THE stage is set for the annual Independence Games 2018 this weekend, as the country continues to celebrate its 39th Independence anniversary. The two-day event is scheduled for the George Odlum Stadium in Vieux Fort and will commence from 9:15 a.m. on both days.
Over 350 athletes representing Gros Islet Athletics, Blue Eagles, Rockets Athletics, Speed Printing Survivors, Morne Stars, Choiseul Athletics, Pace Setters, Blazers, Night Riders, Rock Hall and Road Busters Club are expected to compete in a series of preliminary events and 74 finals in the Junior, Age Group and Open category.
The Games will be used as a final qualification for selection on the Saint Lucia team for the Commonwealth Games, Goal Coast 2018 slated from April 4 to 15 and a final touch-up for athletes who have already qualified for the CARIFTA Games scheduled for March 30 to April 2 in the Bahamas.
Some of the events include100m, 150m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1000m, 1200m, 1500m, 3000m, 5000m, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay, high jump, long jump, triple jump, shot put, discus, javelin throw, pole vault, octathlon and heptathlon.
The most-talked-about 100m finals, girls, boys, women and men will take place at 2:30 p.m., including the 4x100m finals scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Tomorrow, the men’s javelin final will take place at 1:30 p.m, while the 200m finals are scheduled for 2:10 p.m. To bring the curtains down, track and field fans will take in the finals of the 4x400m.
Meanwhile, some of the athletes to look forward to for the next two days of competition in the Under-17 boys and girls sprints, middle distance, throws and jumps respectively include Michael Joseph, Miguel Charlery, Devon Alexander, Peter Lansiquot, Jason Edwin, Nakim Jones, Kemuel Pelage, Asa Donnelly, Zoe Dorville, Narlia Albert, Effie Felix, Lizzie Alexander, Asa Francis, Mateo Stephen, KhalianVitalis, MelikaDestang, Kerser Augustin and Nebia Montrope.
In the Under – 20 boys and girls, Commonwealth Youth Games gold medalist in the Bahamas, Julien Alfred, will be in action. The 2017 junior and senior Sportswoman of the Year is expected to turn on the heat at the GOS competing in the 100-metres later today and 200-metres on Sunday as she vies for a spot on the Saint Lucia team for the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Stiff competition is also expected from Ruben Nicholas, Michel Etienne, Tyrese Paul, Garvin Inglis, Taric Xavier, Armani Modeste, Ethan James, Shelton St. Rose, Travis Edward, Ange Fontenelle, Devon Moise, KamillahMonroque, MechaelaHyacinthe, Shania Glasgow, Nick Joseph, Delan Edwin and Aaliyah Estephor, all of whom will definitely leave no stone unturned as they look to impress the SLAA Technical team.
Also on show will be Heptathlon athlete Makeba Alcide and 2017 Senior Sportsman of the Year, javelin thrower Albert Reynolds.