Josh Boateng Photo: Terel Moore

Josh Boateng Photo: Terel Moore

by Michael Bascombe

ST GEORGE’S, February 5, 2016 – Two athletes distinguished themselves on the opening day of the opening day of the National Junior Track and Field Championships at the National Stadium on Friday.

Josh Boateng and Junior Charles topped their respective events at the championships being staged as the CARIFTA Trials to select the national team for the CARIFTA Games at the National Stadium March 26-28.

Boateng was among three automatic qualifiers for the Games, and also gained a qualifying mark for the IAAF World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz in Poland, July 19-24.


Boateng, representing Max Potential, won the Boys Under-20 Discus Throw with a distance of 55.63 metres, two metres short of Leonardo Fabbri’s junior world lead of 57.87m.

Boateng, who won a silver medal (51.14m) in St Kitts last year and is a favourite for the gold this year, surpassed the qualifying mark with his first attempt.

In his third attempt he threw close to 62 metres but it was ruled a foul.

“I came in the competition with a mind to qualify for World Juniors and the CARIFTA Games,” Boateng told GrenadaSports.

“I wasn’t surprised. We’ve been training hard from since September and Josh is highly motivated and I was expecting over 60 metres, that was the target today,” said Kerlon Peters, coach of Boateng and Max Potential, a local club.

Boateng’s effort was a far cry from his nearest rival, Markim Felix of St David’s Track Blazers (43.84) and

Josh Boateng Photo: Haron Forteau

Josh Boateng Photo: Haron Forteau

Ronaldo Romain of Bishop’s College (42.21).

But while the discus throwers were in competition, Charles was blazing the Boys one-lap event. Running out of lane six, Charles, who turns 20 on Saturday and representing ACE Track Club, stopped the clock at 47.39 seconds.

Although he is not a qualifier for the CARIFTA Games, Charles believes the competition was good and gave him an indication as to the stage of his preparations.

“The strategy was to start off hard and do a nice 300 (metres) and then form myself coming home,” he said. “My goal is to get at 45 seconds and my coach believes I could get there,” said Charles who is coached by Wayne McSween, a fomer national long and triple jumper.

Atlanta-based Kden Johnson, representing Max Potential, finished second but as the best qualifier with 50.13 seconds followed by Nathan Hood of Beacon Southern Pros (50.24).

Johnson, whose parents are Grenadians, said he is only two weeks into outdoor training and believes he is getting close to his 2016 targets.

“I’m hoping to get to about 47.5 in the 400 and 21.2 in the 200. That’ll be great to run that but I’ll keep training and I’ll get there,” he said.

Two athletes from Bishop’s College in Carriacou were the other automatic qualifiers on day one of the championships.

Reanna Joseph threw the shot put in the Girls Under-18 at 13.06 metres, more than a metre above the qualifying mark of 12.50m. Karlene Peters and Kerissa Thomas of Max Potential finished second and third with 12.45m and 12.17m respectively.

The Carriacou School also scored a top spot in the Boys Javelin Under-18 with Adrian Thomas, a silver medallist in the Discus at the CARIFTA Games in St Kitts last year, won threw the spear at 60.18m to clear the CARIFTA Standard of 58.00m. Joshua Bowen of the Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) was second with 51.30m and Dunason Compton of Bishop’s College (51.22m).

The Boys Under-20 High Jump event was also competitive with Kenny Horsford of South City Rising Stars (SCRS) getting the better of the experienced Keston Quashie of Hillsborough Secondary School. Horsford cleared 2.01m but failed on his attempts at 2.05m while Quashie had to settle for the second spot at 1.98m. Daryl Williams of Grenada Christian Academy finished third with a best effort of 1.85m.

Patrons could expect another exciting day of competition especially in the field events with two prospective CARIFTA Games’ medallists in competition.

Candesha Scott of St David’s Track Blazers will be challenged by her teammates Kelyna Fletcher and Kinda Lambert in the Girls Under-20 Javelin Throw while defending CARIFTA Games’ gold medallist Anderson Peters is strongly favoured over teammates Matthew Regis and Markim Felix of St David’s Track Blazers and Ronaldo Romain of Bishop’s College in the Boys Under-20 Javelin.

The Boys Under-20 800m also promises to be exciting with a match-up between Nathan Hood and Tallan

James as they attempt the qualifying time of 1 minute 56.00 seconds. Keron Charles of ACE Track Club will also feature in that race.

James has a silver medal in the 5,000m from St Kitts in 2015 and could prove a threat to Hood in the half-mile lap.

Saturday’s session begins at 3:00 p.m.

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