Turks and Caicos Junior Athletes put in splendid performances at the Miami Classics held over the weekend.
The Turks and Caicos brought 15 athletes to the meet with ages ranging from primary to adult. The TCI took part in all the sprint events – 100m, 200m, and 400m, also the middle-distance races – 800m, 1500, 3000m, 10000, also shotput, discus, high jump and long jump.
Tanesia Gardiner mined gold in the 1500m and the 800m. Rasheed Talbot medaled in the 10000m and 15000. The TCI medaled in the 200m with Ronisha Johnson, who finished second with a personal best.
Melik Evans captured the high jump in the age 15/16 category. In the male 100m open, Courtney Missick finished third in time of 10.85. Darvioun Rigby finished with gold in the shotput and silver in the discus
Tayjo Opong secured gold in the discus and second in the shotput. Opong and Missick are based in Jamaica, and so did not make the trip to Turks and Caicos.
Christopher Foster, the Turks and Caicos Islands’ Head Coach for the meet, told Newsline that the athletes’ performances were hampered by the rainy weather.
“…Because the 200m had to be postponed. It was supposed to be done on Saturday afternoon but because of rain and lightning it was postponed to first thing Saturday morning. And so, the sprinters who had 100m and 200m to do were crammed with two extra races for those who made the final,” Foster explained.
Foster explained that Raymond Black, one of the primary school athletes, who made it to the 100m and 400m finals, had previously made to the 200m final, and was forced to run four races on the final day, causing him not to medal.
“And so, he ran four races in a matter of a few hours. He could have medaled in two races, but he did not get any medal at all because of that,” Foster bemoaned.
Edith Skippings, President for the Turks and Caicos Athletics Amateur Association (TCAAA) told Newsline that she believed the athletes did their best. She noted that prior to the athletes’ departing the Turks and Caicos Islands, she gave them a pep talk about the rigors of the competition and how to calm themselves in the height of competition.
“…And I have been in constant contact with them so many times a day, from the minute they left here until now. I am happy that everyone is back injury-free and safe,” she said.
In the meantime, Foster assessed that the more exposure the local athletes get, the better they will be, noting that if they are cared for, the future for athletics in the Turks and Caicos Islands will be great.