Team Trinidad and Tobago jets off in search of silverware at Carifta Games 2024

Long jumper Janae De Gannes. - File photo by Angelo Marcelle
Long jumper Janae De Gannes. - File photo by Angelo Marcelle

An 85-member Trinidad and Tobago contingent comprising 67 athletes and 18 officials left for St George’s, Grenada on March 28 as they look to stake their claim for medal contention in varying events at the 51st edition of the Carifta Games from March 30-April 1.

The TT team, which is being managed by former 400-metre hurdle world champion Jehue Gordon, will be aiming to better their 22-medal haul from the 2023 Carifta competition in the Bahamas.

Last year, TT copped five gold medals, to go along with eight silver and nine bronze medals, and there are a few reigning champions in the TT squad who will be looking to strike gold in the Spice Island as well.

The 2023 National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) under-20 athletes of the year, Sanaa Frederick and long-distance runner Tafari Waldron, will be among those hunting for podium spots at the games. Frederick, whose twin sister Sole is also a key member of the squad, ran away with the girls’ under-20 200-metre crown at last year’s Carifta. Meanwhile, Queen’s Royal College (QRC) student Waldron copped the boys’ under-20 5,000-metre title and he has already set his sights on getting a Carifta record at this year’s games.

Last weekend, Waldron warmed up for his 1,500-metre and 5,000-metre events in Grenada with an impressive run of four minutes, 10.05 seconds in the Falcon Games at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago.

Waldron is confident of defending his 5,000-metre title and he is also targeting the national junior record in the event as well.

Another rising star in the TT contingent is Janae De Gannes, who copped the 2023 NAAA under-18 Female Athlete of the Year award, to go along with the First Citizens Sports Foundation Youth Sportswoman of the Year accolade which she picked up earlier this month.

De Gannes landed one of TT’s eight silver medals at the 2023 Carifta Games when she recorded a 5.93-metre jump in the girls’ under-20 long jump competition. And after breaking the under-18 meet record at the North American, Central American and Caribbean Games in Costa Rica with a 6.11-metre leap last year, like Waldron, the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games silver medallist is targeting a gold medal showing in her pet event.

The team also includes Oasis athlete and President’s Rising Star award Keneisha Shelbourne, who will be competing in the girls’ under-20 high jump and triple jump events, to go along with teaming up with the 4x400m relay quartet.

Long distance runner Tafari Waldron. - File photo by Roger Jacob

The TT team includes a number of talented athletes who showed off their prowess at the Secondary Schools Track and Field (SSTF) national championship which concluded at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo last month.

SSTF awardees and national championship Victores Ludorum Shezlon Gordon (RSS Phoenix), Michal Paul (Concorde Athletic Club), Xiah Tobias (Zenith), Tenique Vincent (Concorde) and Peyton Winter (Burnley) will all be staking their claims for medals in Grenada.

Gordon was one of the standout athletes for Roxborough Secondary when they swept the boys’ and girls’ overall titles at the SSTF national championship, and he will try to emulate his namesake Jehue when he faces the starter in the 400m, 400m hurdles and the 4x400m relay in the boys’ under-17 category.

Paul will accompany Shezlon on the 4x400m relay team in addition to his high jump event, while the pair of Tobias and Vincent will feature in the girls’ under-17 100m event, the long jump and relay events, among other disciplines.

Winter will aim to show her dominance in the field when she competes in the girls’ under-17 discus throw and shot put events.


"Team Trinidad and Tobago jets off in search of silverware at Carifta Games 2024"

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