By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
A Laser Sailor and three track and field athletes have been named for the 18thPan Am Games in Lima, Peru, July 26-August 11, ahead of the qualifying date, by the BVI Olympic Committee, during Saturday’s 2ndOlympic Day Sports Festival at the A. O. Shirley Grounds.
Hon. Neville “Sheep” Smith, who’s also the 1stVice President of the BVI Olympic Committee, told the gathering that Long Jumper Chantel Malone, 400m Hurdler Kyron McMaster, Shot Putter Eldred Henry and Sailor Thad Lettsome, are the early qualifiers.
“Qualifying for these Games has become much tougher than previous years and given the elevated standards and smaller team representing the VI this year, we are justifiably proud and excited to be sending a group of strong competitors who have the proven talent to make history and win our first ever medal – or medals!- in the Pan Am Games,” Hon. Smith said while congratulating the athletes. “We are also pleased that we have a young sailor who will bring us back into the Games after a long respite.”
McMaster, who will compete in the 400m Hurdles starting on August 6, qualified by winning gold at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games. Eldred Henry, who will contest the Shot Put finals on August 7, qualified for the Pan Ams with his record setting performance during the indoor season. Long Jumper Chantel Malone, set to compete on August 7, hit her qualifier when she claimed the then world #1 spot with a personal best leap of 6.90m at the at the 3rd Annual Torrin Lawrence Memorial in Athens, Georgia on April 26. The mark currently ranks Malone #2 in the world.
Laser Sailor Thad Lettsome, 17, will join the track and field athletes, as the first sailor to represent the VI at the Pan Am Games since the 1990s. Organizers awarded Lettsome a universality place in the event and will compete between Aug 3-10.
“We have competed in each of the Games since our first appearance in 1983 and the Pan Am Games was the starting point for the establishment of the BVI Olympic Committee,” Hon. Smith noted. “The closest we have come to a medal was in 1987 when our Softball team finished fourth, after a narrow 4-3 loss against Cuba in the bronze medal game but we are hopeful that 2019 will be the year we make the podium,” added Hon Smith, a member of the 1987 softball team.
Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway, will be providing daily reports from the Games
on CBN 90.9 FM at 5.00 p.m., July 26 through August 5 and then three daily reports at 9.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m. from August 6 – 11, with an Aug 12 wrap up at 9 a.m.