Two of St. Kitts and Nevis’ brightest young athletic stars made the Federation proud at the Inaugural Pan American Youth Championships held in Cali, Colombia from May 30th – 31st 2015. Although the event was not originally on the 2015 athletic calendar, the St. Kitts and Nevis Amateur Athletic Association (SKNAAA) through the generous financial support of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Olympic Committee (SKNOC) invested in sending a contingent to the inaugural event as a warm up in preparation for the World Youth Championships and the Commonwealth Youth Games scheduled for July and September 2015 respectively.
Saturday’s competition saw CARIFTA Games Bronze Medalist, Reanda Richards tackle her signature event, the 800m. Reanda successfully secured the Silver Medal with a time of 2:14.66 seconds, two tenths of a second shy of her National Junior Record. Nonetheless, the SKNAAA remains content that she is prepared to compete at a high level.
Jermaine Francis continues to prove that he is a major medal contender for the Boys High Jump. He secured the Gold Medal with a cleared height of 2.15 meters, which would now rank him at number three (3) in the world in his age category (16 – 17 year olds; athletes born between 1998 and 1999). Already the National Junior Record holder, his 2.15m personal best performance is likely to be ratified as a National Junior and Senior Record as no other athlete from St. Kitts and Nevis has surpassed the 2.12 meter height.
Reanda and Jermaine are amongst six (6) other athletes from the Federation who have so far attained a qualifying mark for the World Youth Championships and the Commonwealth Youth Games. The selection for this team however was based on the athletes’ availability due to scholastic commitments.
The team was accompanied by Level V Youth Coach, Coaches’ Representative and Coaching Coordinator for the SKNAAA, Mr. Timothy Morton.
Both athletes will be on display at the 2015 National Youth, Junior and Senior Championships scheduled to be held at the Kim Collins Athletic Stadium, June 13th – 14th 2015.
One can only anticipate the tight showdown between Reanda and Rosalie Pringle (800m National Senior Record Holder) as both have proven to be very competitive. In the Men’s High Jump, Tahir Jefferson, the former National Junior Record holder in the Boys High Jump will go head-to-head with Jermaine. Any given way, both events will likely see some new national records at this year’s historic event.