Anderson Peters

Anderson Peters

by Michael Bascombe

ST GEORGE’S, January 04, 2016 – When Grenada stages the 45th edition of the CARIFTA Games in March, one event that is certain to attract local interest is the Javelin Throw – an event Grenada has dominated during its period of participation.

In fact, Grenada’s first ever gold medallist at the Games was Eros Rapier in the Men’s Under-20 Javelin in 1972 and a meet record which stood for many years.

The likes of Kim Fullerton, Elarius Frank (deceased), Ryan Frederick, Kurt Felix, Nathalia Vincent, Jody Placid, Nasha Belfon, Kathy-Ann Gilchrist, Keron Francis, Judy Modeste, Alroy Peters, Densley Joseph and others have also won javelin gold medals at the CARIFTA Games.

Shamir Thomas could also boast of winning medals in the shot put and discus throws for five consecutive years. He won three gold medals in the put and also three in the discus between 1998 and 2002.

But there are two athletes who have dominated the event, taking the top podium spot in successive years.

Selwyn Smith first won the Javelin as an Under-17 competitor in the Bahamas in 1992 and then added a hattrick of wins in the Under-20 category in 1993 (Martinique), 1994 (Barbados) and 1995 (Cayman Islands).

But Anderson Peters has equalled that feat and on track to add a fifth gold medal to his repertoire at the CARIFTA Games. Peters won the Javelin in 2012 (Bermuda) and 2013 (Bahamas) in the Under-17 category. He also set a championship record when in the new Under-18 category (previously U17) when Martinique hosted the Games in 2014 and then won the gold medal in St Kitts last year in his first year in the Under-20 category.

Peter’s biggest challenge comes at this year’s Games to be staged in Grenada. It will be his final year of competition at the CARIFTA Games and the 18 year-old is looking forward to a bang, in front of home support, among his goals for 2015.

“My main goal is to win at the World Junior Championships and try to get the record,” he told GrenadaSports.

“I want to continue dominating CARIFTA Games, especially in front of home fans,” he said.

The world junior record of 84.69 metres is held by Zigismunds Sirmais of Latvia and the young Grenadian champion knows that he has to get into the 80m range to threaten that mark.

He has already shortened the distance with a personal best of 74.20m at Trinidad and Tobago’s National Championships at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain on June 28, 2015.

“I’m going after Walcott’s (Keshorn) record which is 77.59m. Getting an 80m throw on home ground would be great,” said Peters who is coached by Paul Phillip, a level three IAAF-certified coach in the throws.

The former student at the St David’s Catholic Secondary School (SDCSS) is already into his second stage of training for the season following his final competition last July where he won the silver medal at the Pan American Junior Track and Field Championships in Edmonton, Canada. He finished second (72.11m) to American Christoper Mirabelli (72.63m).

“From September to now I have been doing strength and conditioning and getting the body ready for what’s coming,” he said. “I’m also working on flexibility which is very important to prevent injuries. I have also started my explosive training.”

Peters has already surpassed his average distance in training, thanks in part to the mini meets, organised by the Grenada Athletics Association (GAA), and held in November.

“In terms of throwing I am already six metres ahead of what I was doing last year at this time. I was doing 60m around this time last year and I have done 66m in the first mini meet but 68m in training, so I am around where I should be at this time.”

At last year’s CARIFTA Games in Basseterre, St Kitts, Peters won the U20 gold with 70.09m, ahead of Denzel Prah of the Bahamas (66.48m) and St Lucian Denzel St Marthe (64.31m).

Grenada stages the CARIFTA Games from March 26-28, 2016, the second time since 2000.

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