It was a record breaking CARIFTA 2016 for four Grenadians and gold medal for three others, resulting in one being awarded the Austin Sealey Award as the most outstanding athlete coming out of the games.
Anderson Peters, Grenada’s star in the Javelin throw, secured his fifth gold medal at the games.
The talented Peters achieved the feat in front of his home crowd at the latest version of the region’s premier track & field games for Junior athletes that was held at the National Athletic Stadium at Queen’s Park from March 26-28th.
He was later named the most outstanding athlete of CARIFTA 2016.
His throw on Saturday resulted in a personal best of 78.28 meters, a new CARIFTA record and a new OECS record.
Speaking to reporters after the games on Monday, Peters described CARIFTA 2016 as one of his best.
“Being able to compete in front of my home crowd was an honour. I tried my best, I got a personal best, a new national record, a new CARIFTA record and a new OECS record”, he said.
Peters was full of praise for the work done with him by his coach.
He said: “Preparation was difficult in some areas but some areas I’ve been already established years before but I put my trust into my coach Paul Phillip, he is the one behind my success. He stays up late at night, doing programmes for me to get improvement”.
The CARIFTA gold medalist disclosed that his sporting journey continues shortly with participation in the National Championships in Trinidad and Tobago, Central America and the Caribbean games, World Junior Championships and hopefully the Rio Olympics in Brazil.
The two other gold medalists for Grenada were Josh Boeteng with a record breaking Discus throw of 57.19 meters in the boys under 20 and Candesha Scott who also had a record-breaking throw of 57.13 meters in the girls Discus for under 20.
A delighted Scott told reporters after the game on Monday that the throw has resulted in her qualifying for the World Juniors.
“The throw of 57.13 meters …. I have been training for over three years just to get that and now that I have achieved it…it has made me qualified for World Juniors…whatever come my way I will be there,” she said.
In the case of Josh Boeteng, he said: “I have been looking out for a throw like that. It wasn’t my best but it was good enough for me to win and there is a lot more inside but then my body has not really reached that level of peaking yet”.
Grenada’s Markim Felix ended with a silver medal in Javelin but with a local record-breaking throw of 69.41 meters.
Coach of the athletes, Paul Phillip said the performances of his athletes never surprised him but he is very much elated over their achievements.
“This started since last year and if you speak to people who I spoke to, they would tell you that’s exactly what I said …I said that Anderson is going to be throwing 78 meters at CARIFTA, so it never surprised me”, he remarked.
“…This year the programme goes towards World Juniors and Anderson was the first to qualify for World Juniors, then they have Makim Phillip and then Candesha Scott. All three Javelin throwers that we were programming towards World Juniors – it’s their last year of juniors …. “, he said.
According to Coach Phillip, he is very happy that those field throwers have qualified for World Juniors but the work has to continue to try and help them to make it into the finals of the games.
“Anderson, we’re looking for a Medal from him, Candesha, it will be harder to get one and Makim will be hard as well but we still have time from now till July to programme the Athletes and see what they can get out of them,” he added.
Coach Phillip believes that if the athletes are able to get sponsorship to compete more frequently outside of the country then the best can be seen coming out of them.
“For Anderson, it’s his third competition for the year and that’s not enough to really get the best out of the athletes, so we’re looking for sponsorships to go to the meets in the Caribbean. We have one in St Kitts and we’re looking to go to at least two in Trinidad.
“…We’ve been doing this all along on our own because people generally do not believe what I said. I told them Anderson could stay right here and make the Olympics – no body believes. He is five meters away from making the Olympics and he only had three meets so far.
“We operate on very little in terms of nutrition and supplementation.
If a little investment is made that could go a long way towards him achieving his goal.