Jamaica to participate in Age-Group CARIFTA Triathlon/Aquathlon Championships

Observer writer

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

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THE Jamaica Triathlon Association (JTA) has named an 11-member team to represent the country at the inaugural staging of the 2017 CARIFTA Triathlon/Aquathlon Championships, to be held from October 7-8 at the Aquatic Centre in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Ten Caribbean countries have registered to participate in this new event, and the others apart from Jamaica are Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Aruba, Guadeloupe, St Maarten, United States (US) Virgin Islands, The Bahamas, Martinique and hosts Barbados.

Approximately 95 athletes have registered for the triathlon events and 64 in aquathlon events from the 10 participating countries.

Meanwhile, Jamaica's team members were announced at a press conference held at the offices of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) last Saturday.

Members of Jamaica's team to compete in their respective age groups are as follows: Elthan Moore and Israel Allen will compete in the 11-12; Khalil Smith, Nathan Williamson, Kyle Lyew, Kemar Richards, Dimitri Moore in the 13-15; Johnathan Lyn, Zara Harris, Jonah McClure, and Lori Sharpe in the 16-19 age group.

The team will be accompanied by Elisabeth Mondon as head coach, Donna-Kaye Sharpe as team manager, and Dr Robb Allen as team doctor, and is expected to leave the island on Wednesday, October4, 2017 for Barbados.

Alan Beckford, first vice-president of the Jamaica Triathlon Association and main speaker, told the participants that this is one of the fastest-growing sports in popularity all over the world.

He noted than Iona Wynter was the first Jamaican to represent the country in triathlon at the 2000 Olympics, and he expects more more Jamaicans to be participatng in the future.

“This championship will also showcase the talent of the Caribbean's best junior triathletes and aquathletes,” Beckford said.

He said one can be a fast swimmer, runner or bicycle rider, which would make one an automatic choice for winning. “It takes a lot to fully perfect the three stages of the sports, and sometimes one of the three stages could be very hard for the competitor if he or she does not train enough to endure the distance.”

Beckford stated that the inaugural staging of the CARIFTA Triathlon Championships in October is strategic so as not to clash with the swimming or athletics CARIFTA Championships usually held around Easter, and will allow for athletes to participate in both.

Beckford, who is also general secretary of the JOA, wished the team a very successful championships. He has since left the island for the annual International Triathlon Union Congress being held in Rotherdam, in the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, Head Coach Elisabeth Mondon, who is also a senior coastal engineer, said the team has been very busy in its preparations ahead of the battle among the region's top multi-sport athletes.

“Currently, the Jamaican team has been training since last month and will continue their preparations for the championships. We had given up an earlier date for the event, and presently it's a short time getting the team together before having the trials,” coach Mondon said.

She added that it's the first time the Caribbean will be staging this championships, and that they don't know how the other countries' preparations are going, and how many competitors they would be sending, but Jamaica is hoping to do well by bringing home medals.

According to Mondon, the team trains at various facilities such as the National Stadium Veldrome, Port Royal, University of Technology (UTech), and at a number of swimming pools.

The Triathlon Championships 11-12 age group will include a 200-metre swim, 7.5km bike race, 1.5km road run. The 13-15 age group will consist of a 400m swim, 10km bike race, 2.5k road run; while the 16-19 age group will compete in a 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km road run.

For the aquathlon, the events are (11-12 age group) a 200m swim, 1.5km run; 13-15 age group — a 400m swim, 2.5km run; and the 16-19 age group — a 750m swim and a 5km run.




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