By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Describing his son as being ‘old for Squash’ during a Monday press conference, BVI Olympic Committee treasurer Mark Chapman’s son Joe, will be making his record 5th appearance in the Commonwealth Games, more than any other athlete ever has. It will be a history-making Games in Birmingham from July 28-Aug 8, as the BVI will field a record 19 athletes in four different sports including two sets of twins. Some 15 of the 19 athletes will be making their debut.
“I can’t tell you that,” the elder Chapman, who has been Commonwealth Games Chef de Mission since 2010, responded when Island Sun Sports asked if his son who has attended every edition since 2006, and is currently training in London, might get past the first round. “He’s in good shape but he’s an old guy now, as a squash player. He’s 32 years old. We should be looking to the youth.”
When specifically asked about his role in youth development, Chapman who has been BVIOC treasurer since 2006, sidestepped the question saying: “We have the most amazing youth program in Squash. All I can tell you is what we’ve done, bring in one of the best coaches in the world—we’ve done that twice,” he said. “If you’ve been to the squash courts, you’ll see we have one of the best courts in the Caribbean. What can I say?”
While he averted a direct answer about his contribution, he said Adam Murrllis is on the court daily training kids.
Twin sisters Tynelle and Trevia Gumbs, will be joined by twin brothers Djimon and Diamante Gumbs on the team. The BVI began participating in the Games in 1990 and won its first medal in 2018.
Joining Joe in on the Squash team is Luca Reich. Other sports and athletes:
Track and Field: Kyron McMaster, 400m Hurdles; Eldred Henry, Shot Put; Rikkoi Brathwaite, 100m; Beyonce DeFreitas, 200m; Deya Erickson, 100m Hurdles; Adriano Gumbs, 400m; Trevia Gumbs, Shot Put; Tynelle Gumbs, Hammer Throw; Diamante Gumbs, Discus Throw; Djimon Gumbs, Discus Throw, Shot Put; Arianna Hayde, Heptathlon. Coaches: Lennox Graham, Joey Scott, Ralston “Grandfather” Henry and Eric Matthias.
3×3 Basketball: Joy Victor, Keithrece Smith, Shaliquah Fahie, Mahkayla Pickering.
Cycling: Darel Christopher Jr., 37 km/23m time trial/160k/100m road race. Sam Talbot, 37 km/23m time trial/160k/100m road race.
World Athletics Championships
Kyron McMaster and Beyonce DeFreitas will represent the BVI at the 18th World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon. McMaster, who was fourth in 2019, will face the starters gun on Saturday. DeFreitas will see 200m action on Monday. Injuries knocked Long Jumper Chantel Malone out of the competition.
World U20 Championships
Another two athletes—Akrisa Eristee and Wanyae Belle, will represent the BVI in the World U20 Championships in Cali, Colombia, August 1-6. Eristee will contest the 400m and Belle, the 100 and 200m. While seven athletes had originally qualified for the event a combination of injuries and other plans have limited the delegation, coached by Karene King, to just two athletes.