LONDON DOUBLE: Trinidad and Tobago’s Mark London, third from right, en route to victory in the Carifta Games boys’ under-20 800 metres final, at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium, in Nassau, Bahamas, on Monday. London captured the 800/1500 double. —Photo: KWAME LAURENCE

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Manager pleased with 3rd-placed T&T

By Kwame Laurence in Nassau

“Generally, it was a good performance, not just in terms of the medals but we had quite a lot of the athletes doing personal bests. That in itself would have added to the medal tally.”

Team manager Dexter Voisin was a satisfied man at the end of the 2013 Carifta Games, here in Nassau, Bahamas.

T&T captured eight gold medals, two silver and ten bronze at the three-day meet to finish third. As expected, Jamaica emerged victorious, the perennial champions earning 29 gold medals, 25 silver and 15 bronze. Bahamas (eight gold medals, 10 silver, 13 bronze) copped second spot, edging T&T into third.

For a while, T&T were celebrating the runners-up slot on the medal table.

The disqualification of Jamaica in Monday night’s boys’ under-20 4x400 metres relay for a zone violation on the final exchange meant that the T&T combination of Asa Guevara, Jereem Richards, Theon Lewis and Machel Cedenio had earned promotion to gold. The ninth gold medal put T&T ahead of the hosts on the final medal table.

Jamaica, however, protested the disqualification, and after press time on Monday, were reinstated as boys’ under-20 4x400m champions.

With Cedenio and company relegated to silver in the event, the golden haul was reduced to eight, and T&T slipped one place down the medal table, to third.

Anchorman Cedenio was third when he received the baton from Lewis. It was not long before the 400m champion secured the lead for T&T. But it was Jamaican anchor Jovan Francis who was in front when it mattered most, at the finish line, the northern Caribbean team winning in three minutes, 05.68 seconds—a new Games record.

Second-placed T&T clocked 3:06.23, while Bahamas finished third in 3:07.44.

“When the athletes crossed the line,” Voisin told the Express, “we all were satisfied that we came second. And in terms of the placing with the medals we were satisfied with that (third). It’s track and field--positions could change and it could reverse in terms of countries protesting, so at the end of the day we wouldn’t dwell on that.”

T&T’s overall haul of 20 medals was two short of the 22 earned at the 2012 Games in Bermuda. However, Voisin, who was also the manager last year, had the satisfaction of winning more gold medals in 2013. The 2012 team earned six.

“I’m satisfied. I would want to say it’s an improved performance, but we have to sit down and really analyse the entire performance of the team, in comparison to last year and the years before.”

Cedenio’s impressive come-from-behind victory in the boys’ under-20 400m final was one of the highlights of Carifta 2013. Voisin listed the Cedenio triumph among T&T’s finest moments at the Games.

“Definitely, Machel Cedenio would be one. Mark London doubling up with the (boys’ under-20) 800 and 1500--that is not an easy feat, and it’s always a good feeling tosee an athlete double up in these meets. On both occasions the field was tough and he came out and dominated.

“Also, Chelsea James in the (girls’ under-17) shot. Akeem Marshall--although it wasn’t a fast (boys’ under-20) 5,000 by any means, it was a tactical race. And at the end of the day he came out victorious, so hats off to him.”

Voisin also praised the efforts of Jeminise Parris. The 15-year-old athlete earned gold in the girls’ under-17 300m hurdles and bronze in the 100m hurdles.

Bahamian Shaunae Miller received the Austin Sealy Award for being the most outstanding athlete at Carifta 2013. Miller captured the girls’ under-20 400/200 double. Her winning time in the half-lap final, 22.77 seconds, is a new Games record.Miller was also part of the Bahamas team that struck gold in the sprint relay.
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