The 2021 CARIFTA Track and Field Championship scheduled for Bermuda in August has been cancelled, says North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC), the regional body governing the sport.
“The NACAC Council regrets the decision to cancel Carifta 2021. For the second year running, young, hard-working athletes have been denied the opportunity to represent their respective territories at the world’s premier junior track and field competition,” NACAC said in a statement.
This is the second year running that regional championship has been abandoned due to COVID-19. NACAC, in a statement on Monday, stated that the games were forced to cancel because the host country was unwilling to revise its Covid-19 regulations to accommodate athletes arriving for competition.
NACAC said it reached the decision to pull the 49th edition of the games as the Government of Bermuda maintained that the 14-day quarantine for unvaccinated visitors is non-negotiable, making it highly impractical for there to be an Under-17 category as is the norm and for NACAC to stage the region’s premier junior track and field meet.
The plug was pulled on CARIFTA 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Bermuda transferred its hosting responsibilities to 2021.
The event normally takes place during the Easter holiday. This year’s edition was first postponed to July 2-4 and then to August 13-15.
In the meantime, NACAC is urging the disappointed athletes not to lose hope, but to continue training, as there is a light at end of the tunnel.
“To the region’s young athletes, keep training. For those who are eligible for the July 9-11 NACAC U18 & U23 Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica, we encourage you to maintain focus on this competition,” the statement said.
The Turks and Caicos Islands staged its CARIFTA trials on the weekend, which saw one record set in the high jump category by 15 year-old Tanesia Gardiner, with a height of 1.58 metres.
The team was scheduled to be selected within the next two weeks, according to President of the Turks and Caicos Islands Amateur Athletics Association (TCAAA), Edith Skippings.