Inaugural CARIFTA Triathlon, Aquathlon, Mixed Relay Championships come to a close

Wednesday, 11th October 2017

 

 

Bridgetown, Barbados – The Barbados Federation of Island Triathletes (BFIT) hosted the first ever Triathlon CARIFTA championships locally over the weekend of October 7 & 8. The swim took place at the Aquatic Center and provided the promised open water feel in the pool thanks to a big start group and crowed turns. The run and ride were on the dry flat roads around the gymnasium, giving many vantage spots for cheering and spectating.  The Championships had 104 youth and junior athletes compete across three age groups in triathlon and aquathlon.  Nine different Caribbean countries compete; Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Martinique, Trinidad & Tobago and the US Virgin Island.  Despite the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria the commitment to the Championships did not waiver.

 

Individual awards and team points were awarded to the top 5 male and female finishers in each event. Overall the Barbados team came away with 16 podium finishes across the 12 contested races. Team Barbados set the tone for the competition, when they took 10 of the 20 podium places in the aquathlon 11-12 and 13-15 age groups on day one.

 

For Barbados CARIFTA National swimmer Ashley Weekes led the 13-15 age group, winning the aquathlon and placing second in the triathlon. In the 11-12 age group, Amelie Baker also dominated; winning the aquathlon and placing third in the triathlon. For the boys, it was Niel Skinner who really stood out, winning both of the 13-15 events. Eric Lashley and Christopher Pollard each had two podium finishes in their events.  Other top five finishers were McCallum Clarke, Rebecca Lashley, Zahra Gaskin, Danielle Treasure, Adia Deane, Noemie Lamontagne, Lucas Austin, Nathaniel Roach and Samuel Lamontagne.

 

The Barbados 13-15 boys' team showed true determination and strength, BFIT president Darren Treasure says, “these boys showed maturity beyond their years and showed that even though triathlon is an individual sports team tactics can be used to gain an advantage, especially when draft legal cycling is permitted”.

 

The last event on Sunday was not a point scoring event but an exhibition mixed relay.  54 athletes and 2 coaches were placed into teams of four with each person completing a mini triathlon of 100m swim, 2km bike and 1km run in succession.  The teams were mixed across gender, age group and country. The kids had fun with this race, especially when it became a contest of you could do the best running dive into the pool, see photos.  This event has been added to the program of many major games so it is important that the athletes got to experience it.

 

The overall country winners were Guadeloupe 73 points, Barbados 65 points and Trinidad 36 points. The spectators were treated to two days of sunshine and action-packed racing. The Barbados team fell short of the overall win, they competed against more experienced athletes but showed a determination to compete and deliver personal bests.  The Bajan team exceeded all expectations and served notice that the future for triathlon in Barbados is bright.  There was shared optimism concerning the talent on display and the potential of multisport in the region moving forward.  The Championships were such a success that when the Federations met on Saturday to discuss the future, three countries expressed interest in hosting the Championships in 2018, one for 2019 and one for 2020.  The expectation going forward is that the number of countries participating will increase, the number of competitors will increase and the level of competition will follow. 

 

BFIT is the governing federation for triathlon and triathletes in Barbados. BFIT sanctions and organizes multi-sport events, which include Triathlon, Duathlon and Aquathlon. For more information on future events and the sport of triathlon contact triathlonbarbados@gmail.com.

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