Most of the athletes who represented St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the 2018 CARIFTA Games over the Easter holidays returned home on Tuesday exhausted but pleased with their performance.
SVG won gold in three events, including its first gold in swimming, when Alexander “Alex” Joachim netted gold in the Junior CARIFTA Under-17 male 200-metre breaststroke in Jamaica.
The athlete, who turns 15 on April 14, also won silver in the 100-metre breast stroke, and bronze in the 200-metre fly.
He matched his sister, Shné Joachim, by winning 3 medals in a single CARIFTA Games. However, the older sibling never won a gold.
Alex is a student at Appleby College, a high school in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. He swims for Oakville Aquatic Club in Canada and Black Sands in SVG.
Meanwhile, in the Junior CARIFTA track and field championships in the Bahamas, SVG also won gold in the Under-17 male 800-metre.
Handal Roban, of Byera, a 15-year-old St. Vincent Grammar School student, took gold when he clocked a time of 1 minute 56.83 seconds.
He beat J’Voughnn Blake of Jamaica into second place (1 minute 57.64) with fellow Jamaican Giovouni Henry placing third in a time of 1 minute 58.32s.
Also winning gold was the Vincentian Girls Under-20 4×400 metre relay team.
The Vincentian team, composed of Annicea Richards, Shafiqua Maloney, Zita Vincent and Tamara Woodley, were initially awarded bronze in a time of 3 minutes 48.24 seconds
They were, however, awarded the gold medal after the teams from Jamaica and The Bahamas were disqualified.
Minister of Tourism Cecil “Ces” McKie welcomed the athletes home during a reception at the VIP lounge at Argyle International Airport Tuesday evening.
Roban told iWitness News that he felt “pretty good” about his performance.
He said he was expecting to do very well in the 800-metre and praised the lessons given by his coach Rawlson Morgan during the last days before the games for his performance.
Meanwhile, Woodley said she was very pleased with her performance.
“It was a great learning experience and I do hope for many more opportunities for us to come, and the team,” the 17-year-old Bequia resident who is a first year student of biology, chemistry, and physical education at the Community College told iWitness News.
She said that she has been involved in athletics since she was 6 years old but only began taking the sport seriously when she entered the Girls’ High School.
And, Richards, a 16-year-old student of the Intermediate High School was proud of the team’s performance.
“I think we did great and there is much more to look forward to,” she said.
And, Vincent, a 16-year-old resident of Layou who attends the Central Leeward Secondary School, told iWitness News that it feels good to have won gold.
“… and the team is going to keep it up,” she said.
Maloney travelled to the United States and did not return to St. Vincent with the team.