By Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis, Special to TrackAlerts.Com
The people of the Caribbean are hoping that its newest generation of sprinters will bring glory to the region at the next World Youth Championship in Cali, Colombia starting July 15, 2015. It will be the first time a South American country will be hosting the IAAF World Youth Championships, which started in 1999. The competition is for athletes under the age of 18.
Several outstanding 100m sprinters ranked in the top 15 IAAF list from Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and Barbados will lead the charge for medals. The Caribbean will not be daunted in its efforts by youth powerhouse United States and a few upcoming sprinters from as far away as Australia, Japan, Italy, South Africa and Brazil. Fans could witness some very fast times in the altitudinal city of Cali, Colombia.
Bahamian rising star Javan Martin, the CARIFTA Under-18 100m champion with a personal best of 10.41 seconds will be seeking his first individual medal at these championships. Martin has looked commanding this season and this fearless sprinter seems on a mission to increase his silverware collection in Colombia. Martin who believes in the near future that he will be the fastest man in the world has made it clear that he will not be satisfied with any other medal than the gold. He was a member of the Bahamian sprint relay team at the 2nd World Relays.
Tall striding Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) sprinter Akanni Hislop is another athlete with huge potential. Hislop who turned 17 on June 1, 2015 has been improving with each year of competition. He was a sprint double bronze medallist at the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Junior Games (CAC) in Mexico and more recently a silver medallist at the CARIFTA Games in the Boys’ Under-18 100m category in a personal best of 10.47 seconds. He almost equalled his personal best when he stopped the clock at 10.48 seconds (+0.0 m/s) to win the 100m at the T&T NAAA National Junior Championship. Hislop is a proven performer and based on his ability should make his country proud in Cali, Colombia.
An injury-hit season has stalled the progress of Jamaica’s most promising youth sprinter Jhevaughn Matherson. The sublime sprinter who ran a personal best of 10.37 seconds at the Jamaica High School Championships dubbed ‘Champs’ in 2014 will miss the World Youth Championship. Matherson’s absence has paved the way for his compatriot Xavier Angus to display his talent on the big stage. Angus was a finalist at the 2015 CARIFTA Games in the Boys’ Under-18 100m. He was a recent double sprint champion at the Jamaica Youth Championship in June. The powerfully built Calabar High School sprinter will gain valuable lessons from this level of exposure.
Jaquone Hoyte was supposed to carry the hopes of the nation of Barbados. Hoyte ran a fast personal best 10.46 seconds at the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletic Championship in March 2015 and was fourth at the CARIFTA Games. Unfortunately, Hoyte who is battling an injury had an indifferent outing at the Barbados National Junior Championship failing to make the final. There is still some uncertainty if Hoyte who has attained the qualifying time will recover sufficiently in the few days remaining. Matthew Clarke of the Pacers Track Club who won the Barbados junior trials will be seeking to maximize on the opportunity that has been presented to him. Clarke will be hoping to find his best form and run a lifetime best at the World Youth Championship.
There is a strong possibility that the region could have at least three finalists in this event. At the end of the first day of competition, the Caribbean people could have big smiles on their faces while being engrossed in lively discussions about the highlights of the day.
About the Author:
Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis is a very exciting and creative freelance sports writer specializing in the fields of athletics and cricket. His colourful down to earth yet professional personality makes him a favourite amongst athletes and fans. Readers are often exposed to his detailed knowledge and passion which usually increase their interest in the athletes, events and the sport overall. He has a first degree in Banking & Finance and works in the financial industry. Contact Noelat [email protected]