, it really surprised me to see how far we’ve come.”
He said there were hiccups in transit, heading to and returning from the event, which made the team performance all the more special. “They performed well, even with the pressure we encountered.
“The first day, when we had to stay over in Barbados for some lengthy time, we were told we had to wait for three hours and it ended up being more like 10 hours for our flight to go to Guadeloupe.
“The following day, we actually had to get up early to go and perform. And with all that pressure, day after day, four days of intense shooting, we actually did very, very good, I must say.”
“The guys had fun after the shoot. We enjoyed ourselves, bonding like a family. He said Silochan (Candice) would certainly have won more than her bronze and two silver medals had she competed in more events.
Jagesar heaped praise on the TT Target Archery Federation and its personnel for their dedication to the sport.
“Thank you TTTAF for making this possible for all of us. There are people who worked very hard in the background in getting us there, like Mr Gregory (Quesnel, TTTAF president). We want to thank him for his great contribution,” Jagesar said.