Kurt Felix (r) of Grenada competing alongside Leonel Suarez of Cuba (l) in the 100m Decathlon (GETTY IMAGES)

Kurt Felix (r) of Grenada competing alongside Leonel Suarez of Cuba (l) in the 100m Decathlon (GETTY IMAGES)

by Michael Bascombe

ST GEORGE’S, July 2, 2015 – Commonwealth Games Decathlon bronze medallist Kurt Felix leads a six-member team to represent Grenada at the Pan American Games in Toronto from July 10-26.

The Grenada Olympic Committee (GOC) on Thursday released the names of the participants who will represent Grenada at the 17th edition of the largest hemispheric Games.

The team will be spread across three sporting disciplines – athletics, swimming and tennis.

Felix, Bralon Taplin (Men’s 400 metres) and Kanika Beckles (Women’s 200m) are the track and field competitors; Oreoluwa Cherebin and Corey Ollivierre will compete in swimming and Yannik James is the lone tennis player.

Cherebin will compete in the 100m breaststroke, 100m butterfly and 50m freestyle and Ollivierre splashes in 100 and 200m breaststroke and 50m freestyle.

Olympic 400m champion Kirani James is not among the competitors for the Games and instead will continue his preparations for the World Championships scheduled for Beijing next month.

The GOC initially shortlisted nine athletes who attained qualification standard but had to reduce the team to three because Toronto 2015 recently announced that only 680 spots were allocated to athletics, and with host Canada already allocated two spots per event, the remaining 40 countries will have less than 500 allocated spots.

President of the Grenada Athletics Association (GAA) Charles ‘Charlie’ George communicated the disappointing news to the athletes.

“We share the disappointment that those not selected obviously feel and urge that you continue your training and quest for outstanding athletic performance,” he said.

The officials accompanying the team are Gerson Escobar Fernandez (swimming), Glynn James (tennis) and Christopher Huffins (coach for Kurt Felix in multi-events). Lucy Steele is the chef de mission.

Grenada has competed at every edition of the Pan American Games since the tenth edition of the multi-sport event in 1987. Hazel-Ann Regis (silver, women’s 400m) and Alleyne Francique (bronze, men’s 400m) were Grenada’s first Pan Am medallists in 2003 in the Dominican Republic. To date, all three of Grenada’s medals have been won in the sport of track and field.

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