Cayman athletes continue to shine

| 01/08/2011

(CNS): A number of local athletes have performed well in regional and international sport meets continue to improve – especially those of younger sportspersons – in events including races, jumps, swimming and rugby. Last weekend, Cayman participated in the Pan American Junior Championships in Florida, according to a GIS release.  Alex Pascal, one of the youngest participants, scored a personal best in the javelin throw, placing ninth overall. He is now ranked number two in the Caribbean in this event. Cayman’s National Track and Field Team also attended the Central America and Caribbean (CAC) Senior Championships in Puerto Rico earlier this month.

Local runner Jon Rankin (fourth from right in picture above) captured third place in the 1,500meter race, taking the bronze medal behind Venezuela and Mexico. Carl Morgan placed fourth in the long jump.

Other team members at that meet were Carlos Morgan (long jump); Michael Letterlough (hammer throw); Ronald Forbes (110m hurdles); Kemar Hyman (100m sprint); and Junior Hines (400m hurdles). The athletes were accompanied by National Track and Field Coach Kenrick Williams and Manager Michael Naulty.

Coach Williams reported that most team members were trying to achieve the ’A’ or ’B’ standards required for participation in next month’s Senior World Championships in South Korea.

Ronald Forbes has already qualified for the 110m hurdles in Korea, but he used the CAC meet to gauge his personal performance. Cydonie Mothersill-Stephens has also qualified for Korea’s 200m race, but didn’t attend the CAC Games.

In spite of some injuries and other setbacks, national team athletes also did well earlier in the season.  During May’s CARIFTA Games, Cayman’s Jorel Belafonte won a silver medal in the 1,500m race.

Then, at the Islands Games earlier this month, Cayman won four gold medals (in long jump, triple jump, relay, and 100m), three silvers (hammer throw, 200m and 400m) and two bronze (100m and hurdles). In so doing, they also set two new records, in the relay and triple jump. And there was more to come, for in last month’s World Youth Championships in France, Alex Pascal outdid himself, scoring a personal record in the javelin throw.

Cayman’s Women’s and Under-19 rugby teams have also had winning seasons.

South Korea apart, Cayman’s athletes still have a few more events to attend this season. This week brothers Shaune and Brett Fraser are swimming in the International Swimming Federation’s World Championships in Shanghai.

Other coming events include the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man in September; and in October, the Senior Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Continuing his active support of sports and athletics, Ministry of Sports Mark Scotland congratulated the team members and officials.

“At the same time they’re striving for personal bests, these young people are making their team – and the Cayman Islands – proud of their spirit of excellence,” he said.

For more information on the track and field scene, contact the Sports Department on 949-7082; go online to; contact the Cayman Islands Track and Field Association on 926-3939, or visit the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) website

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