ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, Sporting Alert – The 2016 Carifta Games will open on Saturday morning with a full schedule, which gets under way at 9:00 am local time at the Grenada Athletic Stadium.
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No fewer than 20 finals are on the schedule for Saturday’s opening day of action, with the medal races including all the 100m and 400m events in what is expected to be a very lively evening session.
Fans are expecting some thrilling performances from the Jamaicans, following the impressive showings at Champs 2016 last week.
Of course there will be athletes from over 20 countries competing at the Games, but like it’s been for many years, the Jamaicans are always the ones to watch out for.
Among the names to look out for from the Caribbean athletics powerhouses are; Christopher Taylor, Jhevaughn Matherson, Dejour Russell, Akeem Bloomfield, Raheem Chambers, Nigel Ellis, Junelle Bromfield, Kimone Shaw, Chrisanni May and Shanice Love — just to single out a few.
One of the sprint events to pay very close attention to will be the Under-20 Boys’ 400m, which will feature Bloomfield, the Cayman Islands’ 2015 Pan Am Junior champion Jamal Walton and Trinidad & Tobago’s Jacob St. Clair.
Defending champion Bloomfield, who owns a personal best of 44.93 seconds and eased to a comfortable 46.12 secs to win at Champs 2016 a week ago, will start as the favourite, but Walton remains confident about his chances as well.
Walton takes a personal best of 45.99 into the contest, set last year, and he is hoping to break into the 44-seconds marker.
“My aim is to come first and show everyone that I came here to do my best,” he said.
“So I am coming here to Carifta Games and try and so like a 44secs.”
In the Under-18 Boys’ 400m, Taylor, the Jamaican World Youth champion, who holds a personal best of 45.27 will be very difficult to beat.
In the 100m, Jamaica’s Nigel Ellis, fresh off his 10.18 seconds performance at Champs 2016, is the man to beat in the Under-20 100m and the clash against defending sprint double champion Mario Burke of Barbados should bring some excitement in the stands
Jamaica’s Raheem Chambers, who finished third last year, is also expected to be among the front-runners.
In the Under-18 race, Jhevaughn Matherson of Jamaica says he’s targeting the gold medal after missing last year’s Games because of injuries.
Kimone Shaw is the one to watch in the Under-18 100, with Trinidad and Tobago’s Khalifa St. Fort, the 2015 World Youth silver medalist, starting as the lady to catch in the Under-20 Girls’ race.
Other finals set the Saturday’s opening day include the 1500m, high jump, javelin throw triple jump, discus throw, long jump and shot put.
The Carifta Games will see from countries including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Maarteen, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, the United States Virgin Islands, among others.