The Turks and Caicos Islands sports personalities who told local media that they left it all on the track and in the pool, returned to a lukewarm welcome when they arrived at the Providenciales International Airport on Thursday.
Unlike the TCI Carifta Track & Field and Swim team, which returned after the Easter Weekend with floats and music blaring from the back of a truck, culminating with a ceremony at the Gustarvus Lightbourne Sports Complex, the team to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games retuned to less than a handful of flag-waving well-wishers.
Despite not medaling, the TCI had two athletes who made to the finals in Yanique Haye-Smith and Ifeanyichukwu Otuonye. Haye-Smith, who did not accompany the team back home, made it to the 400m hurdles final but missed the podium, while Otuonye made the long jump finals, and barely missed out on medaling due to picking up an injury during the competition.
Both Godfrey Been, President of the Turks and Caicos Commonwealth Games Association and Edith Skippings, President of the Turks and Caicos Islands Amateur Athletics Association (TCAAA), sang the praises of the athletes and their performances.
Otuonye, who spoke on behalf of the athletes, said they gave of their best across the three disciplines in which the Turks and Caicos competed – Track and field, swimming and cycling.
Prior to the Games, cyclist Sean Rogers decided to retire. However, he said on Thursday that the competition had inspired him to participate another year.
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