a few flags flutter in the breeze at the National Sports Centre in Bermuda

Weather, costs and lack of funds hit this year’s Caribbean Union of Teachers 17th Biennial Student Athletic Championships, which was held at the National Sports Centre, and was hosted by the Bermuda Union of Teachers.

The two-day event usually attracted hundreds of athletes but the weather, forced an American Airlines flight out of Miami to be cancelled on Wednesday evening, leaving some teams unable to make the trip, according to meet director Devon Bean.

“I believe some of the Guyana team is here and the rest are coming on a flight this evening and are going to miss some of their events, unfortunately,” Bean told media personnel in Bermuda.

The first race of the evening, the open girls 1,000 metres, would have normally contained several athletes but only two participated, Layla Haynes, of Barbados, and Bermuda’s Jezhari Talbot, with Haynes winning.

Bermudan athlete Chayse Tanner won both the Under-15 Boys 100 metres and long jump.

“I believe Saint Lucia pulled their team a few days ago. I take it to be because of finances plus the inclement weather,” explained Bean, who is also the national track and field coach. “It’s definitely the weather coming off the East Coast. Luckily we have enough teams to field the events. Ideally in order to for an event to be scored you need at least three competitors in the race to count towards the medal table and points. This event happens every two years and for a lot of the islands it is not in their budget. Bermuda is not a cheap place to come to.

“We are lacking some of the big teams who have used up most of their budgets for various track meets in the region, i.e. Carifta as well as teams at the World Juniors in Finland.

“Teams like Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados are not here and they would have brought 40-plus competitors. It just was not in their budget.”

Flags from eight countries, including Bermuda, were seen flying at the northern end of the stadium, but not all those countries had their contingents present.

He said that, “We have five teams here but it could have been close to at least 20.

Bermuda is scheduled to host the Carifta Games in two years’ time and Bean used the meet to identify some new talent.

According to Benn “We have discovered a few athletes who are competing here right now that are not affiliated with clubs, just compete in school sports and the odd track meet. As you can see some of them have medalled and this is the type of thing we need, especially for when we host Carifta in 2020.”

The delays caused by the weather and late flights was made evident when the meet was held up as Trishanie Warner from St. Kitts arrived at the stadium from the airport.

After a few minutes of stretching Warner ran to victory clocking a time of 59.02 seconds in the Girls’ Under-15 400 metres. Bermuda’s Sanaa Ra Morris was second in 59.82 seconds, and Layla Haynes finished third with a time of 1:00.75 minutes.

Bermuda’s Kesay Bell won the Girls’ Under-15 Girls Shot Put 3-kilogramme class with a toss of 9.39 metres, Ya’Neli Dawkins from Cayman Islands was second with a toss of 9.03 metres, and Oricia Williams from Antigua was third with 7.62 metres.

The Boys’ Under-15 100 metres was won by Bermuda’s Chayse Tanner who stopped the clock in a time of 11.57 seconds, Jamarco Gill from Barbados was second in 11.74 seconds, and Ajani Daley from Antigua was third in 12.00 seconds.

Bermuda’s Sancho Smith won the Boys’ Under-15 400 metres, clocking 52.37 seconds, Rafique Morson from St. Kitts was second in 53.80 seconds, and Kobe Hutson from Barbados was third in a time of 53.81 seconds. (the royal gazette)