media_artricles :: 2017
TT Carifta coach expects improved showingJelani Beckles :: Newsday :: 29.03.2017
HEAD coach of the 2017 Trinidad and Tobago Carifta team, Ian Carter, says his team is passionate and focused leading up to the 46th Carifta Games which takes off in Curacao from April 15 to 17.
A TT team of 51 athletes and 13 officials will aim for a stronger performance this year. In 2016, TT finished fifth on the medal standings with 14 medals - three gold, two silver and nine bronze.
Jamaica topped the medal standings followed by Barbados, Bahamas and Grenada.
Carter was reluctant to make a prediction of how many medals TT might claim in Curacao but says the team is adopting the right attitude.
"I don't predict medals, but certainly on this team we had more people doing the standard to achieve selection than we did last year. The focus and the passion on this team seems to be a lot different to the team that went to Carifta last year. I do expect better performances," he said.
Over 40 athletes made the Carifta standard this year which is an increase from last year.
Carter is anticipating top performances from last year's gold medallists Tyriq Horsford and Khalifa St Fort. Horsford won the boys Under-18 javelin, while St Fort won the girls Under-20 100-metre event.
The TT coach also expects strong efforts from Joshua St Clair (boys Under-20 400m/4x- 400m/4x100m) and Rea-Ann Serville (girls Under-18 400m/4x- 400m/4x100m).
Carter added the TT boys Under- 18 relay teams and the girls Under-18 sprinters are also expected to compete at a high level.
Carter said some of the athletes are focused and hungry for success after missing out on qualification last year.
"In the past it has been somewhat difficult at times (to keep them focused). For instance, Joshua St Clair missed the standard (last year) by one tenth of a second and he did not make the team.
"This year, they really came out focused on doing well, so we had a lot of athletes making the standard early in the year." St Clair ran a time of 47.89 seconds in the boys Under-20 400m event at the Carifta trials last year, missing the Carifta qualification standard of 47.80. The TT team had their first meeting yesterday.