Bermuda hosted the 5th CARIFTA Triathlon, Aquathlon & Mixed Relay Championships at Goodman’s Bay over the weekend of August 26th and 27th, 2023.
The Championships had nine different Caribbean countries compete - Barbados, Bermuda, Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Antigua and Grenada - across 4 age groups (11-12, 13-15, 16-19, 21& Under) in the triathlon and aquathlon events.
Overall, the 23-member Barbados team won gold for the second straight year. They amassed 180 total points and came away with 15 medals, 8 of which were gold. Bermuda took overall silver with 130 points and 8 medals. Rounding out the points table was Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, Aruba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Antigua and Grenada.
Day one feature the triathlon events which saw Zahra Gaskin of Barbados and Liam McLaughlin of Trinidad & Tobago capturing gold in the 21&U female and male categories respectively. The 16-19 category witnessed Isis Gaskin of Barbados and Jamie Bedford of Bermuda taking gold medals in the female and male sprint triathlons respectively.
Winners of the 13-15 age group which was the largest of the competition were Valentina Negron of Puerto Rico in the female race and Jackson Langley of Bermuda in the male race. The last group to compete on the day were the 11-12 category with Laila McIntyre winning the female gold and in a rare occurrence, a tie between Lachlan Menzies of the Bahamas and Rory Shepherd of Bermuda sharing gold in the male event.
Day two saw competition continue with the aquathlon and mixed relay events taking place. The 21 &U saw Zahra Gaskin who is on a triathlete scholarship at Wingate University capture gold and Liam McLaughlin of Trinidad & Tobago take another gold in the male race. In the 16-19 event, Isis Gaskin Barbados took her second gold while Israel Allen of Jamaica took the male gold.
For the 13-15 Barbados swept gold medals in female and male races with first time competitor Isabella Mayers and Luke McIntyre being the victors. Laila McIntyre of Barbados and Rory Shepherd of Bermuda each grabbed their second gold of the championships in the 11-12 category.
Closing the action on day 2 were the mixed relays which saw Bermuda capture gold and Barbados the silver and bronze. The double podium secured Team Barbados 2nd consecutive Championship Title.
The event saw 144 triathletes compete across the age groups on both days. This event is the premier event for the development of triathlon, aquathlon and mixed relays across the Caribbean. Barbados is expected to host the event in 2024 where team Barbados will go for a 3rd consecutive title. Full results can be found at www.odesseytiming.com.
President of the CARIFTA Triathlon Organizing Committee, Darren Treasure, said “We are extremely proud of this group of dedicated young triathletes. The Bahamas Triathlon Federation did an exception job of organizing and executing the event.
With 144 athletes and equally as many spectators the Bahamas tourism and hospitality was on offer for all to enjoy. The event continues to provide motivation and development opportunities for triathletes in the Caribbean like no other.
The level of competition continues to improve year after year and the relationships formed between the participants will be long lasting. We hope in the future to see more of our Caribbean neighbors participate in Barbados next year.”