Sports officials are lauding the remarkable performance of Saint Lucian athletes at the inaugural Caribbean Games, which was held in Guadeloupe from 30 June – 4 July.
Saint Lucia featured at the podium with a haul of six medals including three gold medals.
Ace sprinter Julien Alfred topped the list with another exceptional run to win the women’s 100metres, and in addition, other Team 758 athletes were in the spotlight.
In swimming, Jayhan Odlum-Smith captured Saint Lucia’s second Gold Medal – 50M Butterfly after Naima Hazel Gold Medal- 50M Breast Stroke; while Mikaili Charlemagne collected a Bronze Medal – 50M Freestyle.
After going down to Jamaica 53-27 in their first match, Team St Lucia’s Netballers rebounded convincingly to finish third in the competition.
The Saint Lucia Olympic Committee [SLOC] Inc. acknowledged the input of “everyone who represented Saint Lucia at the inaugural Caribbean Games held in Guadeloupe. We appreciate all of your hard work and are extremely proud of your efforts. Congratulations to our medal winners!”
The full slate of medal winners is as follows:
Jayhan Odlum-Smith: 50m Butterfly, Julien Alfred: 100m, Naima Hazell: 50m Breaststroke, Mikaili Charlemagne: 50m Freestyle, U23 Netball Team, and
Jayhan Odlum-Smith: Bronze Medal – 100m Freestyle.
Saint Lucian athletes participated in the following sports; Athletics, Cycling, Netball, Swimming, and Basketball.
The SLOC Inc. added: “All the best in your future endeavours. We look forward to you representing our country again”.
Sports Minister Kenson Casimir is elated with the latest results, stating that St Lucian athletes have shown “they are a force to be reckoned with across the region”.
Casimir, a former national athlete notes there is a rigorous package in place involving the island’s ‘elite athlete program’, and support is being provided to help sustain the athlete’s nutritional well-being as well as mental health issues
Alfred blazed the trail to outrun her competitors in a time of 11.07 in a blistering run that she dominated from start to finish, to win by a sizable distance.
The region’s major sports channel – SportsMax declared: “St. Lucia’s Julian Alfred can now call herself the inaugural Caribbean Games Women’s 100m Champion after winning the event at the Stade du Gosier in Guadeloupe on Friday.”
Alfred ran 11.34 in the preliminaries before returning to run 11.07 to comfortably win the final ahead of Trinidad & Tobago’s Akilah Lewis (11.55) and Leah Bertrand (11.57).
Alfred goes into the World Championships in Eugene later this month on the back of some excellent form. The Texas standout ran a personal best and national record 10.81, the fourth fastest time in the world this year, at the Big 12 Championships on May 14.
She then went on to run 11.02 to win the 100m at the NCAA Championships on June 11.
Team St Lucia’s track and field squad was led by
Julien Alfred (SP Survivors/ University of Texas) who contested the 100m and was the flag bearer at the
opening ceremony; and included Michael Joseph (Gros Islet Athletics/ University of Kansas) – 400m, Kereser Augustin (SP Survivors) – Women’s 400m, and Tarik Xavier (University of Arkansas- Pinebluff) – 1500m.
The St Lucia Aquatics Federation [SLAF] also joined in congratulating the athletes, noting that Jayhan ended the swim championships with a Gold medal in the 50m Fly and a Bronze medal in the 100m Free.
The SLAF also recognized the efforts of Tristan Dorville dropping from an entry time of 2:26.42 and swimming at 2:16.63 in the 200m Butterfly; while D’Andre Blanchard also swam best times in the 100m Freestyle with an entry time of 54.67 and touching the pad at 53.69.
Another record was set by Dorville breaking the 200m fly previously held by Jayhan Odlum Smith with a time of 2:23.10 and stopping the clock at 2:16.63.
“With two gold and two bronze medals from swimming, SLAF congratulates its swimmers,” declared a SLAF official. “Well done Naima, Jayhan, Mikaili, Tristan, and D’Andre. You represented well.”
Saint Lucia beat Trinidad and Tobago 38-36 on their way to claiming the Bronze Medal while taking on other opponents such as St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), and Guadeloupe.
Jamaica’s U-23 Sunshine Girls secured Netball gold at the inaugural Caribbean Games at the Laurel Flessel Complex in Guadeloupe on Saturday.
The Jamaicans capped off an unbeaten campaign with a 55-21 victory over Trinidad & Tobago in the gold medal game.
St. Lucia took home the bronze medal with an 88-4 demolition of hosts Guadeloupe.
Meanwhile, Trinidad & Tobago’s Kion Benjamin ran 10.36 to win the Men’s equivalent ahead of Franquelo Perez Occena of the Dominican Republic (10.55) and Antigua’s Darrion Skerritt (10.72).
Elsewhere, Puerto Rico’s Paola Fernandez Sola won the Women’s long jump with a 6.15m effort ahead of Cuba’s Yani Carrion Cremdelly (5.81m) and Guyana’s Chantoba Bright (5.85m).
Antigua’s Sheldon Noble jumped 7.31m to win the Men’s equivalent ahead of the Cayman Islands’ Louis Gordon (7.23m) and Grenada’s Nishon Pierre (6.91m).