Two-day Carifta Trials run off today
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Those hopeful for places on Jamaica's team to the 42nd Carifta Games in the French island of Martinique over the Easter weekend, April 19-21, will start their quest as the two-day LIME JAAA Trials get under way today at the National Stadium at 11:00 am.
There will be two distinct differences to this year's team as, following last year's staging in the Bahamas, it was agreed at the congress that the lower age group would be raised from Under-17 to Under-18, while each team will be allowed a maximum of 80 athletes, up from the 70 that had been the norm for several decades.
Up to press time last night, the heat sheet, the document that lists the participants, had not been released by the organisers despite repeated promises and so it was uncertain which of the top athletes would be participating.
With the ISSA Boys' and Girls' Championships less than three weeks away, it is however expected that all the top athletes would be included.
After the build-up that started in January, in addition to helping the selectors choose the team that will travel to Martinique, the two days will also give the coaches and fans an idea of what to expect come Champs.
The 100m, 400m and 800m will be the major events on the track today, while both the girls' triple jumps, both girls' discus throws, the Under-18 boys' shot put, both boys' javelin events, as well as the Under-20 boys' discus finals will also be held.
The 100m will be closely watched today, but there will be some concerns after Jamaicans won just one of four gold medals last year -- Nattalia White in the girls' Under-17, who took the sprint double.
Numerous athletes have so far done fast times and the expectations are for a better showing this year in Martinique.
Shardia Lawrence, who won the Under-20 girls' triple jump last year is expected to return to defend her title, while it is expected to be a battle royal in the Under-20 boys' discus throw.
Jamaica College's Alec Longmore, Petersfield's Glenford Watson, and Edwin Allen's Demar Gayle are the main contenders for the boys' Under-20 discus throw, while Cornwall College's Warren Barrett Jnr will seek to earn the right to defend the shot put title he won in the lower age group last year.