President of the National Association of Athletics Administration (NAAA) Ephraim Serrette said he was disappointed with T&T's showing at the Pan American Junior Athletics Championships in Edmonton, Canada over the weekend. The team won three medals at the meet, including gold for Khalifa St Forte in the Women's 100m, silver for Portious Warren in the Women’s Shot Put and bronze for the Men's 4x100m team of Francis Louis, Joash Huggins, Corey Stewart and Nathan Farinha.
The haul was less than the two golds and three silvers the country picked up during its last appearance at the championships in Miramar, Florida, USA in 2011. Speaking to the Guardian yesterday, Serrette felt the athletes were capable of better.
“The overall performance was mediocre. We had greater expectations from the team,” he said. “It was hindered by the absence of Akanni Hislop, Jonathan Farinha and Joshua St Clair, who were injured but you would hope for athletes to step up their performances when competing internationally. In some cases, they did worse than they did at the National Championships.”
Serrette did credit the medal winners for for their efforts. “The Men's 4x100m relay team did well to win bronze though I felt the female relay team should have medalled as well. Khalifa St Forte continues to prove she is one for future and I was very satisfied by Portious Warren throwing a personal best to win silver.”
T&T's 4x100m quartet of Louis, Huggins, Stewart and Farinha closed the meet on Sunday night with a bronze in its final. The foursome clocked 40.50 to finish behind Jamaica's Seanie Selvin, Shivnarine Smalling, Hujaye Cornwall and Xandre Blake, who took gold in 40.15, while Bahamas's Javan Martin, Janeko Cartwright, Ian Kerr and Kendrick Thompson were runners up in 40.32.
T&T's female 4x100m team narrowly missed out on a spot on the podium when it finished fourth in its final. Jael Fergusson, Jeminise Parris, Jendayi Noel and Khalifa St Forte put together a time of 47.11, which was behind USA (43.79), Jamaica (44.31) and Bahamas (45.96). In other events, Omari Benoit was tenth in the Men’s High Jump after being eliminated at the 1.95 mark. American Randall Cunningham won the event in 2.16m.
Keneja Williams also managed tenth in his event, the Men's Shot Put, with a throw of 16.45m on his first attempt. The field was topped by American John Maurins with a 19.49m effort.
At the 2011 edition in Miramar, Florida, Michelle Lee Ahye (Women’s 100m) and Elton Walcott (Men’s Triple Jump) won their events while Deon Lendore (Men’s 400m), Kai Selvon (Women’s 200m) and the Men’s 4x400m team (Lendore, Machel Cedenio, Jereem Richards and Moriba Morain) bagged silvers.